CC students post offensive and racially derogatory comments on the social media platform Yik Yak.

A professor asks a student to speak up in class, addressing an issue as a “representative of the black viewpoint.”

A Latinx student introduces herself in class and she is asked to give her “CC” name, implying that she should use a name that is more anglicized.

These anecdotes illustrate the lived experiences for students on CC’s campus.

Now imagine a classroom in which students identify and evaluate the ways individuals and groups have unequal experiences based on the intersections of race, citizenship, and other dimensions of difference. Envision an institution where there exists a curricular requirement for every student to examine equity and power. That kind of transformational, systematic change exemplifies what CC
is working toward with its institutional antiracist initiative.

“I’m really troubled by false notions of a ‘post-racial’ society as a whole, which many people base solely upon the fact that we had an African American president, and equally as troubled that many see Colorado College as ‘above the fray’ and that we’re not plagued with this societal evil as well,” says Rochelle Dickey-Mason ’83, senior associate dean of students.

大学肯定是不是“超然”的是由无数种族主义事件在过去几年证明。 2018年3月,一个身份不明的人,隐藏加密的电子邮件服务的背后,发出了极大地伤害,种族主义,反黑,反拮抗消息,许多学生,教师和工作人员。其目标色彩的校园领导人,包括迪基 - 梅森,谁多年来一直在努力使CC更具包容性,支持性生活和学习社区。四月2018年,经过多次通过信访(其中第一个四岁的前提交,突出民族,种族,性,在CC的不平等),并调查表达了学生的关注,教师投票,以消除时间的课程要求,草案西部在努力了新的通识教育方案向更加多样化和公平的课程移动。校园污迹和管道仪式政策开始生效,在2018年之后不敏感的校园实践使它明显的是,大学里没有被承认和支持土著/美国本土学生。这绝不是一个详尽的清单。

“When we began our work in 2014, the dominant narrative was that CC was so progressive that racism was not an issue here,” says Paul Buckley, assistant vice president and director of the Butler Center, CC’s hub of diversity, inclusion, intercultural exchange, equity, and empowerment. “That narrative — which reproduces complacency and maintains the status quo — made it clear to me and the Butler Center staff that we would very determinedly set an antiracist agenda for our work.”

面对自满的这种文化使得CC的模式,积极开展反种族主义独特的方法在高等教育。 “我们已经显著形学院的努力,在这方面,”巴克利说,他的团队的工作,“利用每一次我们都面临着战略性地推进这一工作局面。”用在这里发生种族主义事件和整个大学校园和国家,和暴力导致近及远的悲剧,学院致力于在尊重周围的问题进行对话。这些谈话确实发生在CC,并将继续下去。

“I hope that with understanding and acknowledgement come open reflection, bold action predicated upon constructive dialogue, and a chance for people to have a greater sense of urgency and agency. We all have power in our own way to fight racism,” Dickey-Mason says.

One of the initiatives laid out in CC’s strategic plan “Building on the Block” is to create a diverse and inclusive campus for all. The college is committed to creating and fostering an environment where all students, faculty, staff, and guests feel welcomed and have the ability to thrive. The establishment of the Butler Center in 2014 was a first and significant step toward interrogating systems, practices, and the campus culture.

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In order to break the cycle, the college is moving beyond investigating incidents as they occur and is taking courageous steps to change the institution itself. In advancing the college’s strategic initiative even further, CC’s commitment to become an antiracist institution sets a goal of eradicating racism embedded in institutional policies, procedures, and practices. Transformational institutional change is the overarching goal of antiracism work at CC.

Challenging conversations are happening. Topics of race, white supremacy, access, and equity are spurring initiatives and action on campuses nationwide. The anonymous email in 2018 made it clear that CC is not immune to the pain and damage of racism and that the campus community has a lot of work to do.

“可悲的现实是,结构性种族主义是嵌入在整个美国历史和当今社会,”教务长艾伦·汤森,谁也担任指导委员会关于种族主义的外部审查说。 “这是必须在高等教育领导人老老实实承认这些事实,以及对他们所创造的不平等和偏见积极努力。这不只是关于我们的道德和伦理责任 - 如果我们要为今天的一代的学生,平等和权力的问题尽可能最好的教育,朝着成为反种族主义机构的积极工作一起,一定是我们的使命的核心部分。”

“Changing a culture is a messy process, and above all, it takes time,” says Cameron Mongoven ’21, Colorado College Student Government Association vice president and chair of CCSGA’s Inclusion Committee, and who also serves on the steering committee. “It’s difficult to grapple with the idea that we may never fully see the fruition of our work and that of so many others. I believe that this is a frustration of many students, including myself. Yet, this work must remain alive and active. The biggest reward by far has been hearing the energy in people’s voices when they talk about this. That’s how I know that something is there.”

