The tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and too many others, and outrage in the U.S. and globally related to issues of racial injustice compel us to take positive action as an organization. We must determine how we might best support our members as they do similar work within their institutions.

At this inflection point in the United States’ collective experience and history, as change and innovation leaders in the higher education community, we must take decisive action to change the future for the betterment of our students, faculty, staff, and humanity’s greater good.  Building on our vision of ‘positioning higher education institutions to be agile, lifelong learning models to transform lives and communities around the world’, we offer this statement of beliefs and actions.

Accordingly, we believe:

  • Our values of integrity, respect, diversity, generosity, and excellence underpin all our work.
  • If humanity is to survive and thrive, we must confront difficult and painful truths about our shared current reality and racial injustice. The most effective way to tackle issues of white privilege and systemic racism is to name them, talk about them, and take personal and collective responsibility to change them.
  • Higher education has a responsibility to actively dismantle systemic racism. Doing nothing to address inequality is supporting inequality. There are oppressive systems in place and our words and actions either support those existing systems or dismantle them.

Anti-Racism Resources

Anti-racist:  “To be antiracist is to think nothing is behaviorally wrong or right — inferior or superior — with any of the racial groups. Whenever the antiracist sees individuals behaving positively or negatively, the antiracist sees exactly that: individuals behaving positively or negatively, not representatives of whole races. To be antiracist is to deracialize behavior, to remove the tattooed stereotype from every racialized body. Behavior is something humans do, not races do.” Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, How to be an Antiracist 

Implicit bias: “Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These are mental shortcuts that help us more easily make sense of our incredibly complex world. These biases, which encompass both favorable and unfavorable assessments, are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control. These associations develop over the course of a lifetime beginning at a very early age through exposure to direct and indirect messages.” Victoria Lynn Alexander, MEd, Antiracist resource guide 

  • Applebaum, Barbara. Being White, Being Good: White Complicity, White Moral Responsibility, and Social Justice Pedagogy. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2010 
  • Davis, Angela Y. Women, Race, & Class. New York: Random House, 1981  
  • Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.  New York: The New Press, 2010. 
  • Blackmon, Douglas A. Slavery by Another Name. New York: Doubleday Books, 2008 
  • DiAngelo, Robin. White FragilityWhy It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Boston: Beacon Press, 2018 
  • Kendi, Ibram X.  How to be an Antiracist. New York, Random House, 2019. 
  • Oluo, Ijeoma.  So You Want to Talk About Race. New York: Seal Press, 2018.