A Schrade Painting

Advisory Council on Hampshire's Commitment to Anti-Racism: Statement

This summer, President Lash charged the Advisory Council on Hampshire's Commitment to Anti-Racism to consult campus constituencies and think broadly about the issues that Hampshire College needs to address regarding racism and support for members of underrepresented communities on campus.

The council will:

  • Document themes and concerns raised by members of our community.
  • Review staffing resources that serve underrepresented communities on campus.
  • Review all policies and practices to address racism on campus, and propose additions.
  • Develop institutional goals relating to these concerns. 
  • Make recommendations to the President by spring 2017 that address and resolve key areas of concern.
  • Develop evaluation methods to determine whether we are achieving our goals.

Over the summer the Advisory Group on Hampshire’s Commitment to Anti-Racism met weekly. We heard from several Hampshire staff members and mapped out areas of challenge and opportunity with respect to supporting actively anti-racist work at Hampshire. While this summer was an important time, we recognize that learning -- and learning while doing -- will be an ongoing process. During our conversations, we discussed the workings of racism on campus; power, privilege, and oppression; structural racism and white supremacy; white allyship and the burdens carried by people of color in a historically and predominantly white institution; the role of intersectionality in understanding identity; and the importance of learning from one another through dialogue and compassionate listening.

Over the course of these rich discussions, the council developed initial recommendations that can support our community’s efforts around education and understanding systems of oppression. The council shared some short-term recommendations with President Lash that include: 

  • Engaging our community in sustained training beginning in the fall semester to provide opportunities for the community to participate in facilitated conversations designed to clearly define our anti-racism commitment.  
  • Communicating the College’s commitment to anti-racism in ways that are clear, frequent and accessible. 
  • Developing a central website to make accessible the work of the Advisory Council (e.g., minutes, resources, etc.)
  • Working with the Cultural Center and the James Baldwin Scholars Program to develop long-term recommendations and in the meantime, working to actively support their public programming and initiatives.
  • Working with the Interim Director of Human Resources to develop a professional development series that supports our anti-racism commitment.

As we begin the new academic year the Advisory Council will continue to meet with campus individuals and groups to identify community needs and seek feedback on proposed recommendation.  By the end of Fall 2016 (or early Spring 2017) we will provide a list of long-term recommendations to the President based on input from our community.

For additional feedback and suggestions please contact co-chairs, Diana Sutton-Fernández, Chief Diversity Officer (dfernandez@hampshire.edu) and Kristen Luschen, Dean of Multicultural Education and Inclusion (kluschen@hampshire.edu).

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