Whittier College to Participate in Racial Equity Leadership Alliance

November 13, 2020

The University of Southern California Race and Equity Center announced the launch of the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance. Whittier College will be one of 51 Alliance member institutions to participate in this unique endeavor.

“Racial justice, equity, and inclusion must be at the core of the work that we do at Whittier College,” said President Linda Oubré. “As such, we are extremely proud to be part of this Alliance and look forward to collaborating with the USC Race and Equity Center to further advance our success in this area and to better serve our students, who represent the diversity of this country.”

Beginning in January 2021, the Center will host a dozen eConvenings, each on a particular aspect of racial equity. These live, synchronous professional learning experiences will be held virtually throughout the year, one per 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. These three-hour synchronous learning experiences will be highly engaging and interactive.

Alliance member institutions will have the opportunity to send the same eight employees to all 12 sessions, or a total of up to 96 different representatives across the dozen eConvenings offered each membership year.

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.

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 its 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.

Alliance member colleges will benefit from this trio of campus climate surveys on a three-year rotational basis: the student survey in year one, the faculty survey in year two, and the staff survey in the third membership year. The Center will manage data collection and analysis.

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 (custodians, food service professionals, full-time and adjunct faculty members, admission officers, student affairs professionals, athletic department staff, and the presidents’ cabinet, to name a few) at each Alliance member college will have full, 24/7 access to the virtual resource portal. The portal will launch in late-spring 2021.



Allegheny College

Amherst College

Bard College

Barnard College

Bowdoin College

Bucknell University

Carleton College

Centre College

Claremont McKenna College

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Colorado College

Connecticut College

Davidson College

DePauw University

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Hamilton College

Harvey Mudd College

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Luther College

Macalester College

McPherson College

Mount Holyoke College

Muhlenberg College

Pitzer College

Pomona College

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Occidental College

Randolph College

Reed College

Rhodes College

Scripps College

Skidmore College

Smith College

Soka University of America

St. Olaf College

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Swarthmore College

Union College

University of Richmond

Utica College

Wabash College

Washington and Lee University

Wellesley College

Westminster College

Whittier College

Williams College

Wofford College