Trinity University is one of 53 inaugural member institutions of the University of Southern California (USC) Race and Equity Center’s Liberal Arts College Racial Equity Leadership Alliance.
The University of Southern California Race and Equity Center is home to a dynamic research and organizational improvement center that helps professionals at colleges and universities strategically develop and achieve equity goals, better understand and correct climate problems, avoid and recover from racial crises, and foster sustainable cultures of inclusion. A number of resources will be offered to its member institutions.
“Trinity’s participation in this Alliance is an important component of our Diversity and Inclusion commitment, which is focused on implementing practices that foster an inclusive and anti-racist campus where all students, faculty, and staff feel welcomed and valued,” says Trinity President Danny Anderson. “We look forward to working together with our peers to engage in critical dialogue, self-evaluation, and open listening and learning in order to make Trinity more open and inclusive to all.”
Trinity faculty and staff will have the opportunity to participate in the following Alliance resources:
Racial Equity eConvening Series
Beginning in January 2021, the Center will host a dozen eConvenings, each on a particular aspect of racial equity, held live and virtually every month. Three-hour learning sessions, each on a different topic, will be delivered by highly respected leaders of national higher education associations, tenured professors who study race relations and people of color, chief diversity officers and other experienced administrators, and specialists from the Center. The 12 eConvening sessions will focus mostly on strategies and practical approaches. Attendees will return to work that same day with shareable tools and resources.
Virtual Equity Resource Portal
The Center is developing an online repository of resources and tools for Alliance member colleges. Downloadable equity-related rubrics, readings, case studies, videos, slide decks, and conversation scripts will be included in the portal. Every employee across all levels at each Alliance member college will have 24/7 full access to the virtual resource portal. The portal will launch in late spring 2021.
Three Campus Climate Surveys
The Center’s National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates (NACCC) has been administered to more than 500,000 students at colleges and universities in every geographic region of the United States. The NACCC is a rigorous, expert-validated quantitative survey that measures belonging and inclusion, the frequency and depth of cross-racial interactions, students’ appraisals of institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion, and other related topics.
Using the NACCC as a guide, the Center is developing a pair of workplace climate surveys for Alliance member colleges: one for staff at all levels, and another for faculty (including full-time, adjunct, and part-time instructors). These two surveys will focus on topics like employees’ perceptions of equitable opportunities for promotion and advancement; mattering and sense of belonging; how different groups of employees differently experience the workplace environment; employees’ encounters with racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other–isms at work; employee satisfaction with the College’s responses to reports of abuse, unfair treatment, and climate problems; and appraisals of the institution’s commitment to equity.
In addition, Presidents of Alliance member colleges will meet quarterly to share strategies, seek advice, and identify ways to leverage the Alliance for collective impact on racial equity in higher education. In addition, presidents will occasionally come together to craft rapid responses to urgent racial issues confronting the nation. Alliance presidents will collaboratively determine what to do; what to say to their respective campus communities; and what they can communicate in one unified voice to policymakers, journalists, and other audiences.
“We are excited to begin engaging with Alliance members,” Anderson said. “Addressing the social legacy of discrimination and racism is paramount to Trinity, as it is to the Alliance's other members.” I believe that our active participation will provide us with a clear, substantive, and sustainable path to advance equity and inclusion at Trinity.”