Racial Equity Summit 2021

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The Racial Equity Summit was Divided into Three Segments:

Each segment featured SU community members celebrating and challenging each other to help make SU the best place for our students, faculty, and staff.

Segment 1

Affirmation and Allyship for Solidarity

Segment 2

Collective Learning and Engagement

Segment 3

Action: Activating for Change

The Power of Place, Land, Labor, and Takings Acknowledgments

7 Principles of Allyship

Principle 1

Allyship happens in an accountable relationship to Indigenous, Black, and other people of color.

Principle 2

Being an ally does not mean distancing yourself from other White people.

Principle 3

Allyship is cultivating a relationship to risk.

Accountability is the mechanism that holds us to our commitments when otherwise it would be optional.

Principle 4

Allyship means going beyond the analysis of privilege, toward understanding the cost of white supremacy for all people.

Principle 5

Allyship is not only a concept or a politic, it’s a practice.

Principle 6

There is no formula to allyship. Allyship means living in tension and contradiction all the time.

Principle 7: Allyship is cultivating a sense of what we’re longing for, not only what we’re fighting against.

Decorated graduation cap with the words I am my ancestors wildest dream

A headshot of Michelle Alexander smiling

About the Keynote Speaker, Michelle Alexander

Michelle Alexander brings audiences profoundly necessary and meaningful insights on the practice of mass incarceration that plagues the U.S. justice system, as well as eye-opening conversation on how we can end racial caste in America.

In her acclaimed best-seller, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle peels back the curtain on systemic racism in the American prison system, which the New York Review of Books described as “striking in the intelligence of her ideas, her powers of summary, and the force of her writing.” With equal force and candor on stage, she breaks the silence about racial injustice in the modern legal system to reveal how mass incarceration has come to replace segregation.

Michelle, a legal scholar, social justice advocate, columnist at The New York Times and visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary, explores the myths surrounding our criminal justice system from a racial and ethical standpoint, and offers solutions for combating this epidemic. Delivering an emphatic wake-up call from the “colorblind slumber” that our country has fallen under, she leaves audiences with a new perspective on the challenges facing the civil rights community and a rousing call-to-action for a multi-racial, multi-ethnic human rights movement for justice in America. 

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The Road to Racial Equity Summit

Given this consequential year including the social movement for Black lives after the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd last May, alongside a pandemic that has had both disproportionate health and economic impacts on communities of color, a contentious election season, followed by a deadly insurrection on our nation’s capital, and the elevated racial violence that continues against various communities of color, it is important to end this academic year with an opportunity to reflect upon the issue of systemic racism as we move to activate our campus around becoming an anti-racist institution. As each passing news cycle seems to reveal, we remain in a racial crisis with an ongoing struggle for a healthy democratic and just society. 

As an institution of higher learning, we must honestly confront the complex forces of structural racism, work to minimize their impact and root them out, and strengthen our institution for the good of all students. 

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Racial Equity Summit Resources