“We are at so many different places in our journey; for some, this is an awakening. And some of us live, eat, sleep, and breathe this work day in and day out. It can be frustrating and fatiguing on both sides. So, the challenge is really about strategies that help move people forward from where they are now,” says Dickey-Mason. “It’s tremendously rewarding to be at an institution that is brave enough to take on antiracism work and that also provides resources to support people where they are.”

And identifying where they are and what kind of support they need is part of this transformational period for the college.

“It is emotional work,” says Neena Grover, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, Faculty Executive Committee chair, and member of the steering committee. “We tend to take racism issues personally and often don’t want to recognize our own racism, regardless of the color of our skin. It is hard to accept that as an institution we might be furthering white privilege and suppressing voices of marginalized communities in many big and small ways.”

“This is critical work that is central to the academic mission of the college,” Dickey-Mason says. “And because it impacts each of us on a daily basis; despite our differing levels of engagement with and understanding of how racism works, it’s insidious and constant in our lives.”

Education and Exploration

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“Ultimately, I think most people — students, staff, and faculty — are interested in doing the work toward making CC an antiracist institution,” says Grover. “We are in it together and there is a lot of ownership and a desire to improve Colorado College.”

管家中心,在使用Excel @ CC专业发展计划的合作伙伴关系,有利于为学生,教师和工作人员的教育机会。在“从优秀到卓越”系列,巴克利提出,提供了基本原则和做法,对多样性的包容理解和校园文化建设工作。它也解决了学习和教学风格,以及招聘无障碍和问责制。 “对日常反种族主义议程”的会议,由管家中心的工作人员推动,检查种族偏见;便于学习在社会结构和文化层次白人至上的经营和高等教育;发展动作反种族主义的理解;搞参与者在个人计划的开发朝着成为/作为一个反种族主义的工作。

“CC is committed to working to become an antiracist institution,” says President Jill Tiefenthaler. “The college’s focus on this goal represents a strategic priority, one where success depends on sustained engagement and contributions from each of us.”

External Review

Another important step in this effort is an examination of racism at CC. In Fall 2018, the college began an external review on racism, conducted by Roger Worthington of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education. While the report recognizes some of the progress made toward fostering a diverse and inclusive environment, it also provides a more comprehensive examination of effectively addressing racism at CC.

“I hope that first and foremost, the report helps people to understand that racism still exists,” says Dickey-Mason. “I want to see us become a better version of ourselves.”

Townsend echoes the need for acknowledging faults and employing the report to identify solutions to tackle these significant issues. “Put most simply, I hope our work on this initiative helps make it a place where anyone can come from any background, feel a true part of the community, and have an equal opportunity to thrive once they are here,” he says.

The report includes nine recommendations: Develop a collaborative implementation plan for the antiracism initiative; build coalitions to develop, advance, and promote the antiracism initiative; connect the CC core values to a pledge of antiracism at CC; appoint a vice president for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion; establish an antiracist curriculum transformation initiative; expand diversity in enrollment management and student life; increase faculty diversity and leadership; increase staff diversity and leadership; and develop and implement a strategic communications plan for the antiracism initiative.

Along with these broad recommendations, the external review also provides guidance on action steps and metrics for measuring progress.

Already underway, the faculty completed the general education review and revision and in May 2019 adopted a new general education program and curricular requirements. The Curriculum Executive Committee — with representation from faculty, students, and staff — drafted a new general education program and facilitated broad community discussion about its priorities. “Examination of power, diversity, and inequality emerged as a central imperative,” says Tip Ragan, professor of history and chair of the Curriculum Executive Committee (2018-19).

The college’s newly adopted course offerings aim to be broad enough to allow departments to tailor to specific disciplinary needs, yet also specific enough to address essential elements of a holistic approach to an inclusive curriculum. The recommendation also includes a directive for building faculty capacity for antiracist curriculum transformation involving course content selection; teaching a diverse student body; student demographics/classroom climate; and instructor self-awareness.


“The external review is about getting started on doing the work at the institutional level and bringing us all to the table at this moment. It is collective work,” says Grover. “When students tell us that education and opportunities offered by CC are not equally available to them or people at CC experience racism in their everyday lives, we need to do something about it.”


