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December 14, 2022

From Dr. John Johnson, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion:

Whitman College is part of the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance (LACRELA). This alliance was established in 2020 by DePauw University President Dr. Lori White and began with five colleges and a vision “to collaborate on antiracism work, campus climate research and virtual programming for administrators, faculty and staff members on how to better serve students of color and address systemic racism." Through coordination with USC’s Race and Equity Center, LACRELA has grown to include more than 70 institutions and actively works to assist higher education professionals in developing inclusive practices, policies and initiatives to advance racial equity.

As part of our membership with LACRELA, Whitman and several other LACRELA institutions participated in the National Assessment for Collegiate Campus Climates (NACCC) in spring of 2021 and 2022. More information about Whitman’s NACCC participation and results is forthcoming, but we are able to compare our campus climate outcome data to LACRELA averages (25 institutions) and see how we measure up to a comparison group of five selected peer institutions.

Whitman’s engagement with LACRELA has also provided opportunities for several members of the Whitman community to participate in eConvenings—virtual seminars facilitated by subject matter experts on topics such as:

  • Fostering and Sustaining Inclusive Classrooms for Students of Color
  • Teaching the Truth About Slavery and America’s Racial History
  • Strategically Hiring Faculty of Color

The next LACRELA eConvening is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, January 24, and will focus on Managing and Resolving Racial Tensions in the Workplace. Each LACRELA institution is allotted eight spots for each three-hour synchronous session. Please email diversity@whitman.edu if you would like to participate in the January session. Recordings of past sessions are also available upon request. Visit our LACRELA webpage for more information.

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