Experiences of 100 Colgate Students of Color

Brittney Chin ’21 asked 100 Colgate students about being a person of color on campus.

It is disheartening that students of color feel inferior, alienated, unaccepted, and unwelcome on campus. It is worrisome that students of color describe Colgate as “a place where my skin color matter[s] so much” and “there are all these low-key hate crimes.” The experiences of students of color make it clear that Colgate is not fully achieving its mission of “educat[ing] students to virtue and encourag[ing] them to respond openly and sensitively to others who are different from themselves.”

This video is call to action for all members of the campus community to educate themselves about the experiences of people of color at Colgate, in Hamilton, and beyond. This video implicitly compels members of the Colgate community to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion.

As a white faculty member, I take seriously my responsibility to:

  • Acknowledge my own (unintentional) failures in creating an equitable, inclusive, and welcoming community for students of color;
  • Be cognizant of my actions and words in the classroom and beyond;
  • Use the power and privilege I inherently possess because of my whiteness and position to work toward change.

Introduction

Participating in Intergroup Dialogue (IGD) training at Colgate University in May 2019 drastically changed the way I think about my own identities, privilege, and power. It inspired me to learn more about the experiences of individuals whose identities are different from own and reflect on how privilege and power impact me, members of the Colgate community, members of Hamilton, and society at large.

I have been thinking about about publicly sharing my thoughts and reflections since last summer. The recent brutal killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and the disproportionate impact COVID-19 is having on people of color, motivated me to act.

I plan to share articles, podcasts, videos, books, etc. that have impacted the way I think about power & privilege and diversity, equity, & inclusion (DEI). I also plan to share some of my own personal reflections in the hope that these may resonate with others and encourage them to think about power & privilege and diversity, equity, & inclusion (DEI) in their lives, communities, workplaces, schools, etc.