Carleton joins Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance

Carleton College is among 51 inaugural member institutions of the newly established Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance.

19 November 2020 Posted In:
Goodsell Aerial Campus View

Carleton College is among 51 inaugural member institutions of the newly established Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance (LACRELA), a collaborative effort with the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center to provide colleges with the tools to support racial equity work on their campuses.

“I believe the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance will provide meaningful resources and connections as we continue to work toward becoming a truly supportive and inclusive learning and work environment for every student and every member of our faculty and staff,” Carleton President Steven Poskanzer said. “I look forward to collaborating with our peers on this important work.”

Among the resources available to Carleton through LACRELA are a series of monthly racial equity events, an online portal of equity-related resources and tools, and workplace climate surveys that will measure how employees experience their work environment. Presidents of alliance member colleges will meet quarterly to share strategies, seek advice, and identify ways to leverage the alliance for collective impact on racial equity in higher education.

Racial Equity eConvening Series

Beginning in January 2021, the Center will host a dozen eConvenings, each on a particular aspect of racial equity. These live, synchronous professional learning experiences will be held virtually throughout the year, one per month. Three-hour learning sessions, each on a different topic, will be delivered by highly-respected leaders of national higher education associations, tenured professors who study race relations and people of color, chief diversity officers and other experienced administrators, and specialists from the Center.

The 12 interactive sessions will focus mainly on strategies and practical approaches. While credible research will undergird them, sessions will not be too theoretical or abstract. Instructors will use contemporary cases of equity dilemmas and racial crises on liberal arts college campuses. Emphasis will be placed on learning from sagas that have recently occurred elsewhere; learning how to get ahead of situations and reducing risk of crisis; and learning actionable equity leadership strategies. Attendees will return to work the same day with shareable tools and resources.

Virtual Equity Resource Portal

The Center is developing an online repository of resources and tools for Alliance member colleges. Downloadable equity-related rubrics, readings, case studies, videos, slide decks and conversation scripts will be included in the portal. Every employee at each Alliance member college will have 24/7 full access to the virtual resource portal. The portal will launch in late spring of 2021.

Campus Climate Surveys

The Center’s National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates (NACCC) is a rigorous, expert-validated quantitative survey that measures belonging and inclusion, the frequency and depth of cross-racial interactions, students’ appraisals of institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion, and other related topics. It has been administered to more than 500,000 students at colleges and universities in every geographic region of the United States.

Using the NACCC as a guide, the Center is developing a pair of workplace climate surveys for Alliance member colleges: one for staff at all levels, and another for faculty (including full-time, adjunct, and part-time instructors). These two surveys will focus on topics like employees’ perceptions of equitable opportunities for promotion and advancement; mattering and sense of belonging; how different groups of employees differently experience the workplace environment; employees’ encounters with racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other –isms at work; employee satisfaction with the College’s responses to reports of abuse, unfair treatment, and climate problems; and appraisals of the institution’s commitment to equity.

Alliance member colleges will benefit from this trio of campus climate surveys on a three-year rotational basis: the student survey in year one, the faculty survey in year two, and the staff survey in the third membership year. The Center will manage data collection and analysis.

Information and updates about Carleton’s Community Plan for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity are available at