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W&L Joins Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance

Washington and Lee University is among the 51 inaugural member institutions* of the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance, a new initiative from the University of Southern California’s Race and Equity Center. The Alliance will provide resources that help member institutions develop and achieve equity goals, better understand and correct climate problems, avoid and recover from racial crises, and foster sustainable cultures of inclusion.

“Washington and Lee is proud to join the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance,” said W&L President William C. Dudley. “USC’s Race and Equity Center has a track record of offering high-quality learning opportunities for higher education professionals and has developed expertise and tools that will be invaluable as we continue to assess our campus climate. This partnership will give us the opportunity to share effective practices with other top liberal arts institutions and deploy resources that will assist W&L faculty and staff in their efforts to enhance and sustain a more inclusive environment for all of our students and employees.”

Each college and university participating in the Alliance will benefit from the resources offered by the Center:


Beginning in January 2021, the Center will host 12 live, synchronous professional learning experiences for faculty and staff, each on a particular aspect of racial equity. The sessions will focus mostly on strategies and practical approaches, using contemporary cases of equity dilemmas and racial crises on liberal arts college campuses in a highly interactive format. Emphasis will be placed on learning from incidents that have recently occurred elsewhere; learning how to get ahead of situations and reducing risk of crisis; and learning actionable equity leadership strategies.


Launching this spring, the Center will provide an online repository of resources and tools including equity-related readings, case studies, videos, and slide decks. These resources will be available to all employees at Alliance member institutions.


The Center will develop and deploy a trio of campus climate surveys for students, faculty and staff at member institutions and manage data collection and analysis. The surveys will be based on the Center’s highly-regarded National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates (NACCC), which has been administered to more than 500,000 students at colleges and universities in every geographic region of the United States.

In addition to providing resources for member campuses, the Alliance will host quarterly meetings of the presidents of member colleges to share strategies, seek advice, and identify ways to leverage the Alliance for collective impact on racial equity in higher education.

“W&L’s commitment to inclusion, equity and access is clearly outlined in our Strategic Plan,” Dudley said. “The Alliance will provide us with new opportunities to work with our peer institutions to address these issues on our own campuses while also making a collective impact on racial equity in higher education.”

More information about specific learning experiences and resources from the Alliance will be shared in the coming months.


Allegheny College
Amherst College
Bard College
Barnard College
Bowdoin College
Bucknell University
Carleton College
Centre College
Claremont McKenna College
Colby College
Colgate University
Colorado College
Connecticut College
Davidson College
DePauw University
Dickinson College
Goucher College
Grinnell College
Hamilton College
Harvey Mudd College
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Lafayette College
Luther College
Macalester College
McPherson College
Mount Holyoke College
Muhlenberg College
Pitzer College
Pomona College
Oberlin College
Occidental College
Randolph College
Reed College
Rhodes College
Scripps College
Skidmore College
Smith College
Soka University of America
St. Olaf College
Susquehanna University
Swarthmore College
Union College
University of Richmond
Utica College
Wabash College
Washington and Lee University
Wellesley College
Westminster College
Whittier College
Williams College
Wofford College