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Lesley University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
29 Everett St
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
Phone
(617) 868-9600
Email address
admissions@lesley.edu
School Information
"In 1909, Edith Lesley began a school to train teachers. Her progressive ideas paved the way for Lesley University, and her legacy inspires our mission today...Lesley University engages students in transformative education through active learning, scholarly research, diverse forms of artistic expression, and the integration of rigorous academics with practical, professional experience, leading to meaningful careers and continuing lifelong learning. Lesley prepares socially responsible graduates with the knowledge, skills, understanding, and ethical judgment to be catalysts shaping a more just, humane, and sustainable world." The university enrolls over 6,500 students, has over 170 faculty, and has over 35 undergraduate and 80 graduate teaching programs. (Source: https://lesley.edu/about/mission-history) (Source: https://lesley.edu/about/lesley-by-the-numbers)
General Information
Lesley University has taken steps towards ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion. Among those steps was the creation of a new Vice President for Equity Initiatives position. No mandatory Critical Race Training sessions are yet required of students. However, see developments below:

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • On December 9, 2021, the university hosted a workshop on “What Does Equity and Anti-Racism Work Look Like in Majority White Schools.”
  • On May 13, 2022, Lesley University hosted its third teach-in workshop on “Co-Constructing an Antiracist Curriculum and Community.”
  • The Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Justice Office at Lesley provides trainings and "educational offerings for students and employees that inform on the histories and current realities of oppression and the myriad of ways to advance inclusion and equity at all levels."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • As part of the General Education requirement at Lesley University, students are required to complete coursework in the categories of “Examining Power & Inequity” as well as “Ethical Reasoning, Social Action, & Civic Engagement.”
Resources
  • The university provided students and faculty with an extensive toolkit of external resources to "help dismantle systemic racism."
  • The university hosted the "Kids, Books & Anti-Racism Series 2022," which was geared toward children.
  • Lesley University faculty provide tips on how to “use children’s literature to support anti-racist education.”
  • Lesley Library offers a number of resources on Art & Ant-Racism with specific anti-racist artists and curatorial activism.
  • Lesley Library has a quote from Ibram X Kendi and offers a number of Anti-Racism Resources including resources in Identifying Biases, Allyship and Bystander Education, and Protesting & Activism.
  • The Multicultural Affairs & Social Inclusion Office at Lesley University provides educational opportunities related to race, cultural diversity, and inclusion.
  • On February 24, 2021, Lesley University hosted a lecture by bestselling young adult fiction writer Jason Reynolds who was personally selected by Dr. Ibram X Kendi to write his book, “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You.”
  • Lesley University PhD alumna Jacquelynne Bolvin turned her dissertation into a book to help educators bring “anti-racist education to small-town schools.”
  • On March 29, 2024, the Community of Scholars schedule of events included a dissertation by Johnny Cole titled "Promoting Positive White Racial Identity Development in K-12 Teachers" which is described as follows: "The time students spend in schools can play an important role in their racial identity development (RID); thus educators’ awareness of these developmental processes can help dismantle the systems of inequity within a critical race theory framework that uplift whiteness in public schools in the United States."
  • Lesley Library provides resources on Black Lives Matter and refers to the organization as "[the] movement that is reframing the national conversation about race."
Symbolic Actions
  • The university created a new Vice President for Equity Initiatives position.
  • The Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Justice (EDIJ) at Lesley University is “committed to fostering an environment that celebrates diversity, promotes equity, and champions social justice.”
  • The Lesley University Diversity Council (LUDC) is committed to diversity, inclusion, and social justice through “leveraging differences by addressing constructs of power and privilege, which often result in oppression, marginalization, and discrimination.”
  • Lesley's 2023 Strategic Plan states that it would "create and execute the prioritized plans that are necessary to build a community that honors our commitment to social justice and our framework for equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice...."
Last updated May 29th, 2024
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