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Anti-Racism

We prioritize community in our values and life choices—that is active citizenship. And we know that which communities we choose to prioritize and how we engage is shaped by racism, white supremacy, and many other systems of oppression. We offer limited perspectives, miss things, make mistakes, and reinforce inequalities, especially as a predominately White staff. Still, we are committed to working for justice and understanding our role in that process. We know that Black lives matter and there is much more for us to do to work for a society which values the full potential of all. 

We have chosen to share our efforts publicly because we believe in the power of collective action and community accountability. Sharing our actions may offer an opportunity for you to join us in this work and allows you to provide critical feedback that makes our work better.  

We offer this overview of our anti-racism work as individual staff members as well as the collective Office of Community Engagement. We will provide updates on these efforts regularly.  

Staff actions and OCE policies
Staff Engagement with Anti-Racism Work 

These are actions individual members of our staff have or are taking, as well as opportunities we are engaging in together.  

OCE Programming and Policies 

These are actions we are taking as an office to engage more deeply in anti-racism in our programs and policies.  

  • Included racial justice and belonging questions in OCE 20-21 student survey. Forty percent of students responded that participating in OCE programs equipped them to act regarding racial justice. 
  • Partnered with Student Leadership Development and student advocates and activists to build a tool kit for student advocacy and activism, particularly focused on anti-racism and within pandemic circumstances.
  • Used a critical race theory-based process to inform a more inclusive leadership recruitment season and utilized a graduate intern to focus on bias reduction in the selection process.
  • Recommended our One Tribe One Day donors give to BIPOC-led W&M initiatives focused on equity, justice, and inclusion including W&M Lemon Project, Center for Student Diversity, W&M Diversity & Inclusion,APIA Student Fund, Center for Racial & Social Justice and WMSURE.
  • Using bias-reduction strategies in all selection processes in OCE which include a first round anonymous review of applicants.
  • Including racial justice resources in our weekly community engagement listserv messages.
  • Facilitating Action Book Clubs in which small groups read a justice-focused book and engage in remote service.  
  • Facilitating bi-weekly campus-community conversations focused on liberation.
  • Launched the Buddy Box Initiative hosted by Lafayette Kids.

We share our actions so you know what we are doing and what we value and so that you can offer your feedback and suggestions. You are also welcome to share your anti-racism work with us, as we are eager to support and partner with others through sustained commitment.  

Read our June 2020 Statement

Read our July 2021 Update 

You are welcome to email us directly at oce@wm.edu or submit ideas and feedback anonymously