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Grinnell College

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
1115 8th Ave
Grinnell, Iowa 50112
(641) 269-4000
Email address
School Information
"Founded in 1846, we’re a private, coed, residential liberal arts and sciences college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Our community embraces intellectual journeys of all kinds, and provides the individualized guidance to dive deeper, define new directions, and follow their passions across the world. We call ourselves Grinnellians. "We provide individually advised learning for the intellectually motivated. A place where freedom and academic rigor coexist and complement each other. And our curriculum has only one class that is required for all students. The rest is up to you." The college has a 9:1 student-faculty ratio, over 500 course offerings each year, and degrees in 27 major fields with 16 concentrations. (Source: h
General Information
Grinnell College has taken overtly political actions to support advocates of critical race theory and anti-racism. The college took political action by making a $50,000 donation to a Black Lives Matter chapter/organization. No mandatory Critical Race Training sessions are yet required of students. However, see developments below:

Actions Taken

Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • The Economics Department at Grinnell has committed to promoting "diversity and inclusion in the major," and "recognize the underrepresentation of traditionally marginalized groups in the major and acknowledge the inherently unequal world in which we study and live." To this end, the department would "commit to offering courses and course content that are relevant for students from diverse backgrounds" and would "commit to using intentional teaching practices to create an inclusive classroom environment." 
Disciplinary Measures
  • The college outlines how community members can report a bias incident and states, "A bias incident is an act of prejudice against an individual or groups based on their actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, veteran status, pregnancy, childbirth, religion, disability, creed or any other protected class."
Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism
Program and Research Funding
  • On September 1, 2022, Grinnell News announced that its Associate Professor of Education, Stephanie Jones, received a $6,000 American Philosophical Society Franklin Grant for her project titled "Mapping Racialized Trauma: A Critical Race Spatial Analysis of Counter Cartographic Narratives of Race and Racism in Schools."
  • The Racial Equity Fund at Grinnell College "provides grants to community organizations actively advancing racial equity by changing policies, institutions, or systems to address individual and/or institutional racism so that our community has a more intentional, proactive, and cooperative approach to creating a culture of equity and anti-racism."
  • The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program at Grinnell was established "to address the shortage of minority scholars on college and university campuses." The program is "open to talented undergraduates who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. who demonstrate a commitment to diversity and to diversifying the academy" and "must be planning graduate study toward a Ph.D."
  • The college's commencement speaker "developed an 'affirmative duty' technique for facilitating unlearning racism workshops. This method helps shift participants’ awareness, commitment and skill-sets toward being actively and personally anti-racist and anti-sexist, rather than remaining merely passive observers."
  • The library said that it will be, "Reviewing and revising outdated and racist catalog, metadata, and finding aid descriptions" and "Fostering an inclusive learning and working community through accessible spaces, resources, and events seamlessly accessible to faculty, students, and visitors regardless of ability and individual circumstances."
  • Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality studies at Grinnell "offers students a broad foundation in feminist, critical race, and queer scholarship and activism."
  • On August 8, 2023, Grinnell News published an article titled "Grinnell Celebrates the Launch of New Department of African Diaspora Studies," which states "in light of ongoing national conversations around affirmative action, critical race studies, and more, establishing an African diaspora studies department highlights Grinnell’s commitment to diversity."
  • The college published its 2019-2020 Diversity and Inclusion Plan which "seeks to provide a roadmap for diversity and inclusion efforts at the College."
  • On November 12, 2020, Grinnell announced that it joined the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance. Grinnell's "faculty and staff will be afforded opportunities for learning, growth, and change created by the Alliance’s resources."
Symbolic Actions
  • The college library issued a statement, "Acknowledging that libraries and archives are not neutral and have served as instruments of exclusion, colonialism, and assimilation, and by identifying ways both large and small to undo this harm."
Last updated October 27th, 2023
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