Commission Report and Initial Actions
The Commission on Race and Slavery, chaired by alumnus and former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, released its report August 19, 2020.
In response to the report, the following actions have been developed and adopted as beginning steps toward building a more just, equitable community and world.
Towards Equity and Racial Justice:
Davidson College Initial Actions
Creating and Sustaining an Equitable Campus Environment
We are creating a student orientation module that will address Davidson’s history more completely, specifically with regard to race and slavery. Created with support from the Alumni Association Board, this module will be required of incoming students no later than fall 2021. The module represents a first step in ensuring that all students understand both Davidson’s history and what a commitment to antiracist practices means. Additionally, the college will allocate an additional $50,000 in 2020-21 for student-initiated efforts related to building an antiracist community.
All faculty, staff and students will participate in mandatory antiracism education in 2020-21. Faculty programs will stress inclusive pedagogy and creating an antiracist learning environment.
We will ensure that all regular Davidson employees make at least a living wage for Mecklenburg County as determined by the MIT living wage calculator (currently $13.15/hr).
We will review key practices (including those in hiring, contract bidding, compensation, admission, student discipline, and policing) through the lens of racial equity and building a just and inclusive campus. These reviews, to be conducted in collaboration with outside experts, will take place in 2020-21 and in 2021-22
The offices of the President and Vice President for Academic Affairs have created Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion honoraria to recognize otherwise invisible work undertaken by faculty members that helps to create a genuinely equitable and inclusive campus. At least one $10,000 honorarium will be given annually.
Campus police officers will work with Black students and Students of Color to hear and address concerns.
Commemoration and Acknowledgement
The Board of Trustees is establishing a committee to review naming policies and the names of key spaces.
We will expand public access to Davidson College materials on race and slavery by establishing a website that documents and shares our history, ongoing research, stories of Black alums, students, faculty members and staff members, and other related resources.
The Board annually reviews the Trustee Bylaws and College Constitution and will continue this process.
The Board will collaborate with the Art Collection Advisory Committee and the Davidson College Art Galleries to create a space on campus that acknowledges and commemorates the contributions of enslaved persons to the college
Research, Teaching and Learning
The college will hire four tenure-track professors housed partly or entirely in Africana Studies over the next four years. One of these will be a public historian.
The college will establish a standing committee to address research inquiries, requests and potential collaborations with community organizations.
The majority of faculty members have signed a statement pledging “to learn and practice inclusive pedagogy, design inclusive syllabi, and ensure that our pedagogical and research agendas actively consider justice and fairness wherever applicable, and actively expose and resist white supremacy, racism and antisemitism, as well as prejudice and exclusion on the basis of gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion or belief, political affiliation, ableism, or citizenship or documentation status.”
The college will create an “Innovator in Residence” program at the Jay Hurt Hub for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for alum entrepreneurs whose businesses promote equity or combat systemic racism.
The college is working with town leaders and community organizers to offer racial equity training in fall 2020.
The college will work with the Ada Jenkins Center to expand the Freedom Schools program by 2022.
The college community will work with the Black community in Davidson and town leaders on initiatives in housing, racial justice, and economic opportunities in order to make the town a more equitable place to live.
We Value Your Feedback
Please complete an anonymous survey of your reactions to both the report from the Commission on Race and Slavery and the initial action steps adopted by Davidson.