Creating an Inclusive, Thriving and Equitable Community
Albright College’s first institutional priority is growing a thriving, inclusive, and fully participating community.
We have a shared vision to close the gap on education for all students of academic promise, and for students to pursue their education as part of a diverse and inclusive community of peers, professors, mentors, coaches, and staff members. We made a public commitment to this work with the endorsement of our inclusivity and equity statement by the faculty and trustees in 2019. However, we recognize accomplishing the aspirations thus stated will require ongoing commitment and work. This is a long-term goal that we must recommit ourselves to year after year. On this page, you can learn about the ongoing work at Albright College to realize this visions-a key part of our larger 2030 Strategic Vision-and how you can be part of the change.
- Resources – Council for an Inclusive Thriving Equitable Community
- Whites Confronting Racism Trainings
- Albright Excellence DEI Trainings
- We are happy to introduce to you the next learning series in our Albright Excellence initiative. Connecting to institutional priority number one – Developing and supporting a thriving, supportive, equitable and empowered community – this next series will focus on diversity and inclusion, and will be offered to the entire Albright community beginning in April 2021.
Shaped by Albright’s core values, this series will offer a foundational session along with several different training options to follow. Faculty and staff are invited to attend as many sessions as they like after they attend the foundational session (session 1). Note: Those who have attended the “Whites Against Racism” training automatically meet the session 1 requirement.
- Session 1: Service Excellence (Foundational session that is a prerequisite to any of the following except Confronting Racism 2.0)
- Session 2: Understanding Unconscious Bias
- Session 3: Mitigating Microaggressions in Everyday Life
- Session 4: Reducing Implicit Bias
- Session 5: DEI Lens for Faculty and Supervisors
- Session 6: Resilience and Recovery
- Session 7: Confronting Racism 2.0 (Reserved for individuals who attended the Whites Against Racism training)
Each session will be 90 minutes in duration and will be offered via Zoom several times throughout 2021. Session 1 is the foundational course, and must be attended first, except for those who have attended the Whites Against Racism training. We look forward to providing this learning opportunity for our community and to continued opportunities in the future! Please direct questions and comments to Ann Thompson, director of human resources, at email@example.com or 610-921-7629.
Educated by Tara Westover Summer 2021
Wednesday, June 16 from 12-1PM (chapters 1-19)
Wednesday, July 21 from 12-1PM (chapters 20-40)
“Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.”
- View a flowchart which shows harassment, discrimination, or sexual misconduct support and reporting options and additional resources
- View a text-based accessible listing of harassment, discrimination, or sexual misconduct support and reporting options and additional resources
Ongoing DEI Efforts at Albright: What we’ve accomplished so far
As Albright College places more emphasis on becoming an inclusive, thriving, and equitable community, more opportunities are being made available for students, faculty, staff, administration, and alumni to learn and grow.
Empowering Albright Voices
At Albright College, we understand that our differences make us stronger. Albrightians are dedicated to cultivating mutual respect for all community members and maintaining an environment free of discrimination and intimidation. We strive to build an inclusive and equitable academic community in which all community members thrive, recognize their full potential, engage meaningfully in institutional life, and contribute to the flourishing of others. Empowering Albright Voices is about living out this mission.
- Whites Confronting Racism Jan 12-14, 2021
- Whites Confronting Racism Sept 11-13, 2020
- Whites Confronting Racism Aug 7-9, 2020
- LGBTQ 101 Feb 4; Feb 6, 2020
- LGBTQ 101 Dec 3; Dec 10, 2019
At Albright College, we have been encouraging faculty, staff, and administrators to participate in reading groups to learn more about different perspectives then our own. Below, you will find a list of some of the books we have been reading and testimonials by community members who participated in the groups.
