Learning Experience

Several important programs concretely strengthened the learning experience at CMC in grappling with the role of race and racism and its impacts.

The College’s work here did not begin in June 2020. Many foundational and parallel efforts have supported it: the Student Imperative and personal and social responsibility initiative in 2013; the development of a civil rights office in 2014; the creation of the CARE Center in 2015-16; the development of dialogue training in 2016; the Kravis Opportunity Fund; and the advancement of the CMC Strategy to expand opportunities for all students.

Among the various campus touchpoints that have progressed as part of The Initiative:

The Athenaeum

The Ath continues to offer many superb programs on race, racism, and the Black experience in America, with appearances by leading Black intellectuals and leaders in 2020-21 and this academic year (including several scheduled for the spring semester): Anna Deavere Smith, Kimberly Falcon-West, Annette Gordon-Reed, Anita Hill, Gary Hoover, Tyehimba Jess, Martha Jones, Peniel Joseph, Terrence Johnson, Ibram X. Kendi, Glenn Loury, Charles Mills, Yusef Komunyakaa, Zadie Smith, Michael Steele, and Beverly Tatum.

Intergroup Dialogue

The Dean of Students office offered Intergroup Dialogue (a research based pedagogy originally developed at the University of Michigan) training sessions for students, faculty, and staff to build the necessary intellectual and social capabilities for collaboration across differences in identity, viewpoint, and experience, as central to learning outcomes and leadership development.

IGD’s assumptions and techniques may be relevant both to classes that have anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion as a formal topic and those that do not. Likewise, the approach can assist in course design and curricular initiatives, student programming, residential life education, athletics, and a number of other settings.

DOS staff also worked on an anti-racist learning module with 90 First-Year Guides and college programming board members that employed IGD strategies to boost student leadership, self-authorship, and anti-racist skills

CARE Center

The CARE Center (Civility, Access, Resources, Expression) serves as a centralized hub for helping students develop the skills needed to have difficult conversations, identify with one another across social barriers or ideological differences, and engage in effective dialogue. CARE’s student fellows program, in particular, guides collaborative, empathic leadership through an anti-racist and equitable lens.

Public Safety

CMC’s public safety program implemented various opportunities to incorporate anti-racism, mindful policing, and bias awareness as part of ongoing training. The multi-week summer curriculum, in partnership with the Mindful Policing Institute, included elements of managing conflicts, self-awareness, understanding responsibilities to the community, equity, systems, and behavior in community policing. 

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Institutes, Centers, and Labs

CMC institutes, centers, and labs undertook major research efforts to make intellectual and material contributions to combat racism. This included collaborations on the challenges of creating change in structures of inequality through Project 20/20 and workshops on bias and anti-racism. Also, student leaders of the research institutes and other student organizations participated in workshops on equitable hiring and interview practices.

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Admission and Financial Aid

CMC’s Admission and Financial Aid office outlined several goals aimed at “developing and enhancing programming to recruit students of color, including Black and African American students.” This includes more one-on-one meetings (virtual and in-person), sustained connections through CMC’s Preview Program, implicit bias training, and enhanced relationships with community-based organizations. Through its partnership with the American Talent Initiative, CMC is also committed to increasing the socioeconomic diversity of campus; leveling the playing field for student opportunities; and best meeting the financial need of students with supplemental support beyond the cost of attendance.

CMS Athletics

The CMS Athletics program developed a series of operational principles for diversity, equity, and inclusion, including the formation of a committee centered on recruitment, capacity building, and community engagement. Each coach developed a plan to increase diversity outreach in recruiting student athletes and engaged in training on equitable recruitment and hiring strategies. In recognition of their exemplary efforts, CMS received the NCAA Division III April Diversity Spotlight, which was accompanied with a grant from the NCAA to support their continued work.

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CMC Conversations

Public Affairs, through its CMC Conversations Instagram Live series, developed more stories, student collaboration, and social media engagement. The department also enriched and diversified opportunities for alumni and parents to share experiences.

Take a deep dive into a variety of timely themes about race, culture, and society through the Conversations series, where students, faculty, alumni, and staff connect and engage in vibrant discussions. Topics include books about anti-racism, building community through campus improvements, Black excellence, and anti-Asian violence.

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ASCMC and Student Groups

ASCMC and other offices and departments across the College supported programming by many student groups, including open forums, book clubs, guest speakers, and social media campaigns. For example, the Black Women’s Collective (BWC) collaborated with the CMC Black Student Association (BSA), Advocates, and Young Men’s Circle (YMC) on a movie screening of On the Record; the BWC, YMC, and Women of Color in Pre-health collaborated on an event focusing on Masculinity and Health Outcomes for Black men; Asian Pacific American Mentors (APAM) hosted an open forum on anti-racism and the experiences of APIDA individuals and groups; and a small group of students worked with staff in the DOS office to develop anti-racism hot topics sessions for future Intergroup Dialogue offerings.