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Working for Racial Justice at SNC: Vision, Strategy and Commitment

Vision
St. Norbert College is committed to becoming a leader in the work of racial justice by actively pursuing integrated and systemic change on our campus and in our local community.

This commitment is grounded in key principles articulated by President Brian Bruess at a town hall meeting for faculty and staff on Aug. 11, 2020:
  • Racism is sinful and systemic. Working for racial justice is a moral issue for each of us and for our college community as a whole.
  • The work of achieving racial justice and our goals for diversity, equity and inclusion are essential to our Catholic, Norbertine and liberal arts mission and the work of educating our students. Further, the work is aligned with the principles and values of our founder Abbot Pennings, Norbertine sponsors, as well as the model of peace and reconciliation demonstrated by St. Norbert, our patron saint.
  • As a community, we have work to do to become anti-racist. Our students, faculty, staff and alumni of color have shared their, at times, extremely painful experiences living in our region and working on our campus. We must ensure that every member of our community is treated with the respect and human dignity they deserve. We recognize the need to do more.
Strategy
Our racial justice efforts fall under five primary goals. Initial action steps are outlined below:

1. Ensure diversity, equity and inclusion content is integrated into the curriculum and co-curriculum.
  • Academic Affairs and Student Affairs will develop divisional strategies and action plans.
  • Academic Affairs and Student Affairs leadership will ensure these plans complement each other and offer a broad and deep impact on the student experience.
Responsible cabinet members: Jennifer Bonds-Raacke, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; Julie Massey, Chief of Staff

2. Improve our efforts to recruit, develop and retain students, faculty and staff of diverse backgrounds.
  • Business & Finance will assess current employee policies and practices with a special focus on those impacting recruitment and retention. In addition, the division will develop a structured plan to ensure that its work promotes equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Academic Affairs will review the recruitment and retention of faculty.
  • Enrollment Management & Communications will:
    • Engage in partnerships and seek resources to open pathways to St. Norbert College for students from diverse backgrounds.
    • Create new and enhance existing scholarships and financial aid for students from underrepresented backgrounds.
    • Assess and adjust admission requirements, as needed, to reduce bias.
    • Introduce online and offline admission materials in multiple languages.
Responsible cabinet members: Autumn Anfang, Vice President for Business and Finance; Jennifer Bonds-Raacke, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; Edward Lamm, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Communications

3. Address our campus climate to improve the lived experience of our community members of color. Ensure our values of hospitality and communio extend to the equity and inclusion experienced by everyone on campus.
  • Expand campus-wide training related to equity, diversity and inclusion, including:
    • Expanded anti-racism workshops for students, faculty and staff.
    • A new partnership with SafeColleges to offer introductory online training for staff or faculty on topics related to equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Create a system to ensure those who shape the campus experience have access to and accountability for enhancing their understanding of EDI. 

Responsible cabinet members: Autumn Anfang, Vice President for Business and Finance; Marc Belanger, Vice President for Information Technology; Jennifer Bonds-Raacke, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; Julie Massey, Chief of Staff

4. Partner with local community leaders to promote equity and inclusion in the wider community.

  • Work with leaders in business, education, health care, policing and other significant areas of community life to make De Pere, Green Bay and northeast Wisconsin more welcoming to students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds.
  • Ensure local partners are aware of the college’s commitment to becoming a more diverse campus.

Responsible cabinet members: Brian Bruess, President; Jon Enslin, Vice President for College Advancement

5. Ensure the sustainability of the essential and transformative work of diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • Determine a leadership and staffing model to effectively lead this work on our campus.
  • Evaluate membership and functions of the Committee on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (CEDI) to ensure it effectively supports the college’s systemic approach to racial justice.

Responsible cabinet members: Brian Bruess, President; Julie Massey, Chief of Staff; Jennifer Bonds-Raacke, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Commitment to Action
We have intentionally set strong goals and meaningful action steps as we move to create a more equitable and just community. We know the tasks ahead of us are not easy, but we commit to them buoyed by the strength and conviction of our students, faculty and staff of color, and committed allies across the college. We commit to dedicating the critical resources of time, money and intellectual capital to move forward these aims.

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