Published December 01, 2021 by Bowdoin News

The Ripple Effect: One Year Later

Ripple Effect, the community-wide challenge supporting the Alumni Fund’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) designation, launched in October 2020.
Leaf floating in puddle with ripples

Thanks to generous contributions that have come in over the past year, the College has been able to enhance and expand various initiatives in support of DEI, including:

  • Campus-wide workshops for students, faculty, and staff including DiversityEdu and the Racial Equity Institute’s Groundwater curriculum 

  • Established a cross-campus DEI partners group of administrators to coordinate work and identify opportunities for collaboration

  • Developed resources for faculty and staff hiring to improve increasing diversity and retention

  • Creation of a Social Justice Leadership Institute to streamline workshops and education around social justice topics into a single format and to serve as the foundation for anti-racism education for all student leaders

  • Established twenty-five “Difference, Power, and Inequity” courses, which are now a distribution requirement

Joycelyn Blizzard, who was named Bowdoin’s first director of multicultural alumni engagement earlier this year, shares her observations of the College’s DEI work as it intersects with Bowdoin alumni.

Joycelyn Blizzard
Joycelyn Blizzard

What are your impressions since joining Bowdoin this past spring?
Since I joined the team last May, I have spent hours meeting with alumni to learn and get an understanding of the Bowdoin community through the years. It’s been an opportunity to hear individual experiences, sometimes never shared with the College and acknowledge the past. Equally, it’s been exciting to brainstorm together about the path forward. Bowdoin alumni are deeply passionate about this special place, and I am grateful for each story that is shared with me.

What do you see as the next steps to be taken?
As I continue in this inaugural year, I will continue to listen to alumni, as I have yet to experience two alumni stories that are the same. The conversations always leave me with at least one new perspective to consider. In addition, we expect to visit critical metro areas to have collective BIPOC alumni sessions to enhance the connectivity to each other and the college.

How can alumni be part of this?
An important aspect is learning how alumni prefer to be engaged with the college. We’re collecting perspectives and ideas. If you have ideas or suggestions, please send them my way at

Read more about Bowdoin’s focus on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion and the work ahead here.