Heavy by Keise Laymon
So very glad I had a reason to read this book! I read too fast and the language of this wonderful book forced me to slow down, as if I read too fast, I would miss details of the “plot”, details of his life that he snuck into corners and crevices of every paragraph. The language is beautiful, the story painful. For me, there was particular resonance as I am a parent of three grown children and often wonder what they think of my parenting, of their experience as my children. Layton is writing to his mother, but also to America, and his experience of being an overweight black male son of a single mother who is herself challenging all kinds of stereotypes by achieving a Ph.D. coming from Jackson Mississippi is one of the richer and more painful reading experiences I have ever had. I am trying to think about how to incorporate it into my FYS!
–Julia Heberle, Associate Professor of Psychology-
Layman brilliantly wrote Heavy, a memoir that encompassed a myriad of themes: growing up black in the South, living with a “tough love” Mom who was preparing him for life as an intelligent black man who will face a difficult road to acceptance, as he experienced life through the lens of his peers from youth to young adult. The novel’s title, Heavy, has layers of meanings, starting in his struggle with food disorders, which began in his youth and continued throughout his life, to the emotional and social burden of navigating the world as a black man. The heaviness included his complex relationship with his mother and his dealings with racism throughout his life. Participating in the book club helped me see more facets of Layman’s complex rite of passage to adulthood, especially living in academe as a young black man. I felt a sadness when I finished reading the book. However, the members in our book sessions helped me feel a more realistic, not necessarily sad, story that Layman is recounting in his journey.
–Denise Meister, Associate Professor of Education-
How to Be Anti-Racist
Among other topics, this book helped me gain insights into how we talk about language usage across cultures and race, and I plan on sharing and discussing the “Culture” chapter with Writing Center tutors as we work to make the writing center a truly inclusive environment.
-Rachel Liberatore, Writing Center Director and English Instructor-
This book came out a week before the first day of classes Fall 2019, and it proved to be the most useful conversation-starter in my hip-hop FYS that semester. Each chapter addresses succinctly (~10 pages) core concepts in critical race theory from a range of disciplinary perspectives, explained through the author’s deeply personal life story. This book allowed me to make connections in class to a range of academic, literary, and artistic people and ideas from the work of W.E.B DuBois’ to misogyny in hip-hop, eugenics and scientific racism, and the history of the transatlantic slave trade.
– Mike D’Errico, Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Music Technology & Composition-
Kendi’s book How to Be an Antiracist is a powerful antidote to the lethargy that any of us can slide into whenever issues of systemic racism are not front and center in the public eye. It’s a reminder of the tragic consequences of founding our nation without eliminating the institution of slavery and the unimaginable toll that has taken on our collective national soul. It strengthened my resolve to hold our nation accountable to its own principles until the day when truly all humans are treated equally under the law. It made me thankful to be part of an Albright community that works to train future citizens with a deep commitment to justice and equity.
–Rev. Dr. Melvin Sensenig, Interim Chaplain, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Religious Studies-
The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs
I won’t lie – the Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace was not my favorite book. I was frustrated by the seeming waste of intelligence and resources Robert Peace’s life illustrates; however, this is just the point. Exposure to the life of a gifted young man whose family was constantly working to overcome systemic racism was thought-provoking. In our discussion, we explored how faculty and staff have been acculturated to a “typical” Albright student and how we must open our eyes to the challenges our 21st century students face and be prepared to truly advocate for them, support them, and learn from them.
– Dawn Gieringer ’10, Coordinator of Alumni and Donor Engagement-
The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace brought home to me again through personal narrative the sadness of a life with lots of promise that ended tragically.and which did not have to do so. It helped me reflect again on the systemic problems in our communities that can make it hard to leave an old life behind. It strengthened my resolve to not only work for justice and peace, but to look for those individuals at risk of not fulfilling their promise and finding ways to reach out and support them in their journeys. It made me thankful to be part of our Albright community that addresses that issue head on.
–Rev. Dr. Melvin Sensenig, Interim Chaplain, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Religious Studies-
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
So You Want to Talk about Race opened an honest, frank dialogue like no other book in my experience has done. Ijeoma Oluo’s approach is pragmatic and organized, while boldly addressing topics that were previously glossed over in our society; in turn, the book discussion allowed Albright colleagues from various disciplines and perspective to share their personal and professional experiences which were eye-opening and, at times, revelatory.
