Davidson College is taking a range of steps, in response to the report by the Commission on Race and Slavery, toward equity and racial justice.

When the commission’s report was released in August 2020, the college announced several initiativesSince the commission’s report was released, Davidson has taken these additional steps.

February 15, 2021 Update

College-Wide

Adjusted salaries of the college’s lowest paid employees to ensure all regular employees are making at least a living wage for Mecklenburg County. 

Partnered with the Town of Davidson and the Racial Equity Institute of Greensboro to offer their “Groundwater” training to 160 participants. The training explores how racial inequities are caused by systems and that transformational change requires a deep examination of these systems.

Trustee Committees on Commemoration and Acknowledgment and Naming established. These two committees were established in light of the recommendations of the Commission on Race and Slavery. One is focused on publicly commemorating the contributions of enslaved persons to Davidson and the other is focused on developing a policy on naming (for example, buildings, programs and scholarships) for the college.

Standing committee to respond to research and community requests established. This committee was established in light of the recommendations of the Commission on Race and Slavery to field requests for research or information about Davidson’s history.

Innovator in Residence program to begin at the Hurt Hub in academic year 2021-22.

Davidson Microaggressions Project funded for two years.

Formed anti-racist Partnership with 3:08 Collective

  • Partnership with 3:08 announced to campus 20 January
  • Workgroup team (Tamala Bullard, Melissa Gonzalez, Fuji Lozada, Brent Maher, Stacey Riemer) met with 3:08 partners; established weekly check-in, finalization of survey to campus; key process review documents to be uploaded
  • Survey launched: 3 February
  • Next steps: scheduling 1:1 interviews with faculty and staff 

Joined Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance (LACRELA)

  • Working team (Tamala Bullard, Stacey Riemer, Fuji Lozada) met to plan representation at monthly LACRELA e-Convenings. SLT briefed. Representatives to also serve as facilitators on campus.
  • Working team met with USC Race and Equity Center Staff and other LACRELA schools to discuss National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates (NACCC) survey procedure; Linda LeFauve designated as NACCC liaison, along with T&I representative; Survey of students to be launched 16 Mar-23 April; Stacey Riemer working with SGA and other students on publicity 
  • First group of representatives (8 staff/faculty) selected for 1st workshop on 17 February

Bias Incident Reporting System (Tamala Bullard, Carley Dix, Fuji Lozada)

  • Presented to SLT; full rollout planned during next couple of weeks
  • BIRS established on Maxient System
  • Monthly report: 1 case resolved, with respondent and complainant satisfied. No further action. 

Other Activities

  • 21 Day Racial Equity Challenge launched on campus
  • A group of alum employees participated in an anti-racism workshop with Dr. T. Day (organized by Maurice Norman and Kristen Eshleman)

Engaging Students 

  • Questbridge: First Gen Community Time (Tu 16 Feb, 4:30-5:30pm: Center for Diversity and Inclusion)
  • Applications open for Emerge! Student Leadership Program (starting 14 Feb)
  • SmashTalk (Arts-based positive body image; first event 16 Feb)
  • Stories Yet to Be Told:  Race, Racism and Accountability on Campus grant applications open to students 
  • Consultation call with EAB - “Hallmarks of an Antiracist Institution” (information gathering)
  • Resources for Racial Justice currently highlighted on WildcatSync 
  • Applications open for Bonner Racial Justice Community Fund which is designed to mobilize students, alumni, staff, faculty, and partners to work for anti-racist and racially just structural, policy, educational, economic, and social change.
  • Student Activities and the Dean of Student Office are advising the Monuments Initiative, created by students to reimagine and evolve Patterson Court; the Committee on Campus and Religious Life, Patterson Court Council and other standing committees will be involved.
  • Dean of Students Office is leveraging discretionary funds to support new initiatives created by students to address underserved populations and needs: ex., the Black Femmes organization, survivors of color.

Division Updates

Each division is also taking responsibility for implementing programs for staff within that area.

Technology & Innovation

  • T&I's entire leadership team, along with some staff from HR and managers in three divisions (the Library, College Communications and College Relations) who hire technology-oriented positions are currently enrolled in a three-session inclusive hiring training from ModelExpand, a San Francisco-based consultancy that works with the tech industry to build more diverse and inclusive teams. A total of 13 Davidson managers and staff are enrolled in this T&I-funded training, which wraps up this Thursday, Feb. 11.  
  • 22 T&I staff have signed up for the United Way's Racial Equity 21-Day Challenge in February, learning more about racial equity and systemic racism through daily readings. T&I staff are invited to participate in a weekly optional discussion session to reflect on the readings and learnings. This optional program will be completed in February.

