Caitlin Doherty ’26
On Tuesday, March 28, President Berger-Sweeney released Trinity’s new Action Plan for Racial Justice by the Task Force on Campus Climate. The plan outlines what has been accomplished since receiving demands for racial justice from the Umoja Coalition and the @BlackatTrin Instagram account in the spring of 2020. The College has instituted a number of changes with the aim to increase diversity and equity that are detailed in the action plan, including new goals for the future. As President Berger-Sweeney reflected in her email, “…we not only commit to making space for ongoing institutional reflection and collective action but also want to recognize the work that has been done and the progress already made.” A town hall will be held on April 6 to discuss the plan in detail and give the Trinity community a chance to comment and ask questions about this announcement.
When the Task Force on Campus Climate was established in the fall of 2020 by President Berger-Sweeney, one of the main goals of the new group was to create a racial justice action plan. A range of individuals served on the task force, including five alumni, six students, three parents, three members of the Board of Trustees, and twelve faculty and staff. The task force began their work by collecting potential plans to further racial equity from twenty campus groups, including the Board of Trustees, the Faculty Racial Justice Committee, the Student Government Association, and the DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) Office, according to an Executive Summary of the official action plan. These groups will continue to use their own plans alongside the campus-wide action plan to increase equity and inclusivity within their own work.
After reviewing the twenty proposed plans, the task force identified seven areas to concentrate on during their work. These focus areas include increased representation of people of color on campus, expanded educational opportunities on race and equity, more wellness and mental health accessibility, and new and updated policies and procedures from administration. Under each focus area there are a number of action items for different offices and groups, as well as the entire campus, that have already been achieved or are currently in progress. As a whole, the Action Plan for Racial Justice “captures more than two-hundred and fifty actions identified by departments, programs, and groups to move our campus along the path to becoming a more racially and socially just community,” as the introductory letter by President Berger-Sweeney and Vice-President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Anita Davis states. The action items’ focus include increasing diversity by aiming to engage more high school students of color in the admissions process, renovations of the cultural houses, and continuing to provide funding and support for students and campus organizations in need, with programs such as the Emergency and Equity Fund.
The Action Plan for Racial Justice will be reviewed regularly by the Task Force for Campus Climate and updates will be shared with the Trinity community every year. As President Berger-Sweeney promised in the action plan, “Even as we accomplish the goals identified in this plan, there is no one finish line. We will continue to build on our progress and to establish new goals that continue to support our community.”