– Dawn Gieringer ’10, Coordinator of Alumni and Donor Engagement-
My participation in the So You Want to Talk About Race book discussion, was to say the least, enlightening. Enlightening for me based solely on how my fellow Albrightians responded to some of the stories I and others in the group of African descent shared. Blacks live in a world of inequity, racism and oppression every day and almost everywhere. Sometimes our armor can shield us as intended from the bad but it also blinds us to some of the good. It was important and effective for me to hear whites express their complete and genuine bewilderment to the microaggressions, attitudes and undesirable acts and reactions blacks encounter. I consider that experience the beginning of a long hard road we all are traveling. Thank you for initiating the discussion.
-Leonette Stocker, Business and Data Analyst-
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
I found myself at a crossroads having volunteered to teach our First Year Seminar for the first time, at a time when Albright experienced some very serious episodes of racist behavior involving our students and our staff. I had not read Coates’ book, but knew I needed to do something in the format I know best, teaching. I was happy that events conspired to bring a group of faculty together who were interested in adopting Coates’ book for a common reading across the college. I am finishing my third time of teaching the course, with Coates incorporated. His letter to his son, and to all of us, permits me to discuss both current events and history, in the context of our course’s theme “What does it mean to be human”. He speaks to all of us, calling for change, for understanding, for reparation. The reading challenges my students, not only for the ideas within, but for the speed with which Coates’ moves from topic to topic, time frame to time frame. His story of growing and changing self-awareness is appropriate for all college students to consider. I intend to keep it as a permanent piece of my course.
–Julia Heberle, Associate Professor of Psychology-
I adopted “Between the World and Me” for my First Year Seminar to reinforce ideas presented in my emotional intelligence projects. This book effectively integrates with my other text, “The Relentless Pursuit of Tone” in the critique of contemporary media by creating commentary on race, gender, politics, and socioeconomics. The pairing of these texts have encouraged students to understand the intersection of tone as a proxy for race and gender, allowing them to look beyond their past to answer the question of why they do, what they do. –AJ Merlino, Associate Dean of Student Professional Development & Experiential Learning and Director of Music Industry Studies-
Ta-Nehisi Coates says that hip-hop is one of his biggest aesthetic influences. This made Between the World and Me a perfect choice for my FYS on the cultural politics of hip-hop. The book blends so many elements of the liberal arts model into a compelling narrative that’s challenging, engaging, and liberating for both the students and the instructor. This is a key text for those who want to introduce students in the hip-hop generation to the radical potential of a liberal arts education.
– Mike D’Errico, Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Music Technology & Composition-
- Symbols of the Insurrection, April 15 4:00pm
- COVID-19’s Impact on Vulnerable Populations, April 12 4:00pm
- Imagining Black Feminist Ecologies: Sustainable Futures for a Wholly Earth, April 7 4:00pm
- Sustaining Faith in African American Traditions Wednesday, April 7 2:00pm
- Archeological Investigations of the African American experience at Hopewell Furnace National Historical Park Wednesday, April 7 11:00am
- The African Roots of Western Culture: Deconstructing the ‘Dark Continent’ Myth Through the Eyes of Ancient Philosophy Part 3 of 3 Thursday, March 4 4:00pm
- The African Roots of Western Culture:The Cross and the Crescent Part 2 of 3 Thursday, March 2 4:00pm
- SOBA Royalty Talent Contest Saturday, February 27 3:00pm
- The African Roots of Western Culture: Origins Part 1 of 3 Thursday, February 25 4:00pm
- Race and Sport in the World Around Us Mon Feb 22, 4-5pm
- Stonewall Era Art, the rise of Queer Visibility, Abstract Expressionists, and Popular Cultural Changes with Liz Bradbury March 4, 2020
