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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 M. Smith

Campus Conversations

Dr. Monica M. Smith, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, leads 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. Earlier this summer, Dr. Smith hosted student-focused as well as campus-wide sessions. Topics included vicarious trauma (with Dr. Tiffany Stoner-Harris), stereotype threats, affirming identities and historical and racial implications of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others (with Dr. Jason Williams and Dr. Drick Boyd). The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion also hosted multiple sessions of The Defamation Experience, a courtroom drama that explores issues of race, class, religion, gender and the law. During the fall, Augustana also participated in a nation-wide teach-in.

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

Augustana recognized for commitment to diversity

For the second year in a row, Augustana College has received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

This honor recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Augustana was one of 90 institutions from 300 applicants to receive the award, and one of only four Illinois schools.

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.

Want to impact social change?

Check out these organizations and resources suggested by Dr. Smith.

Articles to read

Videos to watch

Podcasts to subscribe to

Books to read

Films and TV series to watch

    • 12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet), Available to rent
    • 13th (Ava DuVernay), Netflix
    • Aging Out (Roger Weisberg), Available to rent
    • An Inconvenient Truth (Davis Guggenheim), Available to rent or on Kanopy
    • American Son (Kenny Leon), Netflix
    • Best Boy (Ira Wohl)
    • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Available to rent
    • Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 (Göran Olsson), Available to rent
    • Blindspotting (Carlos López Estrada), Hulu with Cinemax or available to rent
    • Born Into Brothels (Zana Briski, Ross Kauffman), Available to rent
    • Bowling for Columbine (Michael Moore), HBO
    • Boys Don't Cry (Kimberly Peirce), Available to rent
    • The Celluloid Closet (Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman), Available to rent
    • The Central Park Five (Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David Mcmahon), Available to rent or on Kanopy
    • City of God (Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund), HBO
    • Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu), Available to rent
    • Dallas Buyers Club (Jean-Marc Vallée), Netflix
    • Dark Girls (D. Channsin Berry, Bill Duke), Available to rent
    • Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee), Available for rent or on Peacock
    • Dear White People (Justin Simien), Netflix
    • Erin Brockovich (Steven Soderbergh), Available to rent
    • Fahrenheit 9/11 (Michael Moore), Available to rent
    • Food, Inc. (Robert Kenner), Hulu, Amazon, available for rent
    • Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler), Available to rent
    • Gender Revolution (Katie Couric), Available to rent
    • Grave of the Fireflies (Isao Takahata), Hulu
    • Ghandi (Richard Attenborough), Available to rent
    • Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi), Available to rent
    • Hold Me Down, Amazon
    • The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.), Available to rent
    • I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin doc), Available to rent or on Kanopy
    • If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins), Hulu
    • John Q (Richard Attenborough), HBO
    • Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton), Available to rent
    • King In The Wilderness, HBO
    • Milk (Gus Van Sant), Available to rent
    • Moolaadé (Ousmane Sembene)
    • O.J.: Made in America (Ezra Edelman), Available to rent
    • On the Basis of Sex (Mimi Leder), Showtime
    • Philadelphia (John Demme), Available to rent
    • Resist (Tani Ikedam Mobolaji Olambiwonnu, Nathalie Johns)
    • See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol), Netflix
    • Selma (Ava DuVernay), Available to rent
    • Snow Piercer (Bong Joon Ho), Netflix
    • Tangerine (Sean Baker), Hulu
    • Time: The Kalief Browder Story (Jenner Furst, Julia Willoughby Nason, Nick Sandow), Netflix
    • To Kill a Mockingbird (Rupert Mulligan), Available to rent
    • Waiting for Superman (Davis Guggenheim), Netflix
    • When the Wind Blows (Jimmy T. Murakami), Available to rent
    • When They See Us (Ava DuVernay), Netflix

    lists:

    Organizations to follow on social media

    More anti-racism resources to check out

    Photos: Vigil for Lives Lost

    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

    HEED award video

    College wins national diversity award for second year

    For the second year in a row, Augustana College has received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award.