Addressing Racism: A Call to Action for Higher Education

The COVID-19 pandemic and the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other African Americans at the hands of police have highlighted the pervasiveness of race and racism in our society. Institutions of higher education have historically been a part of the cause, and have the potential to be part of the cure, with respect to structural racism.

We offer multiple opportunities for faculty to engage in this urgent work, which are outlined below. We look forward to your participation, your feedback, and your ongoing commitment to racial justice.

Addressing Racism: A Call to Action for Higher Education Panel Discussion with Columbia Faculty 

On Thursday, June 18, we hosted a faculty panel discussion about how we can leverage our collective strengths as an institution of higher education to address the fundamental challenge of structural racism. The discussion was moderated by June Cross, Professor of Journalism, and the panelists were Diana Hernandez, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences, Valerie Purdie Greenaway, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology, Malo Hutson, PhD, Associate Professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and Jennifer Manly, PhD, Professor of Neuropsychology in Neurology at the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center and the Taub Institute for Research in Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease.

To watch the full discussion, click on the image below.

Addressing Racism: A Call to Action for Higher Education

Mini Institute on Addressing Anti-Black Racism with the Columbia School of Social Work

As we engage in anti-racism work, it is crucial to create spaces for difficult conversations and for individual and collective healing. Our office worked with the School of Social Work to develop a three-session mini-institute for Columbia faculty.

Please visit this page for more information.

Addressing Racism: A Call to Action for Higher Education Seed Grant Opportunity

The Office of the Provost issued a request for proposals to provide seed grant funding for faculty and/or academic units within the Columbia community that engage with issues of structural racism. The goal of this initiative is to provide resources to enable collaborative dialogue, action, and insight for systemic change towards racial equity. Awards were funded up to $5,000. Projects that are complex, such as interdisciplinary collaborations, were funded up to $10,000.

A Request for Proposals was issued on June 30, 2020. The application form can be found here and the submission deadline was September 17, 2020. 

Faculty Conversation Spaces

Our office will host a series of informal, unmoderated online spaces for faculty affected by recent events to come together, share their experiences, and provide mutual support.

The Junior Faculty session took place on 7/21 at 3pm. 

The Mid-Career and Senior Faculty session took place on 7/23 at 12pm. 

All-Faculty Summer Reading Initiative

In collaboration with our colleagues at Barnard College and Teachers College, we are piloting an all-faculty summer reading initiative. For our first round, participants may choose from three books, and we hosted a series of faculty-facilitated book club discussions in the fall of 2020.

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
Birthright Citizens by Martha Jones
How the Irish Became White by Noel Ignatiev

More information about this initiative can be found here