- Black History Month Celebration February 3, 2020
- Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (theatre production) November 2019
- I Dreamed a Dream: Immigrant Youth Education, Opportunities, and Obstacles with Greater Reading Immigration Project and Pennsylvania Immigration Citizenship Coalition October 15, 2019
- Las Madres de Berks with Michelle Angela Ortiz, Director Oct 7 2019
- Exploring Social Justice in the Misinformation Age Sept 2019
- Raisin in the Sun (Theatre Production) November 2018
- Mosaic (Theatre Production) September 2018
Race Discussion Panels
- Racial Healing and Reconciliation Community Panel Discussion: Year in Review April 19, 2021
- Racial Healing and Reconciliation Community Panel Discussion on Race and Policy in the World Around Us March 15, 2021
- Students Talking About Race Mon March 1, 2021 4-5pm
- Racial Healing and Reconciliation Community Panel Discussion on Race and Sports in the World Around Us Feb 22, 2021
- Racial Healing and Reconciliation Community Panel Discussion Dec 7, 2020
- Students Talking About Race Nov 13, 2020
- Racial Healing and Reconciliation Community Panel Discussion Oct 12, 2020
- Students Talking About Race Oct 9, 2020
- Racial Healing and Reconciliation Community Panel Discussion Sept 21, 2020
- Racial Healing and Reconciliation Community Panel Discussion June 12, 2020
- African American Society
- Advisor: Teresa Gilliams
- President: Savoy Williams
- African Diaspora Group
- Advisor: Teresa Gilliams
- President: Yata Pierre
- Albright College Gospel Ensemble
- Advisor: Valerie White
- President: Trinity Smith
- Black Women’s Leadership Association
- Advisor: Kami Fletcher
- President: Deborah Afolabi
- President: Evan Cardinal
- Hispanic Culture Club
- President: Jennifer Vasquez
- International Student Association
- President: Jennifer Vasquez
- Men of Color Initiative
- Advisor: Keith Walls
- National Organization for Women
- Advisor: Hilary Aquino
- Vice President: Elyzah Ruiz
- Advisor: Ian Rhile
- President: Tania Santiago
- Students of Caribbean African Association
- Advisor: Adam John
- President: Trinity Peters
- World Affairs Club
- Advisor: Adam John
- President: Evan Cardinal
- Xion Step and Dance Team
- President: Mackenzie West
One of our department’s official four objectives is: “Students will understand the role of social privilege and marginalization in its various modes of textual expression in regards to gender, race and/or class divisions.” We strive to include varied viewpoints, especially from underrepresented groups, in most of our classes, but it is easiest to point out classes whose titles make clear such connections, such as Teresa’s upper-level courses on Toni Morrison and the Harlem Renaissance, or her First-Year Seminar on Black Lives Matter. Denise, meanwhile, is currently teaching a 200-level course on Latin American authors, and frequently teaches a popular course on women comics. Perhaps less obvious: Lesley’s course on Middlemarch focuses on the masterpiece of one of the 19th century’s leading authors, who also happens to be a woman: George Eliot, the pen name of Mary Ann Evans.
We tell stories in the theatre. It is our duty to begin to tell more stories that will help our community learn, spark conversation, and lead us to create an anti-racist world. We have committed to including more diverse voices in our classrooms, in our curriculum, in our rehearsal rooms, and in our productions.
As a starting point, our Senior Seminar course in the Fall of 2020 exclusively featured plays by Black writers, and our first mainstage production—C’mon America, or, Hindsight is 2020—was written by a diverse group of students about the current social, political, and cultural climate. In order to sustain this work beyond a single semester and to truly understand where we have been and where we want to go, we have intentionally collected data from the past three academic years to assess what texts/readings/plays/theorists we are assigning to our students across our courses (and who we are not assigning). Similarly, we have compiled a data set from our last ten years of productions to understand what plays and playwrights we are producing, and of course, what and who we are not. This work will help us to create more transparent season selection guidelines and course reading/assignment process.
