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What has been the focus of the work of making Meredith more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming?
Since the launch of the Collegewide Anti-Racism Initiative, our primary focus related to diversity, equity, and inclusion has been on making Meredith more inclusive and welcoming for current students and employees. This work has been guided by students, employees, and alumnae. Progress has included increased diversity training for students, faculty, and staff; changes to processes to make them more inclusive; and the adoption of a diversity statement.  

These efforts took a further step forward with hiring the College’s first DEI coordinator in January 2022. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging (DEIB) positions have also been added by Meredith’s Student Government Association.

What is Meredith’s initiative on anti-racism addressing?
Through the initiative on anti-racism, the College is

  • reviewing collected data from various surveys and reports to more fully understand the experiences of students, alumnae, and employees regarding race;
  • reviewing the student and employee handbooks for clear expectations of behavior regarding race and consequences for violations of those expectations;
  • incorporating the lessons of race and contributions of diverse populations throughout the curriculum;
  • providing anti-racism and microaggression training for faculty and staff;
  • establishing guidelines for the equitable treatment of all students in the classroom and through the honor code, traditions, recruiting, financial aid, housing, and more;
  • reviewing HR policies and practices for recruiting, hiring, evaluating, and dismissal;
  • remaining open to other aspects of the College that need to be addressed. 

 

What is the timeline for Meredith’s initiative on anti-racism?
Formally launched in Summer 2020, Meredith’s initiative on anti-racism is a comprehensive, long-term commitment. Our work is grounded in cultural humility, meaning we must acknowledge how our experiences differ and to what effect. A Fall 2020 campus climate survey gave students, alumnae/i, faculty, and staff an opportunity to share their experiences in a safe manner, and shaped the job description for a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) staff person. In January 2022, a DEI officer who reports directly to the president was hired to establish Meredith’s first DEI office. Year 1 and Year 2 reports summarize the early work of this initiative.

The College’s anti-racism work is thoughtful, well-informed, and ongoing. We continue reviewing and modifying practices and policies that disadvantage members of our community.

Since the anti-racism initiative was launched, Meredith College has changed the names of some campus buildings. Who makes decisions regarding building names at Meredith?
The Meredith College Board of Trustees is the exclusive authority on renaming decisions. As part of the Campuswide Anti-Racism Initiative, the Board of Trustees engaged in a thorough and thoughtful review of building names. The goal of this process was to understand, acknowledge, and confront the realities of our history.

What was the process used? How were the buildings decided?
A Task Force on Historical Context and Naming at Meredith, co-chaired by the Board of Trustees Chair and Vice-Chair, was created to develop the process. The committee included trustees, alumnae, and employees and was diverse by race, gender, and age. Meetings were facilitated by an external consultant. The task force developed criteria for the Board to discuss the history and context of the naming and make decisions about the potential renaming of buildings at Meredith College. 

What building names have changed?
Meredith’s Board of Trustees approved changing the name of Joyner Hall (2022) and Carroll Hall (2023). The former Joyner Hall is now known as Lux Hall and Carroll Hall is now known as the Student Health and Wellness Center.

What information did the Board consider in making its decision?
The Board considered information from a number of sources, including the dates of the person’s life, when the building was established, the relationship with Meredith, the reasons for honor, sources of dishonor, and whether there were any redemptive actions or lasting impact on the College’s establishment, reputation, or sustainability.

Opportunities for involvement

How can I be a part of this effort?
Thank you for your interest in participating in this important initiative. We are called to be thoughtful in assessing our history, action, and ongoing work. Feedback can be emailed to anti-racismupdates@meredith.edu. Thank you for your support of this critical work.

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