Utica College Joins National Coalition of Liberal Arts Institutions to Examine Race, Equity on Campus

Learning at Utica College

“We are building a strong infrastructure to sustain our institutional commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion to help get members of our community informed on issues and matters relevant to developing a more just, diverse, equitable and inclusive climate.”

Utica College has joined a prestigious coalition of colleges and universities across the country, formed to examine race and equity on college campuses. The Liberal Arts College Racial Equity Leadership Alliance (LACRELA) has been created to foster greater understanding in combating these issues.

Developed by Shaun Harper, Race and Equity Center executive director at the University of Southern California (USC), LACRELA seeks to help professionals at colleges develop and achieve equity goals, better understand and correct problems, avoid and recover from racial incidents, and foster sustainable cultures of inclusion.

Beginning this month, the USC Equity Center will host monthly virtual meetings on different aspects of racial equality, including confronting acts of racism and violence on campus.

In addition, employees of all member colleges will have access to an online repository of resources and tools including readings, case studies, videos, slide decks, conversation scripts and more.

“I am proud and honored that Utica College has joined LACRELA in our efforts to foster an inclusive community,” said Laura Casamento, president of Utica College. “This partnership goes hand in hand with significant efforts already under way at Utica College, including formation of the Strategic Advisory Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Collaborative.”

“UC’s partnership with LACRELA is a timely and welcomed resource, among others, such as the Intergroup Dialogue, Diversity Equity and Inclusion training module that the entire UC workforce is required to complete,” said Anthony Baird, vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Student Transitions and the Chief Diversity Officer.  “We are building a strong infrastructure to sustain our institutional commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion to help get members of our community informed on issues and matters relevant to developing a more just, diverse, equitable and inclusive climate.”

Presidents of Alliance member colleges will meet quarterly to confidentially share strategies, seek advice and brainstorm ways to leverage the Alliance for collective impact on racial equity in higher education. The group will also serve as a resource in instances when a rapid response to crises may be needed.

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