We are simultaneously working to make our Department more equitable and inclusive. We have begun by instituting a weekly Theatre Department Common Hour, which is required of all majors, co-majors, and minors, and functions as part of the 4th Hour for our current classes. The Common Hour allows us the opportunity to speak to and with our entire student body about news, issues, and opportunities, as well as explore together how we can create a better Department. During this time of COVID, it has also allowed us to invite alumni guest speakers to interact with and speak to our current students. The Common Hour has also allowed us to involve students in the complex process of de-colonizing our pedagogical and artistic practices- most notably in selecting a diverse season of plays for the coming academic year.
In conjunction with the Common Hour, we have begun to put together a series of guides/templates/information sheets about our Department and our procedures and expectations that are accessible via our Departmental Canvas page (all current Theatre students are enrolled). It is quite easy to slip into “we’ve always done it this way,” or to assume everyone knows how everything works, when quite often the opposite is true. Our first guide is a Writing Style PDF that outlines writing expectations and best practices in our discipline. It likewise contains a glossary of common terms in the discipline.
We have since created an Audition Primer, which outlines 10 steps to successfully audition for productions at Albright College. Again, one thing we have learned is that so much of what we the faculty assume is common knowledge and “policy” is more akin to folklore passed between students. We have plans for clearer guidelines/information about the various roles and responsibilities of our production program (for instance, what is a dramaturg? What do they do? How do I do that at Albright? Who do I contact? Etc.) and formalizing how students can get involved in all of the various aspects of theatre beyond acting. These are only a starting point. We have a lot of work to do. We will continue to evolve and add new initiatives and goals as we move forward.
In recent years, conversations within academic music communities have centered on how departments might restructure curriculum and teaching methods so as to acknowledge, but also escape, the historical legacy of racism and colonialism in music studies. In the Music Department at Albright, we’ve added new courses and revised our pedagogical foci to ensure our commitment to anti-racism and decolonialization. The African American Music minor highlights our curricular focus on black music from around the world, introducing new courses such as MUS121 Black Popular Music, MUS221 Afrofuturism, and SYN387 Improvisation, and including courses on black history and literary traditions from Albright’s English, History, and Religious Studies programs. In First-Year Seminars taught by MUS faculty (FYS100 The Cultural Politics of Hip-Hop, FYS100 The History of the Recording Industry), we’ve incorporated shared readings such as Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me and Ibram Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist to ensure students understand the inherent connections between American racism and the music industry. Other courses in music history, theory, and culture have been added (LAS201 Latin American Music) or revised (MUS120, MUS211/212) to focus on global musical traditions outside of the Western European classical music style.
In addition to general education offerings, we’ve added new performing ensembles that showcase black musical traditions including MUS103B Commercial Music Ensemble, MUS103C Jazz Combos, MUS103D Rap Collective, and MUS105C Gospel Ensemble. Further, the repertoire in the music technology and composition area of our Music Industry Studies major continues to focus on musical techniques and repertoire from black popular musical traditions, as our students learn to write songs, make beats, and produce recordings in hip-hop, R&B, and global dance music genres. These curricular changes are mirrored by the interdisciplinary collaborations of our faculty members, which include work with the Theatre Department on their 2018 production of the social justice piece Mosaic, as well as an upcoming conference on Afrofuturism and Environmental Studies.
Dr Mark Lomano
This course looks back on the history of Afrofuturism in the United States and the African Diaspora and towards its many speculative futures as expressed through music, literature, film, visual art, and beyond. In the spirit of interdisciplinarity and the liberal arts, in this Global Humanities Connections seminar these expressive art forms are treated as “fugitive sciences,” modes of inquiry through which Black, Indigenous, and Peoples of Color explore ways of being in the world and of producing forms of knowledge and models for community that operate outside of and/or in opposition to the local and global power structures that have marginalized BIPOC populations throughout history. This course will center around critical media studies, student-led discussions, and a portfolio project in which students apply course topics to their own academic backgrounds and personal interests. Topics to be discussed will include: Superheroes and the Black Fantastic; intersections of Black sound, spirituality, and science; Androids, Aliens, and the Post-Human; traditions of Black radical aesthetics and activist arts; and the Pluriverse and alternate realities.
