2021–2022: The Work Ahead

Bowdoin is at the beginning of the next chapter in our work to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), with an initial focus on racial inequity broadly, and the issues facing the Black members of our community more specifically, motivated by inequality that has been allowed to continue unremedied for generations. This focus does not, of course, allow us to set aside other critical issues, and it will inform and enhance all the work we will do on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

This is a long-term effort, and we will evaluate our goals, measure our work, acknowledge our accomplishments and shortfalls each year, make changes as needed, and be transparent about all of this. We each share the responsibility for creating true equity in the opportunity for profound, positive, and life-changing experiences at Bowdoin, and for the powerful sense of belonging that we desire for everyone here. Success necessarily requires the engagement of everyone in our community, and as part of this we invite feedback on any aspect of this work or on anything we are doing to advance our DEI efforts and to further racial justice.

As shared in President Rose’s messages to the community beginning in June 2020, there are three main pillars to our work:

  1. Sustained programming and education to better understand the issues, challenges, and work ahead in diversity, equity, and inclusion, with a particular focus on racial justice.
  2. Changes in practices throughout the College designed to build anti-racism skills and structures and to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the work of the College; and
  3. A project to understand our institutional history with respect to race (in particular, our relationship to Black members of our community and to Maine’s indigenous peoples), to explore the possible implications of this history, and to create a foundation for further work.
Importantly, the College is also focused on developing and adopting a model of Inclusive Excellence* (IE). This effort is underway in academic affairs, and there is significant work that is being done by the academic dean’s office, faculty committees, departments and programs, and individual faculty to embody the philosophy of IE. Our ultimate goal is to expand this model beyond the faculty to include the entire Bowdoin community.

This page describes the key work that will be done across the College during the calendar year 2021 to identify and change policies, practices, and operations to move us toward our goals (the second “pillar” described above) and the semi-annual update on the work for the calendar year 2021 that was announced by the College on December 21, 2020—work to identify and change policies, practices, and operations in order to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at the College. It also includes a separate description of work that has been undertaken that was not envisioned in December 2020.

2021 Key Priorities