Finance and Administration

  • F&A is planning a video series to be viewed by managers and employees together. Managers will receive additional preparation to facilitate dialogue about the videos. 
  • All F&A staff are completing the Safe College's Microaggression Course ~40% have completed to date, all will complete by April 30.
  • In collaboration with HR, F&A is working to support a financial literacy program at Davidson, using our credit union relationship.  A course is scheduled for the next three months. 

Athletics

  • Launched an extensive DEI initiative across training, recruiting, staffing, accountability and performance metrics
  • Through a ‘Call to Action’ each sports team is charged with initiatives and programming across education, culture, and community outreach
  • Instituted mandatory departmental DEI training, the first of which was conducted by Jen Fry Talks
  • Athletics scholar-athletes, coaches and staff participated in the Groundwater workshop offered by the Racial Equity Institute

Admission

  • All staff taking Coursera’s Anti-Racism I course this academic year.

College Communications

  • College Comms staff participated in the Groundwater workshop offered by the Racial Equity Institute.

Career Development

  • Center staff participated in three anti-racism workshops with an external facilitator with more to come during the spring semester.
  • Our internal DEI working group is working on a variety ideas and initiatives including an Equity Scorecard to help students evaluate the cultures within specific organizations they are considering for experiential learning and employment.

Student Life

  • Student Life staff (all full-time employees) completed online modules on implicit bias and microaggressions.
  • Leaders from Student Life partnered with College Relations and Unity in Community, a local 501c4, to help organize the Racial Equity Institute Groundwater training for Davidson College students and employees, Town of Davidson staff and employees, and community members.
  • The Community Research Needs Assessment, developed through an initiative co-advised by the Center for Civic Engagement with faculty collaborators, is being used by Unity in Community to identify programming and advocacy priorities for the calendar year.
  • Specialized and focused antiracism training for Student Life division leaders and unit directors.

College Relations

Staff Development

  • College Relations created an Equity and Inclusion Council. The E&I Council leadership is working with the Deliberative Citizenship Initiative to create a formal framework. 
  • By June 30, 2021, each member of the College Relations team will spend a minimum of 10 hours in educational activities to help create a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and antiracist workplace. 
  • The College Relations E&I Council provided an Antiracism Resource Guide. Each CR staff member also has two goals incorporated in our performance objectives specific to antiracism. 
  • Alumni and Family Engagement (AFE) created a departmental DEI planning group to advance their work. Reviewed internal and hiring processes.
  • AFE staff completed the following educational programs as a team, including: How to Engage Meaningfully in Allyship and Anti-Racism LinkedIn Learning Course, Brené Brown with Aiko Bethea on Inclusivity at Work: The Heart of Hard Conversations, discussed Peggy McIntosh’s White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack and Race Traitor: Who Taught You to Be White podcast. 
  • Supervisors completed Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging DIBS: An Introduction with Pat Wadors LinkedIn Learning Course.
  • In Nov-Dec 2020, College Relations and advancement shops at six liberal arts colleges (Kenyon, Bates, Bowdoin, Haverford, Franklin & Marshall, Vassar) partnered with the Aspen Leadership Group to provide a six-hour program (three two-hour sessions), Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Fundraising and Volunteer Management, to staff. 40 College Relations staff members participated. 
  • In January 2021, College Relations launched the Safe College's Implicit Bias and Microaggression Course to be completed by March 15, 2021. 

External Programming (offered to alums and the community)

  • From Rodney King to George Floyd: Davidson, Riots, Race and Trump Panel Discussion with Ike Bailey ’95, James K. Batten Professor of Public Policy, Dr. Tiffany Hollis ’04, assistant professor of foundations, curriculum, and instruction at Coastal Carolina University, Mikayla Smalls ’20, Mbye Njie ’04, Addie Turner ’20, Ethan Ehrenhaft ’20, Jaylen Thompson ’20, Imani Bowen '10 and Maurice Norman ’20
  • An Evening with Dr. Hilary Green: Reconciling Davidson College’s Slave Past: Why Scipio Torrence and Hiram Potts Matter
  • Commission on Race and Slavery Panel Discussion with The Hon. Anthony R. Foxx ’93, chairman of the Commission on Race and Slavery, 2017-2020, Dr. Hilary Green, associate professor of history and the 2020-2021 Vann Professor of Ethics in Society, Dr. Carol E. Quillen, president of Davidson College and Moderated by Dr. Rose Stremlau, associate professor of history and gender and sexuality studies, member of the Commission on Race and Slavery, 2017-2020.
  • “Art. Murals. Legacy.” Stuart Robertson ’15 and Makayla Binter ’20 discussed life during and after Davidson as professional artists while reflecting on the brief history of mural art on campus. Makayla interviewed Stuart and, in retracing his education and career, the pair imagined updated paths forward for freshly minted artists and audiences beyond the upheaval of 2020.
  • “Why Didn’t We Riot” with Ike Bailey ’95.

