A Call to Action to the Carleton Community
The abhorrent murder of George Floyd, a 46-year old black man, by a white Minneapolis police officer has sparked a social movement that has long been building and has radiated throughout America and the world.
America’s institutionalized legacy of racism, inequity and inequality gives implicit permission for racist actions and crimes. We have the ability and opportunity to change these systems, and we are eager to do something – to be responsive to the moment as well as to have a sustainable impact on eradicating racism at Carleton and beyond.
Carleton states that the college strives to celebrate and honor diversity of ethnicity and race, religion, sexuality, socio-economic background, life experiences, academic passions, gender identity and more, to enhance academic and residential life and to enrich understanding of the world. Despite the intent, Carleton, as an institution, has often failed to effectively uphold and support students and faculty of color. We believe there is so much we, as part of the Carleton community, can and must do.
We are aware that current and past Carleton students, especially Black students and students of color, have worked both in collaboration with and in challenge to the administration to combat the racism that is omnipresent in our society and a sad reality at Carleton. However, while progress has been made, it can be difficult to sustain. It is wrong that many Black students and students of color at Carleton today have negative experiences that mirror what Carls from decades past have experienced. It is wrong that Carleton hasn’t significantly improved its climate for students of color. We can help by more actively seeking responsiveness, change, and accountability from the College.
Each of us must find our own way to internalize and to take action on the recent racist events. As members of the Carleton community we can let current students know that we alumni are using our voices to call for change in an effort to improve our College.
In the immediate term, the Alumni Relations Office has launched the Community Resources for Carls page and the Alumni Council invites every alum to join a Call to Action to support all students, including graduating seniors, in their march for social justice. This Call to Action will take different forms, and will evolve over time.
As a start, Alumni Council members are collectively pledging to support students through a variety of venues including the Student Emergency Fund (SEF), administered by the Dean of Students office, underwritten by the Alumni Annual Fund, and earmarked to support students directly.
Alumni Council members consulted with student organizations to determine the fastest and most direct way to get financial support to students in need, without overburdening student leaders to do the work of administering those funds. Upon the breakout of COVID-19, students–both on and off campus–have tapped into the Student Emergency Fund to get financial support for a wide variety of needs. Students know how to access these funds and we think this is the best way to support as many students as possible.
Donations to the SEF will be channeled into areas of greatest need for students. Our students continue to need financial aid, staff and faculty mentoring, and other important support that is provided for by the Alumni Annual Fund. Offsetting students’ financial worries during this stressful time can be a big help. We urge additional action in the short to mid-term, including:
- We encourage you to Take Action and join or support the many programs and organizations working to eradicate racism at Carleton and beyond.
- Recognizing that diversity alone is not enough, we call upon Carleton to strengthen its institutional statement to address its commitment to equity, inclusion and diversity to hold ourselves accountable to real-world deconstruction of white privilege and racist systems.
We, as members of the Alumni Council:
- Will participate in training around elements of anti-racism, unconscious and implicit bias, historical trauma, and restorative practices before or at our next Alumni Council meeting and will work with the college to make similar programming available for the wider alumni community.
- Collectively pledge $7,850 to funds intended to immediately help students and support progress on creating a more just and equitable community.
Yours in making Carleton better,
On Behalf of The Carleton College Alumni Council
Love Anani ’07
Amy Bevilacqua ’89, incoming Alumni Council President
Nancy Braucher ’63
Susan Carlson ’76
Shalin Carranza ’20
Cristian Castro-Brizendine ’19
Mimi Davisson ’66
Rebecca Ditsch ’93
Robert Emmet ’16
Micah Evans Rivera ’02
Andrew Farias ’21
Derek Fried ’93, Alumni Council President
Anne Guttridge ’18
Paula Hart ’77*
Kathy Hintz ’88*
Christopher Jabbarpour ’20
Luke Lara ’99*
Todd Larson ’83
Steve Maack ’90
Rich Majerus ’07*
Michael McClellan ’13
Selam Nicola ’19
Lisa Nordeen ’90
Christopher Payne ’91
Zoe Pharo ’21
Nonoko Sato ’00
Lyssa Searcy ’11
Sue Scott ’77*
Derek Wallace ’92
Dana Wright ’95
* incoming Alumni Council member