November 18, 2020
Luther College has announced that, along with fifty other leading liberal arts colleges, it has joined the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance (LACRELA) launched by the University of Southern California's Race and Equity Center.
Through this membership, Luther, along with the other member institutions, will have access to a variety of resources through the Race and Equity Center. Beginning in January of 2021, the center will host 12 eConvenings on various aspects of equity. Member institutions may send up to eight faculty or staff members at no cost to each of these three-hour, synchronous learning sessions.
"I am pleased that Luther College is among the first colleges in the nation to join this alliance," said President Jenifer K. Ward. "The resources and connections provided by the alliance will help Luther advance the goals within our current strategic plan to build an inclusive campus community that supports a diverse faculty, staff, and student body. LACRELA will provide Luther College with a network of similar institutions and a rich set of resources to help sustain our commitment and attention to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and it complements our ongoing collaboration with the Associated Colleges of the Midwest that is focused upon developing anti-racism skills and knowledge."
These eConvenings will focus on practical applications of equitable leadership strategies undergirded by sound research and scholarship. Attendees will return from the sessions with immediately shareable tools and resources.
In addition to these eConvenings, the center is creating an online collection of resources for alliance member colleges to be launched in the spring of 2021. This repository will include rubrics, videos, readings and case studies related to racial equity, to which all faculty and staff will have 24/7 access.
Based on the center's National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates, a pair of workplace climate surveys are being developed for alliance member colleges to administer to staff and faculty. These surveys will gauge a variety of topics from how different groups of employees experience the workplace environment to employee satisfaction with the college's responses to reports of abuse, unfair treatment and climate problems. These two employee surveys will be available to LACRELA member institutions, along with the NACCC survey, on a three-year rotational cycle. Survey data collection and analysis will be managed by the center.
The presidents of alliance member colleges will meet quarterly to share advice and strategies and identify ways to leverage the collective impact of the alliance on racial equity in higher education, particularly in liberal arts colleges. Alliance presidents can also collaborate on responses in times of crisis, enabling them to communicate as a unified voice.
Luther College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.