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College of the Holy Cross

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
1 College St
Worcester, Massachusetts 01610
(508) 793-2011
Email address
School Information
"The College of the Holy Cross was founded in 1843 by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Worcester, Massachusetts. Holy Cross is a highly selective, four-year, undergraduate, liberal arts institution and is ranked among the nation's leading four year liberal arts colleges." The college has 330 faculty and 2997 students. Holy Cross also has multiple major programs, the most popular being: economics, psychology, political science, English, and biology. (Source:
General Information
The College of the Holy Cross has taken steps to embed social justice into its curriculum. The university announced that it would commence development of a "social justice" curriculum requirement. Development of the requirement has not yet been completed. See developments below:

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • Created a guidebook, How to Create An Anti-Racism Action Plan, with input from the Aspen Institute. "INTRODUCTIONWe are called in the current moment to actively move from non-racist thinking to anti-racist actions. This guide is targeted for those who are beginners to engaging in anti-racism work. Our goal is to illuminate that in order to do this work thoughtfully, we both need to be reflective in how prepared we are to engage with anti-racism work and that we need to have a concrete action plan to live by our commitments. This guide broadly focuses on racial justice. However, we have built in, and encourage, particular focus on anti-Black racism. Anti-racism planning needs to be intentional, and it will take time and thoughtfulness. We encourage users to be self-reflective and be attentive to areas of growth."
  • Holy Cross released a 40-point anti-racist action plan in 2020, including: • Devoting funds for faculty to develop new courses, or to significantly revise existing courses, around topics of race, racism and anti-racism. • Continuing to enhance the College’s efforts to recruit diverse communities of students, faculty and staff, with strategies including expanding the use of “Mission and Diversity Search Ambassadors” for student-facing and high-impact hires at the College. • Providing new opportunities for training, education and anti-racist action planning for students, faculty and staff.
  • The College offers a JEBI (Justice, Equity, Belonging, Inclusion) Foundations Certificate Program which will "help faculty and staff acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate within Holy Cross’ diverse and inclusive community, as well as the local community and beyond." One of the goals of the program is to "build awareness through interrupting microaggressions, understanding DEI concepts, and recognizing unconscious bias."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • Development of a “social justice” curriculum requirement.
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • Through the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, all search committee members are required to to take the "inclusive hiring" workshop. The training will "open with an overview of what inclusive hiring is, as well as common types of biases that appear throughout the hiring process."
Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism
  • Racial Justice Focused Community Organizations: We encourage all community members to contribute to organizations advocating for change. Thanks to students, faculty, staff and alumni who have shared information with us about community organizations that are advocating for racial justice. The list of suggested organizations is available here. If you are involved in a community organization that works on racial justice, please let us know via this form.
Program and Research Funding
  • A professor in the history received a grant from the $800,000 Scholarship in Action, sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to "develop a program to assist health center providers address racism in health care."
Re-Imagining Policing
  • Hosted DeRay McKesson for a talk about activism and policing.
  • The College is committed to promoting dialogue and action around race, racism and anti-racism. This website will serve as a resource to engage with the work of anti-racism.
  • The alumni have formed an Anti-Racism Alliance, which is a "group convenes each month to engage in dialogue, education and action. The alliance’s mission is to foster education through meaningful connections and conversations about racial justice, to improve the experience of students of color on campus, and to promote a safe and supportive campus by eliminating barriers caused by systemic racism...The alliance wants to avoid becoming an echo chamber and instead translate what members learn into their everyday lives — whether it be in the workplace, with friends or at home."
  • A student at the college wrote the following in the Daily Signal, "I have seen professors teach critical race theory ideas in the classroom at the College of the Holy Cross. I do not have a huge problem with it because at the collegiate level, I can pinpoint its faults and voice my opinions in the classroom. I hope my classmates will challenge the logic of this ideology as well."
  • On April 20, 2023, the college published a scholarly article titled "Seeing Beneath the Surface: Using Critical Race Theory to Uncover Racial Inequities in the U.S. Public School System," which is summarized as follows: "Many policies and practices perpetuate racial inequities and stereotypes, harming and neglecting the young people in American schools. This paper uses Critical Race Theory as a lens or framework to understand the circumstances in which educational inequities are exacerbated and what systemic barriers and beliefs maintain them."
  • Professor of Sociology Melissa Weiner is "rooted in critical race and decolonial scholarship" and "identifies and theorizes white supremacist mechanisms of racism and colonialism in the US and internationally."
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Race and Religion, Professor Nathan D. Wood-House, "teaches and researches critical race and Blackness studies, the theological imagination, and their intersection with contemporary culture."
  • Holy Cross list many of its course offerings that "address diversity, inclusion, and social justice related themes."
Symbolic Actions
  • Removed the name of the founder of the college from a residence hall.
  • The college's president "publicly diminished the psychological harm critical race theory poses to America’s children July 29 on 'The Gloria Purvis Podcast.' 'This boogeyman that some have created around critical race theory—that it’s this mind control mechanism that is going to destroy our children and make them all feel terrible about being white—is nonsense,' he said," according to media reports.
Last updated October 3rd, 2023
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