As part of Heritage Week, a celebration of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston and their social justice values, Regis College unveiled a six-month progress report on its institutional action plan to address racism.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death this past summer, and hearing calls from students, faculty, staff, and alumni, Regis College President Antoinette Hays, PhD, RN, announced a series of goals to forge a more inclusive and welcoming society both on campus and beyond.
“As this progress report details, we are taking real, tangible steps to ensure the future of Regis College is one that is actively anti-racist,” Hays said the progress report’s welcome letter. “I know this is hard, ongoing work. But as the past six months have shown, we are not afraid of hard work especially when it comes to ensuring that Black Lives Matter at Regis and that we truly love, serve, and respect each other without distinction.”
The progress report was presented by Audrey Grace, associate vice president for inclusive excellence and chief diversity office, at a special town hall event on March 15. The institutional action plan contains nine goals from increased learning opportunities for the campus community to a curriculum review to updating the institution’s bias response protocols.
“I am impressed by the overwhelming support for this plan, from the number of volunteers and community members who committed their time, to the energy and support from our trustees,” Grace said. “It is clear that Regis is willing to do what is needed to advance racial equity and social justice for all.”
Among the achievements the report highlights are an institutional-wide, self-identification campaign to provide a better sense of the campus’ diversity, and continued opportunities for direct community input and feedback on all anti-racism work on campus. Additionally, Regis College’s annual Founders’ Day this past October brought more than 700 people together for a daylong dialogue on racism, equity, and social justice.
As this work continues, Grace said she would like to focus on strengthening the institution’s hiring and retention work around equity and inclusion. She also credited the Student Government Association and the Multicultural Student Association for their roles in the development of the plan and she hopes to grow student involvement.
“Throughout the development of the Action Plan, the members of SGA and MCSA are incredibly proud and honored to have worked with Audrey Grace in the development of the six-month progress report," the groups' said in a shared statement. "It is without question that the demands made in mid-June of 2020 required tremendous work from our faculty and staff, who have been highly responsive throughout the planning process. The students of Regis College should feel excited and ready for the positive institutional change that is emerging."