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NASPA Partners with USC Race and Equity Center to Launch Equity Leadership Academies

Supporting the Profession Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Division VP for Student Affairs
January 13, 2020 Monica Nixon NASPA

NASPA is partnering with the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center to launch the first in a series of Equity Leadership Academies. These academies will bring together student affairs leaders for intensive four-day workshops focused on racial literacy and racial equity. The initial academies will be offered for vice presidents of student affairs, who must understand how to work effectively with campus leadership, student affairs divisions, and students to create systemic institutional change and to respond when crises arise.   

“As our campuses and student affairs staff become increasingly diverse across a wide range of identities, it is vital that today’s student affairs leaders increase their racial literacy and their abilities to learn how to engage actively and productively with race,” said NASPA President and CEO Kevin Kruger. 

NASPA will offer the Equity Leadership Academies in partnership with the USC Race and Equity Center, which already offers the highly-regarded USC Equity Institutes, the eight-week professional learning and action planning series for leadership and faculty members on a campus. Sumun Pendakur, chief learning officer for the Race and Equity Center, and Jade Agua, associate director for learning and organizational development, created the Equity Institutes and will work closely with Monica Nixon, NASPA assistant vice president for equity, inclusion, and social justice, on the collaborative Equity Leadership Academies. 

“Along with human resources, budgeting, supervision, and change management skills that vice presidents learn over time through study and experience, racial literacy demands the same level of investment in learning for leaders, staff, and students. The Equity Leadership Academies provide an opportunity for VPs to learn about race and racial equity in a way they haven’t learned elsewhere,” said Shaun Harper, founder, and executive director of the USC Race and Equity Center. 

Kruger added, “There is much to be done in higher education to address decades of institutional racism and historical bias that affect the very nature of the student experience for our marginalized and minoritized students. These Leadership Academies are one step in our shared imperative to do better.”

Information about the 2020 NASPA Equity Leadership Academies is available online. Applications are now open and are due Friday, January 31, 2020. Applicants will receive selection notifications by the end of February 2020.