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Emerson College

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
120 Boylston St
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
(617) 824-8500
Email address
School Information
"Emerson College draws independent minds from diverse backgrounds around the world through its highly regarded academic programs in communication, the arts, and the liberal arts. "Energized by engagement with the creative life of Boston, Los Angeles, and the Netherlands, our students are creative thinkers and doers who develop their own personal voice and expertise in professions that profoundly shape society and culture in the 21st century." The college enrolls over 4,400 students and has 24 majors and over 30 minors. (Source: (Source: (Source:
General Information
Emerson College has recently hosted a panel discussing the removal of "offensive monuments". Whether the college will be taking action after the panel is not clear. No mandatory Critical Race Training sessions are yet required of students. However, see developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • Emerson's School of the Arts states that it would "support the College’s efforts to recruit students of diverse backgrounds by creating enrollment and pathway programs."
  • As part of the "Beyond Racial Equity Strategic Review Report and Recommendations" update, the Vice President for Equity & Social Justice at Emerson stated (October 2022), "To better retain and support students, staff, and faculty historically and traditionally excluded from higher education, and invest in their growth to ensure their success, the College will form a Retention Working Group focused on BIPOC students, international students, students with disabilities, and all students with marginalized identities."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • Emerson College Vice Provost for Internationalization and Equity contributed to an article on mandating CRT training in which he stated, “the very essence of a liberal education makes teaching of Critical Race Theory an educational imperative.”
  • The School of the Arts at Emerson will "work with CITL to develop training for department chairs and faculty mentors on equitable practices of recruitment, mentoring, and retention." The school also states that "SoArts faculty and staff will participate in an intercultural fluency workshop every three years...workshops will feature mentoring/training on pedagogy for diversity, equity, and inclusion."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • Regarding its curriculum, Emerson's School of the Arts states that "each department and program will review and, if necessary, redesign first-year and second-year level required core-courses in both studies and practice for diverse content and inclusive methods." Additionally, "departments and the School will work with Academic Affairs to draft program review guidelines related to diversity, equity, and inclusion."
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • In response to the "Community Equity Action Plan" which states - "every employee at Emerson College to undergo racial bias training," Emerson would "Develop a sustainable curriculum of racial bias training for staff" and "Introduce racial bias training into new employee orientation." These trainings "will be required of all employees."
Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism
  • The Social Justice Center at Emerson College hosts weekly discussions to take solidarity in calls to anti-racist action.
Program and Research Funding
  • Emerson's "Dean's Fellows for Racial Equity and Leadership Development" is described as follows: "Fellows work closely with the Dean’s leadership team (department chairs, associate deans and program directors), faculty, BIPOC and other student organizations to facilitate dialogue and actions promoting racial justice, equity, healing and inclusion within the academic environment."
  • The Social Justice Collaborative at Emerson "works with and supports individuals and communities through personal and systems advocacy, community-centered projects, and radical care." SJC believes in "individual and community self-determination and work[s] in support of the agency of students, faculty, and staff, especially those from marginalized groups."
Re-Imagining Policing
  • In response to the "Community Equity Action Plan," Emerson has taken several measures to change how its police department interacts with the Emerson community which included the following action: "Work specifically with ECAPS, CHW, and HRE to reinforce and promote staff and resources that provide alternatives to contacting ECPD, with specific focus on RA training. Create alternative hotline."
  • In response to the student led demonstrations of 2021 by the organization Protesting Oppression with Education Reform (POWER), the college created the Community Equity Action Plan that focuses on dismantling systemic oppression, racism, embedded power and privilege, and create a culture of accountability by taking direct actions on each of the protestors demands that range from redistributing Emerson College Police Department funds, issuing a public apology by the college, increase funding and support for diverse students, require anti-racist training to all staff, and conducting an entire college anti-racist curriculum review.
  • The Emerson College Library provides the “Radical Guide for Social Justice: Anti-Racist Practices” with numerous resources on anti-racism, activism, white fragility, critical race theory, and social justice including readings from Ibram X. Kendi and many others.
  • Beginning January 2022, Emerson College professor Kim McLarin was appointed as the College’s Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies. McLarin is an author and known for her racially divisive anti-white rhetoric where she states that blacks and whites cannot be friends and that she herself does not trust white people.
  • The college hosted numerous Teach-Ins on Race with topics ranging from Critical Race Theory, Social Justice, Power of Activism, and Accountability.
  • In 2023, Emerson has continued its ongoing "Teach-In on Race" lecture series which has included events titled; "Lessons from Combahee: What Black Resistance Can Teach Higher Ed," "Teaching While Black: How Cultural Legacies, Creative and Communication Arts Education, and Institutional Racism Have and Are Impacting the Experiences of Black Professors," and "Talking About Race."
  • Demand one of the "Community Equity Action Plan" states that "Every Emerson College course must undergo an anti-racist syllabus review and audit conducted by an organization or third party approved by students by Fall 2021." According to this webpage, "The tasks for these demands are in progress."
  • Emerson has many college-wide committees including the "Educational Equity and Justice Council" which "Reflects on, advocates for, and prioritizes projects of educational equity and social justice in the academic and extracurricular life of the College, including pedagogy, curricula, faculty training and support, and the cultural climate."
  • On June 15, 2023, Emerson's Board of Trustees issued a "Trustee Diversity Statement and Commitment," which reads as follows: "The Board felt strongly that it should create and share a clear statement about how diversity, equity and social justice play into decision-making for the College, particularly following the Beyond Racial Equity strategic review. In a political climate where DEI in higher education is being demonized and dismantled in some locations, the statement is a pillar demonstrating that Emerson remains steadfastly committed to this work."
  • In September 2022, Emerson published the "Beyond Racial Equity’s Strategic Review Full Report & Recommendations."
Symbolic Actions
  • The college has recently hosted a panel discussing the removal of "offensive monuments".
Last updated October 17th, 2023
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