The CCCE is honored to work in solidarity with justice-minded students, community partners, and faculty and staff colleagues who serve as countervailing forces against systemic and institutional racism.
The last week has left us reeling, as individuals and as a community. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, the Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE) at Carleton College focused our initial attention on student and staff immediate needs and on supporting students in making informed decisions about options for civic action. We are also committed to longer-term efforts, both existing and new, as we hold racial and social inequities at the core of our work. I write to share what we’re doing now and what we plan to do going forward.
We are honored to work in solidarity with justice-minded students, community partners, and faculty and staff colleagues who serve as countervailing forces against systemic and institutional racism. While this work is ongoing, in recent days, we have been having conversations with students about their civic responses to George Floyd’s murder, sharing educational resources like the social change wheel to help clarify an array of ways to get involved, and creating the opportunity for teams of students to research and then choose a donation recipient, with a focus on that donation’s contribution to their desired social change. With faculty, we have been diving deep into conversations about confronting inequity in our community-engaged courses as part of an equity-focused planning institute. With community partners, we have long been focused on closing the opportunity gap in education, expanding access to culturally-specific healthcare, addressing the social determinants of health, and more.
We are committed to furthering our work with all of these collaborators through ongoing partnership and a redoubling of our shared commitments to justice. You can read more about how community engagement can function as a strategy for advancing equity when we attend to issues of trust, healing, power, identity, culture and spirituality, history, and relationships in this resource from Nexus Community Partners.
Still, this is not enough. As the Awake, to Woke, to Work guide from Equity in the Center indicates, we need to look internally, as well as outwardly. Given this, the CCCE also commits to the following work:
- As a center, we commit to spending the next year reexamining our work — what we do, how we do it, who is involved, and the outcomes achieved — through the lens of racial equity. We will adopt recommendations for action throughout the process and take a learning stance founded on a genuine curiosity and desire to do our work better, knowing this will take time.
- As a staff, each of our professional staff members commits to creating a racial justice professional learning goal for the next year in which we will engage in self-study and development in this area. The CCCE will invest funds in training for professional staff in this area, which may include using tools like the intercultural development inventory (IDI) and enhancing our racial justice knowledge and skills individually and as a team.
We will make this part of our ongoing practice, toward the goal of deeper alignment with our center’s values, communities’ priorities, and vision of a more just world. We hope you’ll walk with us in mutual accountability, humility, and love, knowing that, as Dr. Cornel West has said, “Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.”
on behalf of the Center for Community and Civic Engagement
Sinda Nichols ’05, Director