Berea College stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and those peacefully demonstrating against police brutality across the country and around the world. As the first interracial and coeducational college in the slaveholding South in 1855, this moment calls for our support. Our history and our commitments demand it.
Academic Affairs is committed to the mission of the College and the success of our students, faculty and staff. As such, we have associated expectations in the Academic Division.
Our expectation is that faculty and staff would seek to know our students and be committed to their growth and success. Attention should focus on the equality of all peoples and to Berea’s inclusive mission to facilitate thriving for all learners. Faculty and staff should aspire to inclusive and equitable approaches that
- are based in knowing students in the richness and complexity of their varied multiple and intersecting identities and in working to understand and appreciate those identities;
- meet students where they are, challenge them appropriately to develop, foster their success, and celebrate the assets they bring from their own contexts to the academic community;
- teach, mentor, supervise, and advise in inclusive ways that foster all students’ success.
Additionally, faculty and staff should strive for self-awareness and commit to one’s own development. Faculty and staff are expected to invest time and energy in gaining or deepening self-awareness of power and place and to ongoing identity development work.
To meet these expectations, Berea College commits to offering opportunities for learning, growth, and development. Opportunities on and off campus are numerous with many such opportunities being led by the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion. See below for suggestions and resources.
Programming and Centers
- BIPOC: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) faculty and staff convene monthly to engage in topics related to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus. The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Office of Student Life collaborates with other campus constituents to create programming that contributes to the retention of BIPOC faculty and staff.
- Idea Circle: Facilitated IDEA Circle sessions create a safe space for people who have different perspectives.
Dean’s Reading Group: The Dean’s Reading Group is designed to offer opportunities for faculty and staff to read books from a variety of areas allowing for conversations to enrich our work. Recent titles in the Reading that focus on Diversity Equity and Inclusion include:
- Data Feminism (Strong Ideas)
by Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren F. KleinToday, data science is a form of power. It has been used to expose injustice, improve health outcomes, and topple governments. But it has also been used to discriminate, police, and surveil. This potential for good, on the one hand, and harm, on the other, makes it essential to ask: Data science by whom? Data science for whom? Data science with whose interests in mind? The narratives around big data and data science are overwhelmingly white, male, and techno-heroic. In Data Feminism, Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren Klein present a new way of thinking about data science and data ethics—one that is informed by intersectional feminist thought.
- Caste: The Origin Our Discontents
by Isabel WilkersonIn this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.
Learning Tours and Seminars
For more than five decades, new faculty and staff to Berea College have embarked on a tour of Appalachia. The purpose of this is to learn more about the Appalachian region and to better understand the importance of the College’s Appalachian Commitment. Today, the Appalachian Seminar and Tour is underwritten by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. This organization has recognized the importance and benefits of such a Berea tradition.
Civil Rights Tour
The Civil Rights Tour, led by the Carter G. Woodson Center, brings together scholarship and media with historical sites and exhibits, weaving them into an educational, interracial experience. This tour is a chance to deeply understand the legacies of our nation, both the strengths and the failures, and to develop our ability to fight against injustice wherever we find it. Through this tour, we further commit to the kinship of all people and our motto, God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth.
Queer Caucus [for more information, please contact Broughton Anderson]
Safe Zone Training