I'm pleased to tell you about a new, campus-wide antiracism initiative here at Haverford that we are calling THRIVE: Truth, Healing, Resiliency, Inclusion, and Equity. As President Wendy Raymond noted in a recent message to students, faculty, and Haverford staff, the effort is made possible through a $250,000 gift from a member of Haverford's Class of 1966, and is a multi-year undertaking that will invest in sustainable change through constructive and adaptable engagement. Initial elements of the initiative include:
Understanding Race and Racism toward Creating an Inclusive Community. We will provide opportunities to examine the nature of systemic racism in America and the impacts of structural racism on the lives of those of us who have been racialized, including BIPOC community members at Haverford and beyond, with on campus and virtual programming.
Race-Based Education for White People. Many white students, staff, and faculty have expressed varying degrees of uncertainty about how to be an ally or collaborator, and about their role and responsibility in racial equity work. We will offer workshops for white people about race and racism.
Racial Trauma and Healing. We need to name and acknowledge where race-related conflict comes from. We need to build the resiliency and capacity to work constructively for change we all need. Plans thus far include (but are not limited to) workshops around mindfulness, race-based trauma, and healing, all with dedicated spaces for BIPOC students.
Haverford will also be applying to the Association of American Colleges & Universities to become a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center. This work by AAC&U with 28 colleges and universities originated with the W. K. Kellogg Foundation’s 2016 launch of a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. The work has some connection to truth and reconciliation commissions that have happened in many parts of the world, including in South Africa after the dismantling of apartheid.
I invite you to save the following dates for webinars designed for alumni, families, and friends to learn more about THRIVE, our new Board of Managers Antiracism Accountability and Advancement Group, and our Advisory Committee on the Future CDO Structure.
- Wednesday, March 10, at 7:00 p.m. (ET): Dean Joyce Bylander on THRIVE
- Thursday, April 15, at 7:00 p.m. (ET): President Wendy Raymond and Co-interim Chief Diversity Officer and Provost Linda Strong-Leek on Antiracism Efforts
As President Raymond said, "We cannot afford to take shortcuts, and we cannot delegate this work to others. To enact changes to broaden and sustain racial equity at Haverford, uncomfortable learning and growth is required... All of this work will allow us to engage our hearts and minds to take action to build Haverford now, leaving no room for racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny, transphobia, or marginalization."
We look forward to undertaking this work both as individuals and as an institution.
Acting Vice President, Institutional Advancement