Colgate University is committed to becoming an anti-racist institution.
The University develops and promotes initiatives, programs, events, and resources that foster deep personal reflection, dialogue and action on issues of race, racism and anti-racism.
Search for a Chief Diversity Officer
Colgate has begun a national search for a Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). This new position will report directly to the president and will sit on the president’s Cabinet. The CDO will be charged to both implement and update the DEI Plan and to work across all divisions to ensure that Colgate is pursuing its mission of academic excellence in such a way that racism is addressed, justice pursued, and equity of opportunity ensured.
- Contracted with the search firm Witt Kieffer in February 2020 to secure a leader for diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts
- Identified and renovated office suite for CDO and other DEI practitioners
- Created DEI Coordination Group, charged with ensuring legal and regulatory compliance and consortial commitments in relation to diversity, equity, and inclusion, broadly considered
- Created DEI Advisory Group, made up of DEI practitioners from across campus and charged with overseeing day-to-day operations pertaining to the implementation of DEI initiatives and providing a network of mutual support for fellow DEI practitioners
- Contracted with Diversified Search in March 2021 to restart search for CDO
Current Anti-racism Initiatives
There are three University-wide initiatives that are either newly developing or ongoing and essential to our long-term goals. These are:
During the 2019–20 academic year, the Board of Trustees began to formally consider the physical and social needs of Colgate juniors and seniors as part of a review of their residential life experience. The aim was to see how best to provide appropriate residential and social space for all Colgate students. In conjunction with this effort, Colgate engaged the planning firms RAMSA and WXY — the firms engaged to develop plans for the University’s Middle Campus — as well as the Sasaki Group to consider the current conditions of the housing and social spaces available to Colgate juniors and seniors. While these planning efforts necessarily slowed down in the spring as a result of COVID-19, these firms will be charged to continue this work in collaboration with the administration during this academic year. First, they will be asked to consider the numerous studies conducted in past years on residential life at the University, and they will also be charged to consider housing and social options available at peer and national institutions. This review work should be completed within the fall semester, allowing for the development of a long-range plan of the upper-level residential and social experience and the provision of new residential and social opportunities for all Colgate students. As previously stated, this planning will be done as part of a comprehensive effort consistent with the goals and objectives of The Third-Century Plan and the DEI Plan. This initiative will help to address inequities in the student social and residential experiences.
We will support plans for new programming and improvements to Colgate’s long-standing Harlem Renaissance Center, located in the Bryan Complex on the upper part of the campus. Further, faculty and the Residential Commons directors will work to develop a dedicated Sophomore Residential Seminar associated with Hancock Commons and the Harlem Renaissance Center. This initiative provides a robust living learning community for students interested in race, ethnicity, and the African diaspora.
With the commencement of the new academic year, we will engage Colgate faculty and students, as well as national scholars, in a comprehensive review of Colgate’s history, with particular emphasis on the histories of non-majority groups at the University. This project will build in important ways on the bicentennial explorations of Colgate’s mission and history by acknowledging the history and contributions of people of color to the Colgate campus and community.
New Financial Support and New Programs
With the generous support of alumni and trustees, we are pleased to report that Colgate has three new sources of funds to allow us to move quickly to further develop and support DEI efforts. These are:
Named after Colgate’s first Black graduate, this new endowment fund, valued at $500,000, will be used to support diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and will be managed by the incoming CDO.
The newly established Alumni of Color Third-Century Fund will provide new support for our ongoing and developing DEI initiatives.
Through a remarkable gift from trustee Giovanni Cutaia ’94 and his wife, Maree, we have created the President’s DEI Discretionary Fund to support new diversity efforts and programs. Immediate allocations from this fund will support the following new programs for Colgate students.
Internship Funds for Students of Color
New funds will be allocated to ensure students of color have the support needed to pursue summer internships.
Funds to Support Graduate Fellowships and Graduate School Applications
Applications to graduate school or national fellowships have high costs that can discourage students of color and low-income students from applying. New funds will be allocated to defray these applications and related costs, expanding these opportunities to students of color and low-income students.
Peer-to-Peer Program Funding
The ALANA Cultural Center provides programming for all students. New funds will allow ALANA to support student-developed efforts across campus.
Colgate has now joined The Consortium for Faculty Diversity, a national consortium that will help diversify our faculty. The consortium partners the premiere research universities in the nation with a small number of leading liberal arts colleges to appoint scholars of color who have recently completed their doctoral degrees. Colgate has now joined this consortium. CFD scholars will come directly to Colgate through new post-doctoral fellowships and will immediately teach in the University’s curriculum.
Thanks to the work of the Partnership for Racial Progress, a group of alumni of color who seek to enhance life at the University and promote a sense of community and connection among Colgate graduates, the University is pleased to announce the following:
New Mosaic Program Funds
Mosaic connects multicultural alumni with current Colgate students, providing them with an opportunity to learn from alumni experiences on careers and on navigating life during and after Colgate. President’s DEI Discretionary Fund dollars will be provided to enhance this program.
Events & Programs
- How to Be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi
- So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo
- White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo
- Stamped From the Beginning, Ibram X. Kendi
- Racism without Racists: Colorblind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
- A People's History of the United States, Howard Zinn
- Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race, Beverly Daniel Tatum
- The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander
- Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Slavery by Another Name, Douglas A.Blackmon
- Me and White Supremacy, Layla Saad
- How to Be Less Stupid About Race, Crystal M. Fleming,
- When They Call You a Terrorist, Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele
- I Am Not Your Negro
- When They See Us
- Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise
- TED Talks playlist: Talks to help you understand racism in America
- 1619 from The New York Times
- Floodlines from The Atlantic
- Intersectionality Matters! from The African American Policy Forum
- Throughline from NPR
- Code Switch from NPR
- About Race from Panoply
- Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast from Race Forward
- Pod For The Cause from The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights
- Racial equity tools: USC’s Center for Urban Edication’s Racial Equity Tools
- Action Plan Guidebook: Anti-Racism Action Plan Guidebook from Holy Cross
- Combating Structural Racism: Resources to Combat Structural Racism in America from the Aspen Institute
- Challenge: 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge from American Bar Association