Trinity Washington University
Trinity DARE: Driving Actions for Racial Equity
For 123 years, Trinity has pursued a commitment to equity for women as our primary mission in the historic Trinity College, the undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences. Today, with a majority of African American students enrolled, and a substantial proportion of Latina students, Trinity affirms that our historic mission includes racial equity in keeping with the Catholic social justice teachings that infuse all teaching and learning at Trinity.
Trinity in 2020 enrolls more than 1800 students in undergraduate and graduate programs, and about 95% of our students are Black, Hispanic and multi-racial, representing a broad range of global communities, true citizens of the world. Men as well as women enroll in graduate and professional programs. More than half of Trinity students are residents of the District of Columbia — Trinity educates more D.C. residents than any other private university. Trinity is designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Predominantly Black Institution and a Minority Serving Institution. Reflecting the circumstances of poverty and marginalization that afflict communities of color, the median family income of full-time Trinity undergraduates is just about $25,000; 80% are eligible for Pell Grants.
There’s a lot of talk about racial equity, but there needs to be more action. Through Trinity DARE, we commit to taking specific actions that can improve the lifelong economic and social opportunities of our students and their families. We invite all alumnae and alumni, friends and benefactors to join us — contact me directly to discuss how you can take the Trinity DARE!
President Patricia McGuire
Trinity Washington University
Preface: Hearing the Call to Action for Racial Equity
2020 once again exposes the chronic, pervasive and deep racism in American society that oppresses Black, Latina and all persons of color, sustaining racial injustice and limiting opportunities for equitable enjoyment of social goods across all sectors of community life: education, healthcare, employment, housing, economic development, participation in political processes and voting. The coronavirus pandemic has had a disproportionately harmful impact on Black and Latina communities, revealing profound inequities in healthcare. The ongoing virulent scourge of white supremacy, emboldened by current politics, brutalizes Black persons and encourages open expressions of racial hatred. Governmental policies and practices targeting immigrants and refugees for harsh and inhumane treatment expose official animus toward persons based on skin color, ethnicity, religion, language and culture.
These conditions are an urgent call to action to promote and sustain racial equity throughout American society.
Promoting racial equity means working to eliminate these and all racially constructed conditions that limit a person’s ability to live, work, learn, obtain resources and participate in society on an equitable basis. By extension, the practice of acting for racial equity promotes equity for persons of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, religions, cultures, abilities and life choices.
Trinity responds to the call to action for racial equity. As a university founded to promote equity for women in education as a fundamental mission, and rooted in the Catholic tradition of social justice, Trinity has worked to achieve racial equity in programs, policies and practices across the decades. Trinity DARE lifts up those many disparate efforts to organize a more effective and visible strategy across the institution to promote racial equity in all dimensions of Trinity’s academic, co-curricular and operational activities.
Most important, Trinity aims to strengthen its ability to enroll and support students of color in all degrees and disciplines, and to widen the pipelines for their access to professions and institutions where they will have significant impact in achieving racial and social equity goals.
Trinity DARE: Driving Actions for Racial Equity
Trinity DARE: Driving Actions for Racial Equity emphasizes actions — specific strategies and tactics that Trinity is taking now, and will enlarge in the future, to promote racial equity for Trinity students and graduates, faculty and staff, as well as for the larger community. In particular, Trinity believes that widening pipelines for our graduates to enter professions where persons of color are under-represented is one of the strongest contributions the university can make to improving the climate for racial equity more broadly. The goals of Trinity DARE include:
Goal One: Widening Career Pipelines: Black and Latina persons, and particularly women of color, are acutely under-represented in a broad range of professional occupations and in institutional executive positions in corporations, non-profit organizations and governmental entities. Trinity DARE aims to ensure that Trinity graduates have the academic, intellectual and personal preparation necessary to enter these professions and advance into leadership positions, and that Trinity students and graduate have access to employment opportunities in all industries and especially those where persons of color are under-represented in decision-making positions.
Goal Two: Broadening Access and Ensuring Success: Trinity DARE will promote expansion of Trinity recruitment of students of color with strong potential to succeed as leaders in under-represented professions, and Trinity DARE will seek the partnerships and comprehensive financial resources necessary to ensure the success of these future leaders.
Goal Three: Inclusive Excellence Pedagogy and Practices: Building upon the success of the HHMI (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) inclusive excellence program, Trinity DARE seeks to broaden inclusive excellence in pedagogy and curriculum development across all disciplines and degree levels, and to identify and transform academic and co-curricular programs and practices to ensure inclusive excellence in all activities.
Goal Four: Research and Education: Trinity DARE will support specific research projects of faculty and students that focus on the causes and impacts of racial inequity, and offering specific tactical solutions shared through publications, colloquia and other educational activities that can influence the community broadly, particularly corporate leaders and public officials who have the ability to change policies and practices to promote racial equity in places of work, schools, services and community engagement.
Goal Five: Trinity Self-Examination and Change: To be credible, work in promotion of racial equity must include institutional self-examination and commitment to change. Trinity DARE will include examination of Trinity’s history and current context for promotion of racial equity in all areas of institutional life.
Trinity seeks funding to support the work of Trinity DARE including scholarships and grants for students, grants for faculty research and pedagogical development, and other relevant projects.
Trinity is grateful to many generous benefactors who have provided generous gifts and grants to support Trinity’s work in racial equity for the last decade. However, this work is expensive in order to ensure student success. We wish to ensure continuing funding for the current initiatives while soliciting new funds for expansion, especially in scholarships, internships and career pathway support. While this paper provides more details below, discrete topical proposals for support will provide more comprehensive rationales and data to support funding for discrete dimensions of this project. See: Resource Requirements