Campus Week of Dialogue
Many Paths, One Journey: Building One America
October 10-17, 2000
Student Leaders Meeting on Race
- What is a student leaders meeting on race?
One of the events that we are encouraging participating colleges and universities to hold during the Campus Week of Dialogue is a student leaders meeting on race. This meeting is an opportunity for student leaders from diverse racial and ethnic groups to come together and discuss racial issues and how students can best work together across racial lines.
- What is the purpose of a student leaders meeting on race?
Student leaders play important roles on campus, often through student organizations such as student governments and racially- or ethnically- based interactions among student groups. However, on some campuses, opportunities for structured cross-racial or –ethnic interactions among student leaders are limited. Holding a student leaders meeting in conjunction with the Campus Week of Dialogue on Race can serve as a catalyst for constructive cross-racial or –ethnic interactions among student leaders. On those campuses where such outlets already exist, holding such a meeting can help redouble efforts and reinforce the important work that is taking place.
How should a student leaders meeting on race be structured?
A student leaders meeting on race will look different on each campus. However, we suggest two points to keep in mind: First, the meeting does not necessarily have to be a large event; a small meeting of 10-20 student leaders may be the optimal size for an inclusive yet constructive discussion. Second, the meeting should include student leaders from as many different racial and ethnic groups on campus as possible. If your campus’s student body is not very diverse, be as inclusive as you can. For example, reach out and partner with student leaders from another campus in your area. Whatever the racial and ethnic composition of your campus’s student body, we hope that through this meeting you will bring student leaders together for constructive and collaborative discussion on race, place some tough issues on the table, and give everyone the chance to talk through those issues. For more information, please refer to the One America Dialogue Guide, available on our website at (http://www.ed.gov/campusdialogue/) which has additional, general information, on how to organize a race dialogue that may be applicable to your student leaders meeting.
What should be discussed at a student leaders meeting on race?
The topics discussed at a student leaders meeting will be different at each campus. In broad terms, the student leaders meeting is an opportunity to discuss issues of race and how students can best work together across racial lines to address those and other issues. Some possible topics for discussion include the following:
- Is the campus climate fully welcoming and supportive of students from all racial groups?
- Have there been specific incidents or issues related to race on campus that must be acknowledged, understood, and addressed?
- What is being done or should be done on campus to promote access and diversity?
- What is being done or should be done on campus to promote the educational benefits of diversity (e.g. by creating opportunities for students from different racial and ethnic groups to come together and learn from and about each other)?
Once again, please refer to the One America Dialogue Guide available at our website, (http://www.ed.gov/campusdialogue/) for additional, general information on topics for race dialogues that may be applicable to your student leaders meeting.
What are some possible concrete outcomes from the student leaders meeting on race?
We hope that your October student leaders meeting on race will result in concrete outcomes. While these outcomes could take many forms, we suggest at least the following:
- Formalize a diverse group of student leaders who meet during the October event into a taskforce that meets periodically to discuss issues of race on campus and to develop recommendations to address those issues.
- Organize activities, such as community service projects, that can bring students together across racial lines to work toward common goals on campus and in your community.
- Please use the feedback form (available on the web at (http://www.ed.gov/campusdialogue/) to report back about lessons learned and actions taken from your student leaders meeting. Your recommendations and feedback with be shared with the President.
If you have any questions, please contact Donald Conner, Campus Week of Dialogue Team, at (202) 502-7818, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org , or ReShone Moore on (202) 502-7893.