ENG390: Toni Morrison
Dr Teresa Gilliams
A focused study of the acclaimed writing of Toni Morrison, a single, paradigmatic, contemporary American writer, this course offers students opportunities to examine and respond to Morrison’s primary imaginative texts and her nonfiction essays.. In addition to considering how Morrison’s writing addresses the relationship between history and literature in the American imagination through problems born of racial Othering, we will pay close attention to course’s thematic foci of identity, race, memory, migration, violence, and community. In doing so, we will assess the interdependence of African American and American literature alongside critical race theory.
SOC470: Immigration and Transnational Families
Dr Beth Kiester
Both the study of immigration and the questions that study raises are at the very root of social science. These studies also suggest that immigration is rapidly changing the structure of the family unit through the creation of transnational families. In this seminar, we will survey the literature that gives evidence of the major concepts and questions in immigration studies as well as a variety of case studies that will bring to life the lived experiences of migrant workers, their families, and in particular, their children.This course will insist that immigration is central to US history because of its permanent historical and social imprint on the country as well as the current and future demographic impacts that we are witnessing on both a national and global scale. We will begin with a basic foundation of “what is immigration” and a history of immigration policy in the US. Next, we will examine the impact of immigration on families and the resulting transnational families and global care chains inadvertently created. When it comes to the impact of migration on children, we will examine the impact on children when they are left behind, when they try to immigrate alone, and when they are born in the US to an undocumented parent(s).
REL: 244 Sex, Gender, and Bible
Dr Jennifer Koosed
We have witnessed a revolution in understandings about and attitudes toward gender and sexuality in the late twentieth century and early twenty-first century, especially in the United States. With changing beliefs and practices, though, have come increased controversies, especially when these changes challenge traditional religions. The Bible is often at the center of these controversies, used by both sides of the debate to support various positions. Yet, what the Bible teaches about gender, sex, and sexuality is neither self-evident nor singular. This course will examine the biblical views on sex, male and female roles, and sexuality. It will examine the Hebrew Bible (aka Tanak or Old Testament) and the New Testament from historical and literary perspectives (especially feminist, gender and queer interpretation), as well as how contemporary communities interpret the Bible in their understandings of sexual ethics and gender norms.
SYN 332: Disability Studies
Dr Hilary Aquino
This Synthesis course utilizes an interdisciplinary approach in the examination of the concept of disability through the lens of health, education, economics, humanities and legal disciplines, as well as the perspective of people with disabilities themselves. We will explore both visible and invisible disabilities. Students will reflect upon their own general education courses to examine differing perspectives on disability.
WGS220: LGBTQ Media, History & Culture
Dr. Kate Lehman
Women and Gender Studies
How have our understandings of sexuality and gender evolved over time? What roles have activists, artists, and iconoclasts played in achieving legal rights and societal recognition? This course provides a critical introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) studies, with a particular focus on media and cultural representation. Our readings and assignments will examine historical definitions and expressions of LGBTQ identities, social movements and advocacy groups, recent political advances such as the U.S. legalization of same-sex marriage, and influential representations. Additionally, we will consider how sexual orientation intersects with other aspects of identity such as race, class, and gender, and how LGBTQ experiences differ among cultures. Students are encouraged to apply course material to their own fields of study.
HIS213: African American History
Dr Kami Fletcher
This course will follow the Black experience in America starting with post-emancipation and ending during the nation’s contemporary period, thereby emphasizing certain important themes: Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation, the Great Migration, Black women and the Club Movement, WWII and Double V, the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power Movement, the 90’s, the so-called “Post-Racial” period and the Black Lives Matter Era. The course focuses on the challenges of achieving racial justice and equality in the face of adversity. The course looks at protest movements leading to institutional reform, African-American foundational contributions to the creation of a modern urban culture, overall American economic prosperity, and global power and leadership. Furthermore, taking an intersectionality approach, this course will examine how race, gender, and class was used to undergird the African American experience.
