At last spring’s sixth annual Critical Race Studies in Education Conference, Janice Robinson held aloft Race, Racism and American Law, by the late Derrick Bell, Harvard Law School’s first tenured African-American professor.
“Have any of these issues gone away?” she asked.
Much remains to be done to promote a genuinely inclusive society. Robinson cites efforts like those of Michelle Knight, Associate Professor of Education, who brought the critical race studies conference to campus. Others point to Robinson, who, as TC’s Vice President for Diversity and Community, has led creation of an institutional climate that not only respects difference but values inclusion.
Efforts by TC’s Office for Diversity and Community Affairs range from harassment prevention to a panel discussion about school policies and practices and the exclusion of young men in the court system. The Office sponsors racial literacy roundtables, dialogues about privilege and social hierarchy, and community-building initiatives that reflect each
TC community member’s perspective.
“Our focus is not just about numbers or demographics,” Robinson says. “We reach toward a definition of community that’s about how people within the College come together and treat each other in a shared space. Everyone belongs.”