Dear Oberlin Community,
After the killing of George Floyd, I established the President’s Initiative on Racial Equity and Diversity in response to increasing injustice and racial tensions in America. The Presidential Initiative was meant to elevate and advance Oberlin’s more than 180-year commitment to diversity, which began with its admission of Black students, and provide the framework for faculty and students to address issues of violence, police-community relationships, and racial injustices. The three-year National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates survey complements the effort. Together, they provide rare and in-depth insight into matters of race on campus.
Today, I am pleased to share the Presidential Initiative full report. Below is a short video about the PI, and the full report can be found here.
This is an important time for the DEI conversation at Oberlin and across the country. Just last weekend, the nation witnessed two heinous, hate-based shootings, one in Buffalo, New York, and one in Laguna Woods, California. These events drive home the need to fight hate of all kinds—including racism, anti-Semitism, and gender bias—on campus and in our society.
Oberlin’s unprecedented examination over the past two years will help identify the clear steps our community can take to help our students, especially our students of color, participate fully in the life of the College. If we elevate the Oberlin experience of students, faculty, and staff of color, we will elevate it for everyone on campus and help improve the world.
The report is the result of the consequential work of the faculty, students, and staff of the PI committee. Their efforts will help launch Oberlin into a new period for fighting hate and embracing inclusion.
Later this summer, we will take the next steps in the PI’s ongoing work and begin to form a new Center for Race, Equity, and Inclusion.
I look forward to your joining me in this effort.