FYS100: The Truth of Suffering
Dr Victor Forte
“The Truth of Suffering” is the traditional First Noble Truth presented by the historical Buddha. As the first utterance of the founder of Buddhism, The Truth of Suffering represents the foundational claim of his movement – namely, that suffering lies at the very heart of being. As the subject of a First Year Seminar, The Truth of Suffering will ask students to examine the variety of ways both human and non-human suffering has been portrayed throughout global history in a variety of sources deriving from religion, philosophy, art, literature, and science. Through close reading and discussion of these texts, students will critically assess their own understanding of the human condition, while researching concrete examples of suffering in the world, and presenting possible responses to these global problems.
Ongoing DEI Efforts at Albright: Creating a groundwork for honesty and accountability
Albright College is recognized as one of the Top Performers on Social Mobility and Most Diverse Colleges in Pennsylvania. The work of identifying and implementing ways to build an increasingly equitable and inclusive learning community is ongoing. This work happens at every level- from institutional assessment conducted by the Office of the President, to curricular review within academic departments, to individual engagement with the many programs and initiatives provided by the College and the Council for a Thriving and Equitable Community (CITE-C) to educate and empower students, faculty, and staff.
This work, and the work to come, has been informed by not only our goals moving forward, but by honest assessment of the history of our institution and Albright College’s Core Values. Albright College is moving forward with a Strategic Plan that puts these values into practice.
Our mission as an institution comprised of a diverse community of learners, has never been clearer. It is our responsibility as a college, as a community, and as people, to stand together in the face of hatred and bias, to fight ignorance, intolerance and white supremacy, to say no to apathy and indifference, to speak out, and to offer profound compassion for all who live in fear because the color of their skin, gender identity, ethnicity, religion or sexual identify makes them a target of hate. We must continue to stand together so that we can make a difference.
It is our responsibility to strive to be anti-racist. So I ask each of us to reaffirm our commitment to fight against racism and discrimination in all forms on our campus and in our nation. I ask us to remember our commitment to inclusivity and equity, one that is encapsulated by the Latin phrase Veritas et Justitia — Truth and Justice — that is emblazoned on our college seal. This phrase affirms our belief that the search for knowledge should not be separate from the search for wise and just solutions in human affairs and in the stewardship of the natural world. Combining Truth with Justice calls us to honor, nurture and celebrate human diversity in all its forms, and to reject whatever may negate or endanger the dignity and worth of the human spirit.
Our short-, medium-, and long –term goals are to recognize and engage the structures of racism at Albright, to improve race relations at Albright, and to eliminate systemic racism and racial injustice at Albright College. We will take multiple avenues to tackle this goal, including, but not limited to:
- To explore fearlessly Albright’s history, evaluating that history for instances for racial injustice, racial inequity, and active racism.
- To identify and examine Albright’s current policies, processes, practices, and habits and to use what we learn to provide the foundation for the hard work of implementing change to structures that lie at the root of Albright’s systemic racism.
- To identify and illuminate Albright’s history for the contributions of Persons of Color.
- To focus more deeply on the ways in which Albright can and will dismantle the racial bias, inequities, and injustice that have been embedded in our academic program, the classroom, athletics, student organizations, and other Albright departments and programs.
- All things curricular
- All things co-curricular
- Pathways to leadership and administration
- Co-chaired by Brenda Ingram-Wallace and President Fetrow
- Members include:
A campus inside and out is constantly growing, developing & advancing to be better for all. The staff, faculty & students are the key pieces to how an institution flows. These organizations emphasize the importance of DEI work on our campus. Continuous, panels, trainings, students’ voices being heard at events, programs and advocating for the institution as a whole to be more inclusive, diverse and equitable. The components of these organizations/departments are what continue to advance our institution in the right direction or a level playing field.