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The college is taking action now to make longstanding improvements in the quest to become an antiracist institution. Every office and department on campus has been asked to think about how CC’s antiracism initiative will affect their work. Each vice president, the members of Staff Council, the Faculty Executive Committee, the CC Student Government Association, and the President’s Council have identified ways their groups can advance the external review report recommendations.

The new general education requirements focus on how learning and knowledge are evoked and created, across the humanities, sciences, social sciences, and arts. This new curriculum also explicitly incorporates and encourages the development of courses and learning opportunities that challenge racism and racist legacies in the U.S., globally, and in the structure and character of academic disciplines.

For example, a two-block Equity and Power requirement represents a key change in CC’s general education approach. One course must focus on the U.S.; the other course on global issues. In both cases, the focus on equity and power will open up space for addressing racism and antiracism.

The requirements go into effect with the start of the 2020-21 academic year.

Increasing socioeconomic diversity is another institutional priority identified in the review. By making CC more affordable, the college will attract and enroll a higher percentage of students from lower- and middle-income families, and increase representation from all socioeconomic categories. “Building on Originality: The Campaign for Colorado College” aims to raise $100 million for financial aid including $20 million specifically to support the Colorado Pledge. Once this initiative is fully funded, Colorado students from low- and middle-income families will be assured that a CC education will be as or more affordable than attending the state’s public flagship university.

“We want the learning environment to be inclusive and diverse for all students’ growth,” Grover says. “We want diversity and inclusion to be a norm, not just words that we use for conforming to the practices of functioning in a predominantly white community. All the evidence suggests that diversity of ideas and practices produces more complex solutions to the problems; we have some big problems to solve ahead of us, from social justice to gene editing to climate change.”

What’s Next


“I want to see Colorado College become a learning institution where its students are no longer limited by the contingencies that society has placed on their identities,” says Mongoven. “While outside of CC these struggles will persist, I hope that this school can provide four years of unhindered self-development, mobility, and relationship building. I believe we are on that path and are welcoming conversations on it rather than shying away from a challenge like this.”

Antiracist vs. Nonracist

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“This stand implies taking responsibility for your unwilling participation in these practices and beginning a new life committed to the goal of achieving real racial equality.” (Bonilla-Silva, 2003)

Nonracist: A passive rejection or opposition of racist behavior; neither supporting nor opposing racism.

“Nonracism accepts colorblindness and racial neutrality, which centers on non-discriminatory intentions and assumes the possibility of racial innocence of people, policies, and ideas. It grants permission for racist actions to occur unchallenged as they are not viewed or acknowledged as being racist.” – LaGarrett King

Progress on campus

  • The new general education curriculum makes room for and encourages the development of courses and learning opportunities that challenge racism and racist legacies in the U.S., globally, and in the structure and character of academic disciplines. It eliminates the West in Time requirement and adds a two-block Equity and Power requirement focusing on equity and power questions.
  • In partnership with the Excel@CC professional development program, Paul Buckley, assistant vice president and director of the Butler Center, has facilitated “Good to Great” workshops and Butler Center staff have facilitated “Toward a Daily Antiracist Agenda” sessions for nearly 700 faculty and staff members.
  • During the 2018-19 academic year, the Butler Center staff provided a “Toward a Daily Antiracist Agenda” session for members of CC student government and a student session  as part of the Collaborative for Community Engagement’s“Week of Action.”
  • The Butler Center completed its fifth-year external review in continuation of its strategic antiracism initiative in diversity, equity, and inclusion work.
  • To increase CC’s socioeconomic diversity, “Building on Originality: The Campaign for Colorado College” has set a goal of raising $100 million for financial aid, including $20 million for the Colorado Pledge, supporting Colorado students from low- and middle-income families by making a CC education as or more affordable than attending the state’s public flagship university.
  • The college has awarded faculty grants to develop new courses or redesign existing courses to diversify CC’s academic curriculum, with a specific focus on including and addressing issues of equity, power, inequality, and diverse experiences.
  • The Crown Center for Faculty Development focused its annual early summer faculty retreat on inclusive and equitable learning within the Block Plan.
  • The Student Life and Academic Divisions offer Block Break-Away trips that provide block break options for students who may not have the means or desire to engage in “typical” block break activities.
  • Offices of Outdoor Education and Campus Activities are re-envisioning programming to make them more inclusive and representative of the interests of the student body. For example, the Blues and Shoes music event is now LoCCal Fest, an opportunity to “enjoy all things local,” from music to food to art.
  • The Career Center’s executives-in-residence have representation from marginalized populations.
  • A new student advising hub will launch in Fall 2019 to enhance the college’s ability to provide academic and other forms of support to every student.