Yale pushes more ‘anti-racism’ initiatives as equity council celebrated

By Travis Morgan, Campus Reform

In a recent article published by Yale School of Management (SOM), the university celebrated the performance of its inaugural Council on Anti-racism and Equity (CARE).

The 13-member council was made up of student, staff, faculty, and alumni stakeholder groups as a part of Dean Kerwin Charles’ plan to combat systemic racism.

The article, written by Meredith Crawford, Associate Director for Editorial & Design at Yale SOM, highlighted the council’s mission of identifying “existing issues and needs related to inclusivity, school culture, and representation, and to develop and recommend to Dean Charles plans of action based on these findings.”

“By the end of its session, CARE had compiled 36 recommendations,” Crawford wrote. “It would ultimately winnow that list down to a few, which the council presented during an hours-long discussion with Dean Charles.”

Dean Charles announced the launch of two initiatives originating from these recommendations, including “a high-impact speaker series that brings underrepresented professionals of color regularly to visit and engage with the SOM community”, and a video podcast “on issues of anti-racism and equity.”

Charles’ plan is to take quick action on issues such as increasing “the representation of Blacks among students and faculty” and to ask the SOM community to assess whether they are able to engage respectfully “with all members of the community, regardless of their place in the hierarchy.”

Yale has previously injected anti-racist themes into its curriculum through the university’s Syllabus Writing Guide for professors.

The guide features a section for Diversity Statements, which are designed to welcome “the range of student identities, experiences, and perspectives, particularly those that have been traditionally marginalized.”

The guide also suggests “[e]xplaining why certain authors from marginalized backgrounds or identities are present or lacking on the syllabus reading list,” “[p]roviding personal stories of how the instructor has been affected by the lack of diversity in their field,” and “[a]cknowledging the history of exclusion of people with diverse identities, backgrounds, or ideologies from the field.”

Different departments at Yale have developed their own diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statements, publicly available on their respective websites.

The Yale Department of the History of Art’s DEI statement, for example, says “…we believe that interrogating and challenging our discipline’s racist, sexist, and imperialist roots is central to our scholarly and pedagogical mission.”

And the SOM DEI statement reads, “…we must be a community that achieves and celebrates diversity in our own ranks.”

“We will be unrelenting in our efforts to weave this perspective into all our programs,” Charles said in his university-wide communication.

Crawford, Charles, and Abston did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment in time for publication.

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