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Colby College

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
Mayflower Hill Dr
Waterville, Maine 04901
Phone
(207) 859-4000
Email address
president@colby.edu
School Information
Founded in 1813, Colby College is the 12th oldest liberal arts college in the United States. Distinctive in its offerings, Colby provides an intimate, undergraduate-focused learning environment with a breadth of programs presenting students and faculty with unparalleled opportunities. A vibrant and fully integrated academic, residential, and cocurricular experience is sustained by a diverse and supportive community. Located in Waterville, Maine, Colby is a global institution with students representing nearly every U.S. state and approximately 70 countries. The student body is approximately 2,000 students.
General Information
We are dedicated to the education of humane, thoughtful, and courageous persons prepared to respond to the challenges of an increasingly diverse and global society and to the issues of justice that arise therin. At Colby, we strive to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of our institutional life to attain excellence in teaching, learning, research, and service. When we embrace diversity, we commit to creating a community of engaged students, faculty, and staff, whose plurality of perspectives and experiences enrich and deepen our understanding of intellectual, ethical, civic, and global citizenship. When we invoke equity, we can claim our ethical commitment to fairness, justice, equal opportunity, and access, and a fair distribution of resources. When we invoke inclusion, we commit to transforming and sustaining a campus culture in which all members feel a sense of belonging, knowing that, as a fully inclusive community, we share equal responsibility for the welfare of all our citizens. We commit to fostering the widest possible range of participation in our community by transforming structures and policies that impede the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. (source: https://www.colby.edu/diversity/)

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • Colby's 2022-2023 Financial Report states that it "continues to support enrollment of a diverse student body, with increased funding for financial aid...."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • In April 2021, Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies Amber Hickey led a workshop for the "Anti-Racism in Art School Colloquium" at Portland State School of Art & Design. "The workshop, 'Decolonizing the Art History Classroom,' provide[d] educators and students with decolonial strategies that they may implement in their own classrooms, arts practices, and research."
Disciplinary Measures
  • The Bias Incident Prevention and Response Team at Colby is "charged with both responding to bias incident reports and implementing educational initiatives designed to decrease the frequency of bias incidents in our community." The webpage provides a link to report a bias incident as well.
Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism
  • Colby hosted a series of student forums on community organizing, voting rights, and activism leading up to the November 2020 election.
  • In September 2020, 1,600 members of the Colby community turned out for Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's virtual discussion on racism and antiracism.
Program and Research Funding
  • The Pugh Center is the hub of celebration and support for the many cultures and communities that lend vitality and perspective to the Colby experience. The center houses many culture-themed clubs and organizations, hosts related programming, and fosters critical conversation on topics around race, ethnicity, gender, culture, sexual diversity, identity, and socioeconomic status both at Colby and throughout the world
  • Through the lens of gender and sexuality, the Gender and Sexual Diversity (GSD) Program serves as a resource and an ally for promoting social justice issues. The GSD program coordinates student-centered, sexual-violence-prevention education and provides confidential support and advocacy around issues of sexual misconduct.
  • Colby Achievement Program in the Sciences (CAPS) offers summer research opportunities for incoming first-years from groups that traditionally have been underrepresented in the sciences. It provides you with hands-on research experiences in biology, chemistry, environmental science, and other natural science disciplines. Students work closely with Colby professors in classroom, lab, and field experiences specifically designed to help you thrive in first-year science courses.
  • The 2021-24 Public Humanistic Inquiry Lab at Colby College "critically explores the relationship between medicine and race." The Lab states, "While the medical professions have recognized that racial and health inequities are closely linked, the humanities and social sciences point to structural racism’s impact on health outcomes across time and place and offer new ways of thinking about medicine in racialized societies."
  • The Critical Race Collaborative at Colby "works to build a mutually supportive, intellectually stimulating network between scholars working on race and identity at Colby." The initiative "strengthens research and builds a networked community that can act to stimulate, provoke, and encourage new ideas." 
Resources
  • The Posse Foundation identifies, recruits, and selects student leaders from public high schools to form multicultural teams called “posses.” Groups of 10 to 12 students from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds support each other.
  • In its Campus Climate Committee 2015-16 report, Colby’s Presidential Task Force on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity points out that, while the College has considerable information about the demographics of its student, faculty, and staff community, it lacks formal data/assessment about the experiences of our diverse community members once they arrive on campus.
  • The college has provided an updated list of anti-racist resources, ranging from books to documentaries and art exibits.
  • The French Studies courses "Race and Gender in France" and "Seminar: Race and Gender in France" are both listed under "curriculum: area requirements" and include the teaching of Critical Race Theory.
  • Colby's Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies offers "interdisciplinary classes that are intersectional and transnational, with commitments to critical race and critical caste scholarship, queer theory and queer of color critique, masculinity studies, the social construction of gender and processes of representation, indigenous feminisms, and transnational activisms."
  • In the spring of 2021, Colby joined the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance which is hosted by the University of Southern California’s Race and Equity Center. College members "have access to a series of eConvenings, each on a particular aspect of racial equity" and as well as resources on "equity-related rubrics, readings, case studies, videos, slide decks, and conversation scripts for Colby faculty and Staff."
  • On June 3, 2022, Colby's Center for the Arts and Humanities featured Nikole Hannah-Jones, author of the "1619 Project," which has the goal to "'reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the United States’ national narrative'.” 
Symbolic Actions
  • National Columnist Leonard Pitts to Receive Colby’s Lovejoy Award
  • Changed "freshman" to "first-years" across the website
  • The college recently appointed a new Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion who released a statement on his focus on "Creating an Anti-Racist Community."
Last updated May 9th, 2024
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