As part of the Hiring and Diversity workshop series under the Undergraduate and Faculty Fellow Program for a Diverse Professoriate, the Associated Colleges of the Midwest hosted a second virtual Retention and Success Workshop on supporting faculty and students of color at ACM campuses. A recording of the full workshop is available here.
Last year’s inaugural Retention and Success workshop focused on language and experiences around systemic racism. This year’s theme, “Implementing Change for Success,” reflects a pivot from talking about racism to strategies for taking action.
“The past 18 months required us to develop new and better language, concepts, and understandings around the challenges our communities of color face, and what ways we can possibly disrupt systemic racism,” said Allen Linton II, Director of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives at the ACM. “Recognizing that we need to keep having those conversations, this year we want to build on what we’ve learned and make tangible impact toward progress.”
Addressing this theme, Sharon Fries-Britt, Professor of Higher Education at University of Maryland, presented a keynote entitled “Forever Changed: Leading While Learning and Rebuilding.” Acknowledging the effects of recent collective traumas, the talk focused on how campus leaders will need to operate in vulnerable spaces addressing race, equity, and diversity and continue to learn as they lead and rebuild their campus communities.
“We cannot unsee what the last 18 months have revealed about our communities and society, but together, with the lessons we have learned, we can build a more inclusive and equitable future.”
Sonya Malunda, President of the ACM
Michael Gerard Mason, Associate Dean and Director of the Luther Porter Jackson Black Cultural Center at the University of Virginia, talked about the lessons UVA learned after the August 2017 demonstrations and attack in Charlottesville, and how COVID-19 affirmed the value of those lessons. The presentation, “We MUST Become the Proverbial ‘Village,’” explored peer support programming, comprehensive support for Black students, and redistributing the responsibility for emotional support across a university community.
A total of 40 invited senior academic leaders representing nine ACM colleges attended the workshop, which also included a roundtable discussion with Paula O’Loughlin, Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Coe College, and Michael Schneider, Provost and Dean of the College at Knox College. The conversation, facilitated by Linton, addressed culturally responsive mentoring approaches and how to implement them with incoming and senior faculty of color.
“The ACM is grateful to our distinguished speakers and the senior campus leaders who joined us to explore these critical topics around supporting faculty and students of color at our member colleges,” said Sonya Malunda, President of the ACM. “We cannot unsee what the last 18 months have revealed about our communities and society, but together, with the lessons we have learned, we can build a more inclusive and equitable future.”