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Higher Ed Toolkit

Key Higher Education Policy Goals:
Anti-racist practices

Collaborating to actively challenge and eliminate racism in higher education

How we can work to undo and fundamentally transform the historical systems and structures of racism in ourselves, our institutions, and our communities.

In this Toolkit

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Understanding anti-racism

Anti-racism in education is the active process and in-depth analysis of identifying and dismantling racist attitudes, systems, structures, policies, and practices to build equity between groups and advance a more racially just future where the humanity of everyone is valued and uplifted.

graphic illustration taking a snapshot of equity in education

Acknowledging, addressing, and redressing higher ed’s legacy of racism

To be allies in fighting racism, Minnesota’s higher ed leaders must first publicly acknowledge their institution’s historical participation in structural and systemic racism, and work to prepare faculty and staff to be allies in fighting racism and building a responsible, just social organization.

Sign the Compact
graphic illustration of educators and administrators working on an equity plan with Minnesota Education Equity Program

Using a race equity lens

A Race Equity Lens is an essential tool for analyzing policies, power, relationships, outcomes, and solutions for building a race equity framework in higher education. It asks key questions centered on the realities and perspectives of those harmed by the current designs of our social systems and how those systems deliver services to them.

Explore the Glossary
Anti-Racism in Higher Education: A Model for Change 2020; from Race and Pedagogy Journal

“On the surface, organizations with dedicated diversity initiatives may begin to be visibly diverse but continue to marginalize people of color if power dynamics and organizational structures are not examined and changed.”

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What Minnesota can do right now

Why critical investments in professional development for faculty and staff in culturally responsive teaching, racial equity, and anti-racist teaching practices are essential for building a more just higher-ed system.

graphic illustration of successful case studies documenting equity in education

A watershed moment for higher education in Minnesota

How can Minnesota lead during this critical moment in history? A recent paper posted at, “Anti-Racism in Higher Education: A Model for Change” calls for colleges to “dismantle systems of white supremacy” and to embrace “shared power across racial lines.”

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Advancing anti-racist practices on Minnesota campuses

How Minnesota’s colleges and institutions can work to value, affirm, and empower students of color and American Indian students and work alongside them to build anti-racist reforms across all areas of the institution.

Center student voices

Building an anti-racist institution doesn’t start with leadership and faculty—it starts with students of color and American Indian students, and their goals, needs, and desires for how an institution can affirm their unique experiences and identities and build policies and practices that support their educational and financial success on campus and beyond.

Acknowledge intersectionality

Anti-racist practices must acknowledge the diversity among Minnesota’s POCI communities, including tribal community, economic status, immigration status, geography, gender, sexual identity, pregnancy, religion, disability, and ethnicity, and how intersectionality contributes to deep and ongoing racial disparities.

Increase and share decision making

Building an anti-racist institution means all efforts are inclusive and participatory, ensuring POCI communities and students can influence policies and practices, share in decision making, and have meaningful oversight of reform efforts and outcomes at Minnesota’s colleges, universities and higher ed institutions.

Analyzing the past to build a path forward

Addressing the ways Minnesota’s colleges and institutions have perpetuated systemic and structural racism is essential for undoing ongoing racial harm and advancing racial equity at every level of Minnesota’s higher ed institutions.

graphic illustration of people meeting virtually and putting the puzzle pieces together for their equity planning

How Minnesota State is building cross-campus collaborations to undo racial inequities

“The grand vision of Equity 2030 is reflected in the vision of the College Race Equity Advocacy Advisory Council: to create intentionality at the system level and across Minnesota to communicate and coordinate across departmental, divisional, and institution silos to embed equity-minded practice and policies at every level.” By Teri Hinds

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Key policy areas to achieve our goals

MnEEP’s recent research shows Minnesota must advance equity-centered policies and practices in four key areas right now to build higher-ed spaces that honor and support POCI students in their higher-ed journey.

Learn more about these policy areas to achieve our goals and what you can do to advance them at your college, institution, or at the Capitol.

1. Financial aid reform

Minnesota’s financial aid policies are outdated. It’s critical we build new policies that center the unique goals and needs of POCI students.

Why financial-aid reform?

2. Anti-racist practices

Minnesota’s colleges must work to build anti-racist policies and practices in every area—from leadership positions to public narratives.

What are anti-racist practices?

3. Holistic student supports

Minnesota must redesign the student experience at all levels to support working students, first-generation students, and POCI students.

What are holistic student supports?

4. Developmental ed reform

Minnesota must reassess its antiquated dev ed requirements to remove barriers to college access and degree attainment for POCI students.

Why dev ed reform?
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