In response to racist incidents that occurred on campus and in the residence halls, the Black Student Association (BSA) organized a campus forum in April 2019 to highlight the experiences of Black students on campus. Izaiah Web ’20, Mynk Richardson-Clerk ’20, Joshua Simmons ’20, Milia Harris ’20, and Keley Villanova ’22 led campus efforts to develop and present a document, “Black Student Association Demands and Action Plan,” to engage with College administrators during and after the BSA forum. These students met regularly throughout the Spring of 2019 and during the 2019-2020 academic year with the Vice President for Student Affairs and Strategic Initiatives, Assistant Vice President for External Affairs and Special Assistant to the President, and the Director of Multicultural Affairs. The BSA demands and subsequent meetings informed resource investment decisions and the College’s ongoing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. During the Spring of 2019, the President also appointed and charged a Task Force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to further advance the College's DEI strategy and goals.
The summer 2020 student and alumni activism resulted in a campus-wide Town Hall in June focused on the College’s DEI work, several listening sessions with a variety of campus and alumni groups, and a conversation with the alumni who organized an online petition.
We collectively acknowledge how deeply alumna Mynk Richardson-Clerk ’20 is hurt by not feeling supported by the College, her lacrosse teammates, coaches, and the Athletics Department in her activism to protest racial injustice by police/police brutality. The College recognizes coaches and athletic staff need additional support and training to more skillfully address race-based issues within their teams and to more intentionally support student activism. President Hammond has apologized on behalf of the College in the April 2019 BSA campus forum, in written statements sent to the campus community, and during the Town Hall in June 2020.
President Hammond met with the petition organizers, Upasna Barath ’19 and Mynk Richardson-Clerk ’20, in July 2020, and he expressed his appreciation for their activism.
- This meeting, along with the other listening sessions that President Hammond participated in throughout the summer, revealed a number of themes that the College is committed to addressing throughout the academic year and beyond;
- President Hammond is creating the infrastructure to assure that he and the entire College community are listening to our Black students and other students of color and being responsive to their lived experiences at the College and in the surrounding Naperville community.
The College is grateful for the 2019 BSA campus forum and BSA Demands, the summer 2020 petition, and the feedback gathered from the listening sessions, which were all collectively integral in informing the roadmap for the most recent anti-racism work on our campus.
- We are providing a description of the College’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts that have laid the foundation for the anti-racism initiatives to be progressed during the 2020-2021 academic year and beyond;
- These efforts will involve:
- the President and the President’s Council;
- the DEI Task Force;
- the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion;
- the Office of Multicultural Affairs;
- the Athletics Department;
- and faculty, staff, and students throughout campus.
This important work is being done to create a more inclusive and anti-racist North Central College.
Campus Educational Initiatives on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The College acknowledges that the work to understand implicit bias, microaggressions, structural violence, systems of oppression, racism, diversity, and inclusion is a continuous process.
The College has been engaged in the task of educating the campus community on these issues through online and in-person educational sessions. The College has delivered diversity and inclusion training for:
- Incoming first-year and transfer students
- The lacrosse team and coaches
- All athletes, coaches and Athletics administrative staff
- Cabinet members
- Members of the President’s Task Force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Student Affairs staff
For more information about our educational programs and initiatives to change campus culture, visit Changing Campus Culture and Athletic Department Initiatives to view the information about the diversity and inclusion training that has been implemented and the anti-racism education planned for this upcoming year.
How the College Responds to Complaints about Bias and Discrimination
North Central College has worked to develop a culture of reporting for bias-related incidents, which affords the College the opportunity to respond early to students, faculty, staff who experience bias incidents, discrimination, and/or harassment. The College has a robust process in place, which is consistently followed to respond to bias incidents and allegations of discrimination. Upon receiving a report, the College takes actions to stop the behavior, provide support, refer the student to on-campus resources, and prevent the creation of a hostile environment based on race or other protected class. When a complaint is filed, the College launches an inquiry and/or investigation into the matter.
The affected party (i.e., person experiencing the bias) guides what option is pursued. Options include informal measures such as feedback about the impact of the behavior or education, a formal complaint and investigation, or facilitated resolution conference. Faculty, staff, and students who are found to have violated our Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Retaliation policy through an investigation receive sanctions that are determined by the nature, severity of, and circumstances surrounding the violation(s) and the need to remedy the effects of the discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation on the Complainant and the community. For more information about our processes please review our policy.
State and federal regulations prohibit the College from publicly sharing the results of inquiries into, or investigations of, allegations of discrimination. Parties who are involved in matters of this type, however, are not prohibited from sharing the College’s findings.
Bias incidents can be reported online via this form. Visit our web pages for further detail about how the College responds to bias incidents and to discriminatory harassment. The College’s nondiscrimination policy, the Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Retaliation policy, is available on this page.
Images of Black Students in Promotional Materials
It is important for our Black students and students of color to be represented in our promotional materials in a way that is accurate, respectful, and not exploitative in nature. The College realizes that for some Black students, this visibility may be welcome and important, but for others, their image being used may not feel positive. The College is intentional in representing diversity in all forms including gender, race, academic, athletic and co-curricular interests as part of its effort to be welcoming to all in the images captured and used in marketing and promotional materials to reflect life at North Central. Students who are featured in promotional materials are actively involved in the process and agree to have their images used in College marketing and communication materials.
The Office of Marketing and Communications (OMC) frequently contacts faculty and staff throughout campus to identify students for potential use in College marketing materials. Students are then contacted by the Office of Marketing and Communications to participate in photography and/or videography sessions accordingly, and may be interviewed to provide additional content for student features and stories. In other cases, photographers are hired to capture campus visuals, including large groups walking along the pedestrian spine, gathering in Jefferson Plaza or in the dining hall, or attending artistic or athletic events.
How our Black students and other students of color feel about the images being used in marketing materials will be an area of inquiry for the fall semester. Feedback from our BIPOC students will inform any necessary changes to our process.