The Alumni Association Board of Directors began the Alumni of Color Engagement (ACE) initiative in 2008. ACE addresses and develops new channels and opportunities for connection between our alumni of color and the college to strengthen commitments and contributions to the life and success of the college. ACE focuses on three main areas:
The Alumni of Color Engagement initiative was created during a September 2008 Alumni Association Board of Directors meeting in which the group discovered that alumni of color were woefully underrepresented in key volunteer positions. Those numbers showed that of the 394 key volunteers for the Alumni Office, The Fund for Davidson, and the Davidson Athletic Fund, only 18 were alumni of color. Just more than 65 percent of non-minority alumni participated in The Fund for Davidson, compared to 37 percent of alumni of color. About 27 percent of white alumni returned for their class reunions while only 14 percent of alumni of color attended.
The group's mission was to figure out why, determine how to change that reality, and address barriers that exist between alumni of color and their ability to fully engage in the life of the college. Since then, two surveys of alumni of color participation have been completed. The survey numbers continue to show gaps between the average participation of white alumni and alumni of color, but they also include modest progress in part because of actions taken by ACE, including convincing the college to hire a multicultural director.
ACE continues to explore new, innovative ways to reach out to more alumni of color through various social media and other channels, and is pushing to better understand the processes that led to underrepresentation on particular volunteer boards, including the Davidson Athletic Fund, The Fund for Davidson, and the Alumni Board.
The group plans to maintain a database that will include the names, interests and talents of alumni of color who are willing to serve in a volunteer (or other) capacity at the college. To be included in or recommend someone's inclusion in the database, please email Alumni Relations.