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Augustana for racial justice and social change

Know justice, know peace

Justice is necessary because injustice exists. Racial discrimination; economic inequality; health care disparities; and inadequate access to quality education, healthy food and transportation are just some of the issues.

When we know what injustices exist, we can work to dismantle the systems that perpetuate injustice and create a fair, more equitable society.

Our ambition at Augustana College is to promote the social change necessary to remediate the inequities that we see because of racial disparities. 

monica smith

Dr. Monica Smith

Campus Conversations

Dr. Monica M. Smith, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, will lead campus conversations to help raise awareness of racial justice issues and empower the campus community to get involved in efforts to make positive change on campus and in the world.

DiversiTEA with students

June 16 Vicarious Trauma with Dr. Tiffany Stoner-Harris (underrepresented students)
June 30 Affirming My Identity
July 14 Stereotype Threat
July 28 TBD
Aug. 11 TBD

Campus-wide conversations

June 17, 1- 2:30 p.m. Dr. Jason Williams: The historical and racial implications of the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police. (Register)
June 23, 1 - 2:30 p.m. Dr. Drick Boyd: What are we learning from the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Abery and others? (Register)
July TBD The defamation experience
July 23, 1 - 2:30 p.m. Meia Walker, MSW: Injustice: what can a college community do? A call to action.
TBD Teach-in: Fall 2020

About the speakers:

Dr. Jason Williams is a passionate activist criminologist deeply concerned about racial disparity and mistreatment within the criminal justice system.  Dr. Williams is an NJ native—raised by his grandmother in a housing project, which ultimately led him to pursue a doctorate in the administration of justice from Texas Southern University. Aside from publishing in the academic arena, his perspectives are also posted on several public outlets, including The Hampton Institution and Truthout.  He has conducted ethnographic research in Baltimore MD and Ferguson MO following the police-involved tragedies of Freddie Gray and Michael Brown. He is also in the beginning stages of beginning police and community-based research in Newark, NJ, following the installment of a federal consent decree that proved pervasive unconstitutional policing practices. He has also conducted research around returning citizens and their navigation through reentry. Dr. Williams has been invited to Old Dominion University, Yale University, and other institutions to lecture on some of the topics mentioned above.  He is also deeply entrenched in community work as he serves on the board of two major organizations in New Jersey and actively works with others for change in the administration of justice. 

Professional development and community engagement

Topics will include:

• Introduction to and understanding marginalized identities 

• Stereotyping, microaggressions 

• Self-help: What you can do to learn about racism, violence and hatred without asking your minority friends 

• De-escalation training

The Presidential Racial Justice and Equity Fund

In addition to the above conversations and learning opportunities, Augustana College's Presidential Racial Justice and Equity Fund has been established to help foster our community's passion for equity and justice initiatives. 

With seed money provided by Steve and Jane Bahls, the fund provides a means for students at Augustana College to initiate projects on campus or within the Quad Cities community that:

• Raise awareness of racial justice issues

• Promote dialogue between differing constituencies concerning racial justice issues

• Propose methods to racial justice issues

• Encourage activism and social change to address racial justice issues

• Help the community examine underlying equity issues that impact racial justice

Racial justice broadly defined includes criminal justice, economic justice, environmental justice, health care justice and other issues of justice impacted by race. 

More details about the Presidential Racial Justice and Equity Fund. 

For more information about diversity efforts at Augustana College, please read our 2019 Diversity Report.

Faculty photos of the Quad Cities Black Lives Matter Protest


HEED award group

College wins Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

A national honor recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.