55-institution alliance provides resources for faculty and staff
Alvernia University is among the 55 inaugural member institutions of the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center's newly established Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance.
"This is an important step for Alvernia as we continue our work through our newly established Justice, Equity and Inclusion Council," said Alvernia University President John R. Loyack. "We are fortunate to work alongside colleagues at fellow institutions and with leading experts in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion through this trailblazing alliance."
The alliance will offer several resources annually to member institutions and their faculty and staff.
Beginning in January 2021, Alvernia faculty and staff will have the opportunity to engage in the Center's eConvenings, monthly high-quality professional learning experiences that will explore various aspects of racial equity. The three-hour learning sessions will be delivered by the over 60 USC experts who consist of leaders of national higher education associations, highly-cited professors who study race relations and people of color, chief diversity officers and other experienced administrators. The interactive sessions will use contemporary cases of equity dilemmas and racial crises to provide attendees equity leadership strategies and shareable tools and resources that they can share with their campus colleagues.
The Center is also 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 and accessible 24/7 to every Alvernia employee.
President Loyack and the other member institution presidents will meet quarterly to share strategies, seek advice, and brainstorm ways to leverage the Alliance for collective impact on racial equity in higher education.
In summer 2020, Alvernia approved the formation of the Justice, Equity and Inclusion (JEI) Council. The JEI Council ensures the Alvernia community is one of inclusive thoughts, culture, ideals and vision and strives to create a safe and welcoming environment to all by eliminating barriers, while challenging our constituents to live through the Franciscan values of humility, contemplation, collegiality, service and peacemaking. In its first semester of existence, the JEI Council has hosted several virtual open forum events for students, faculty and staff and launched a campus climate survey for faculty and staff.