Academic Affairs

Each academic department chair and program director was asked to develop anti-racism plans, yielding a great variety of approaches within academic affairs

Planning and Academic Assessment, EPC

  • Support for EPC review of JEC and Cultural Diversity requirements
  • Assessment of inclusive pedagogy
  • Using institutional data to support FoC – in response to COACHE

Library

  • Expanding Anti-racism resources guide as library resource for the college
  • Reaching out to faculty and students for archival research in problematic areas of college history
  • With the CTL, implement open access educational resources to address issues of textbook affordability/access
  • Renew commitment to recruit, hire, and retain a diverse and engaged library staff

Office of Grants and Contracts

  • Review demographics of faculty applicant and grant recipients
  • Engage in anti-racism education for staff

Research and Creative Works

  • Review demographics of student application and successful receipt of grants awarded by academic affairs (e.g., DRI, Abernethy)
  • Review application/deliberation process for hidden, implicit bias

Academic Affairs Staff

  • Identify and correct bias in recruiting and hiring student works in Academic Affairs
  • Review faculty access to professional travel expenditures
  • Expand VPAA student travel program to make more accessible

CIS

  • Write brief history of race and CIS
  • Use this to determine how race has been a factor in the Center
  • Identify institutional or structural racism in CIS processes

Registrar

  • Implement national standards and practices on academic advising focused on anti-racism;
  • Expand anti-racism education for the faculty advising committee, registrar staff, and premajor advisors

Dean Rusk

  • Review application and grant receipt process to ensure adherence to DEI/anti-racism
  • Expand work with national/international organizations that are committed to expanding international internships/experiential learning opportunities to underrepresented minorities

Davidson Arts and Creative Engagement

  • DACE grants refocused to anti-racism through the deployment of the STAND grant

Education Abroad

  • Review statistics for participation rates of domestic students of color, international students for past 5 yrs.
  • Collaborate with RLO and D&I offices to provide outreach, information on education abroad opportunities
  • Ongoing professional development opportunities focused on anti-racism education

Previous Updates

December 11, 2020

  • The college has joined the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance as one of 51 inaugural member institutions. This membership gives us access to high quality learning opportunities and climate surveys that address all areas of campus. Each division is identifying a point person to participate in this effort and share their learnings with campus.
  • Each division has completed or scheduled mandatory antiracism education, as pledged when the commission released its report.
  • Working with one of our trustees who has expertise and experience in this field, we have identified and are in the process of engaging a consultant to 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. (The review was announced in August.)
  • Davidson adjusted salaries of the college’s lowest paid employees to ensure all regular employees are making at least a living wage for Mecklenburg County, a pledge made when the commission released their report.
  • The Board committees on Commemoration and Acknowledgment and Naming, which were announced when the commission report was released, are starting their work. In November they joined the new campus standing committee, also announced in August and formed to address research inquiries and community collaborations, for a joint orientation session with the Hon. Anthony Foxx, chair of the Commission on Race and Slavery, and Dr. Hilary Green, our public historian and 2020-2021 Vann Professor of Ethics in Society.
  • Also in November we partnered with the Town of Davidson and the Racial Equity Institute of Greensboro to offer their “Groundwater” training to 160 participants. The training explores how racial inequities are caused by systems and that transformational change requires a deep examination of these systems.
  • On December 9, Davidson hosted, via Zoom, a discussion around exploring the college’s history and implementing the action steps formed in response to the work of the Commission on Race and Slavery. The panelists included:
    • The Hon. Anthony R. Foxx ’93, chair of the Commission on Race and Slavery, 2017-2020
    • Dr. Hilary Green, associate professor of history and the 2020-2021 Vann Professor of Ethics in Society
    • Dr. Carol E. Quillen, president of Davidson College
    • Moderated by Dr. Rose Stremlau, associate professor of history and gender and sexuality studies, member of the Commission on Race and Slavery, 2017-2020

Watch the Dec. 9 Panel Discussion