The dozens of initiatives to Combat Anti-Black Racism (CABR), with nearly 200 established milestones, represent an essential and complex mix of efforts that will require sustained focus, collaboration, and courage. They impact all members of our University community — from prospective and current students to faculty and staff, alumni to leadership, and to donors, friends, and neighbors. Along with the vision laid out by the JEDI Commission, the CABR work is anchored in the vision and aspirations embodied in the Arcadia 2025 Adaptive Strategy.
The CABR leadership group comprises faculty, staff, and student perspectives. Below are members who shared their perspectives on how far we have come, how far we still need to go, how they see their role, and why this work remains so important to all of us.
The Importance of CABR
“The work related to the recruitment and retention of faculty and staff members of color will be ongoing, as there are many opportunities for change. While we can address specific milestones and create change in the short term, we should maintain work in this space into the future so that we fully explore what is needed to create an environment that is inviting to faculty and staff members and that supports their inclusion and professional growth so that they remain at Arcadia. I’ve been working with the chairs of departments in the College of Arts and Sciences on infusing anti-Black racism into their curricula. Each department is starting at a different place and will likely take different paths during this process. I expect that curricular infusion will be ongoing and that we will be adjusting content, pedagogy, and creation of inclusive environments in important ways into the future.” —Rebecca Kohn, PhD, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Not passive players
“Many students form their social consciousness in their college years. The groundswell of support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the summer of 2020 didn’t just affect young people. They weren’t passive players. Young people took on leadership in a renewed commitment to ending anti-Black racism. It was inspiring to watch on the news, but it was even more inspiring to witness right here at work. Arcadia students and young alumni amplified messages for Arcadia’s Black community with courage and vigor.” —Alison LaLond Wyant, EdD, Executive Director of Civic and Global Engagement
We owe it to the students
“Athletics has developed staff and student-athletes on key topics centered around JEDI, hazing prevention, sexual harassment education, and overall leadership development.No matter how many quality programs, educational training, or active work we did this year, Arcadia Athletics must continue to focus on the importance ofABRI and JEDI in the years to come. We owe it to the faculty, staff, and students at Arcadia to renew and refocus our work, and to challenge ourselves to go deeper each year to make a lasting impact on the generations to come.”—Brian GranataDirector, Arcadia Athletics and Recreation
A rising tide
“The significance of ABRI is the collaborative approach to ensuring that policies, practices, and procedures are inclusive of creating an environment of belonging where everyone can thrive. The project-management structure and strategic approach will ensure systemic change that will enhance the experience and meet the needs of Black and other marginalized students while enhancing the educational experiences of all students. The hiring of the first full-time African American therapist in the counseling center, assistant director of Counseling /Diversity and InclusionInitiatives, more diverse vendors, the embedding of anti-racist pedagogy in the curriculum, and the establishment of the OAEDI. It is my hope that we continue to advance equity and anti-racism strategies at Arcadia in creating the world in which we want to live.”—Angela McNeil, PhD, Assistant Vice President of Access, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in a Changing Time
In October 2021, President Nair served as a panelist for the Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in a Changing Time” webinar.