President’s Office

President’s speeches, letters, and articles

Subject: Reed College joins racial equity alliance

November 10, 2020 

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

We write with the news that Reed College has joined the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance hosted by the University of Southern California’s (USC) Race and Equity Center. The alliance is a newly formed group that brings together 51 liberal arts colleges from across the country to work and learn together to support and elevate racial equity and anti-racism initiatives on each campus. As a member of the alliance, Reed will have access to the following supports.

Racial Equity eConvening Series

Beginning in January 2021, USC 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 USC's Race and Equity Center.

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 access to the virtual resource portal. The portal will launch in late spring 2021.

Student Campus Climate Survey

Alliance member colleges can participate in the center’s National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates (NACCC) survey, which has been administered to more than 500,000 students at colleges and universities in every geographic region of the United States. The 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.

Presidents United For Racial Equity

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. In addition, presidents will occasionally come together to craft rapid responses to urgent racial issues confronting the nation. Alliance presidents will collaboratively determine what actions to take, what to say to their respective campus communities, and what to communicate in one unified voice to policymakers, journalists, and other audiences.

Liberal arts colleges have an important and critical role to play in addressing the historical injustices affecting our students, faculty, staff, and the communities in which we reside. The alliance will provide Reed with additional tools to lead more effectively on issues of racial equity and provide an opportunity for us to share ideas, strategies, and action plans with our sister liberal arts institutions.

We are thrilled to be a part of the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance in advancing racial equity, and we look forward to sharing more with you about his important partnership in the coming months.

All our best,
Audrey and Mary


Audrey Bilger 

Mary B. James
Dean for Institutional Diversity and A.A. Knowlton Professor of Physics


Allegheny College
Amherst College
Bard College
Barnard College
Bowdoin College
Bucknell University
Carleton College
Centre College
Claremont McKenna College
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Colgate University
Colorado College
Connecticut College
Davidson College
DePauw University
Dickinson College
Goucher College
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Hamilton College
Harvey Mudd College
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Lafayette College
Luther College
Macalester College
McPherson College
Mount Holyoke College
Muhlenberg College
Pitzer College
Pomona College
Oberlin College
Occidental College
Randolph College
Reed College
Rhodes College
Scripps College
Skidmore College
Smith College
Soka University of America
St. Olaf College
Susquehanna University
Swarthmore College
Union College
University of Richmond
Utica College
Wabash College
Washington and Lee University
Wellesley College
Westminster College
Whittier College
Williams College
Wofford College

+ As of November 9, 2020