“For me, CITE-C is a group of committed individuals across campus who are focused on making sure ALL members of the campus community are valued and recognized. It’s exciting and inspiring to me to see the ideas and feedback come together and make a difference to improve the lives of our Lions. There are many critical areas for success in learning and working with a college, such as diversity, equity, and inclusion. Having CITE-C as a key organization on campus means our Lions can know they are being supported in this facet of who they are. Moreover, being involved in CITE-C has been very educational for me and given me so many opportunities to learn more about the world around me. I feel more empowered in my ability to promote understanding on campus and beyond!” –Karen Rieker, Assistant Director of Career Development-
“Albright’s interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies program explores the diversity of women’s experiences, emphasizing how race, class and other aspects of identity interact with gender and sexuality. Students learn about histories of activism and learn to use gender as an analytical category. Internships and extracurricular events encourage students to apply this transformational knowledge outside the classroom.” -Kate Lehman, Associate Professor of Communications-
“The office of student accessibility and advocacy values diversity and is dedicated to providing an inclusive and equitable living and learning experience for those who are differently abled.” -Sherry Young, Director of Student Accessibility and Advocacy-
“It is important to come together and recognize similarities and common situations but we can’t devalue our different experiences, perceptions, beliefs, values, cultures, among many other things. It is important to ensure we support them, advocate for them, listen to them, and make them feel like part of a community while also being individualized.” -Keith D. Walls Jr., Coordinator of Fraternity & Sorority Life and Multicultural Affairs-
DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) for the Black students at Albright College is the Society of Black Alumni’s core mission. Every meeting and event focuses on the betterment of the social, economic, and educational impact necessary for our Black students to succeed, not just at Albright but also once they graduate.” -Andre Forbes-Ezeugwu, Class of 2010, Development Officer-
“Spiritual life and DEI work at Albright intersect at several junctions. This includes highlighting the equity of all people created in the image and likeness of God and tackling social issues that are also deeply spiritual.” -Ibrahim S. Bangura, Chaplain-
“When we listen and celebrate what is both common and different, we become a wiser, more inclusive, and better organization. This mindset helps with my work in the Office of Student Success because as I work with incoming freshmen, learning about their culture helps me find ways to relate to them, and encourage them. In order to create a better tomorrow we have to learn and respect each other today.” -Dominique Washington, Student Success Specialist-
“The Experiential Learning and Career Development Center believes that the richness of Albright’s diverse student population strengthens the entirety of the College. The ELCDC values the learning that comes from hearing diverse perspectives, and we strive to be deliberately inclusive in our approach to meeting our students’ varied needs throughout their experiential learning and career development journey. As career development professionals, we are committed to creating an equitable space within our community and to partner with outside organizations that have a clear dedication to equity and social justice..” -Kim Justeson, Director of Experiential Learning-
“The Writing Center is committed to providing accessible, equitable, and culturally aware assistance during our writing tutoring sessions. To help prepare our peer tutors, our ‘tutor training’ program includes sessions on working with multilingual students and facilitating cross-cultural communication, responding to sensitive topics in student writing, honoring student voices, and talking about bias in language.” -Rachel Liberatore, Director of The Writing Center-
We asked some of our students to answer two questions about inclusion and equity. Here are some of their responses:
What do inclusion and equity mean to you?
“To me, inclusion means allowing individuals, regardless of any part of their identity as a human being, to take part in varying types of human interactions.”
“Equity means people being judged and interpreted through a clear lens; void of any determinations made from unrelated qualities.”
“Inclusion to me means there are no gate-keeping regarding who gets to participate in a club, organization, event, or class. Equity to me means ensuring that all students have the same opportunity at success. Not just allowing all students to do the same things, but also offering assistance to students that lack certain privileges. An example of equity would be slight leniency regarding work with students suffering from mental health issues.”
How has your time at Albright informed your understanding or changed your perspective around inclusivity and equity?
“It allowed me to be exposed to different perspectives and lifestyles that I would’ve never had a clear understanding of otherwise. This perspective allows me to comprehend inclusivity and equity more as I age.”
“I think Albright has done a good job with inclusivity. I’ve seen students with disabilities be pops, be apart of student government and perform.”
- Membership, Charge, and Goals