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Macalester University

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
1600 Grand Ave
St, Paul, Minnesota 55105
(651) 696-6000
School Information
Macalester’s Mission: Macalester is committed to being a preeminent liberal arts college with an educational program known for its high standards for scholarship and its special emphasis on internationalism, multiculturalism, and service to society. (source:
General Information
Macalester has fully embraced the messages of anti-racism and social justice.: "At Macalester College, we’re painting a different picture of what a liberal arts education can be—one where challenging academics inspire personal, social, and intellectual growth. With special emphasis on internationalism, multiculturalism, and service to society, a Macalester education prepares students to thrive in a globally connected world." and "Our students graduate prepared to advance social justice and lead in a complex and diverse world." - Marjorie Trueblood, Dean of Multicultural Life.

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • Two Macalester professors discuss their realization of the "need to become an antiracist professor."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • As a part of Macalester’s ongoing effort to pursue equity and diversity, it has joined the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) consortium in their new anti-racism initiative. The initiative will provide participating colleges access to professional development, community building and data collection with the hopes of tackling institutional and structural racism.
  • Macalester hosts an annual Critical Theory Symposium.
  • The library at Macalester offers an extensive set of resources on anti-racism.
  • The 27th Annual International Roundtable (IRT) was titled " Facing Pandemics of Disease and Race: Radically Reimagining for Liberatory Futures" and was held from November 12-13, 2020. The event expanded on a summer webinar series titled "Untangling Racial Politics and Ontologies: Local and Global Antagonisms and Possibilities."
  • IGC has a seminar series on "Equity, Justice, and Difference at Home and Abroad".
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • Macalester has an entire department devoted to Critical Theory, and offers it as a concentration among its major disciplines.
  • Macalester offers extensive resources in what they call "anti-racist pedagogy" that informs much of their academic life.
  • Macalester has a course called "Ethnic Studies and Campus Activism", which was made possible through a collaborative effort by the Annan Institute for Global Citizenship, Department of Multicultural Life, and Department of American Studies.
Faculty/Staff Requirements
  • Macalester uses affirmative action in its faculty hiring process. The Annan IGC Dean serves as the Faculty Affirmative Action Officer for faculty hires and works with the Provost to assign affirmative action representatives to search committees for all hires for tenure-track and tenured positions; host a workshop for Search Chairs; and gather affirmative action resources for search committees.
Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism
  • Democracy in Action offers students an opportunity to earn academic credit for engaging in political action in the Fall 2020 semester through the Democracy in Action Seminar Course (INTD-392 or INTD-394). Students can earn 2 or 4 academic credits for working on a political campaign or completing another form of direct, civically engaged political action.
  • Macalester encourages students to join in activism and anti-racist work. The Division of Student Affairs provides copious resources to help students become activists.
Program and Research Funding
  • Macalester has a Racial Justice Project Fund that supports proposals from Macalester students, faculty, and staff that will help expand the college’s racial justice work. This effort is funded through annual gifts to the Macalester Fund’s Racial Equity Support designation.
  • The Field Changers Fellows Program is a new Macalester initiative intended to provide a "community and support for students in the humanities whom faculty have noted as having particular potential to transform their disciplinary field." Each year, Macalester selects up to four talented sophomores to participate in the program. During fall and spring semesters, Fellows will convene regularly to discuss issues of diversity and equity in the humanities; attend fall and spring colloquia featuring faculty, alumni and outside speakers offering advice about "how to challenge disciplinary norms"; and receive guidance about applying to graduate school, including funding for a GRE preparatory course and the GRE exam.
  • The Bonner Community Scholars is a four-year program for students who are "passionate about civic engagement and eliminating systematic inequalities, demonstrate community involvement, embrace working in a team setting, have leadership potential, and a commitment to the Bonner mission of 'Access to Education & Opportunity to Serve.'"
  • Macalester lists itself as a founding member of the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance (LACRELA) which "aims to address racial inequities at liberal arts colleges."
  • Macalester's Alumni Board put together an Alumni Anti-Racism Resource page.
  • Within the Dewitt Wallace Library, the "Counterbalance" contains a selection of materials from the Macalester College Archives, as well as student projects that "speak to unofficial narratives and events, and most importantly, to student resistance and resilience, that demonstrates student ability to build meanings and communities in the face of traditional systems and structures which haven’t always welcomed or included them."
  • Housed within the Dewitt Wallace Library, "The Timeline of the History of Multiculturalism and Internationalism at Macalester" includes the history of important alumni, moments, and locations of activism, diversity, equity, and inclusion at Macalester.
  • The Jan Serie Center for Scholarship and Teaching offers many resources for faculty and scholars related to equity and justice.
  • The Kofi Annan Institute for Global Citizenship (IGC) strives to be a "collaborative space for reimagining what a world that is focused on equity and justice could look like." IGC offers resources for faculty and staff development and houses several programs and fellowships that support students of color.
  • The Challenging Complicities project emerged as part of the 2020 International Roundtable. Under the theme "Facing Pandemics of Disease and Race: Radically Rethinking for Liberatory Futures", this project provides opportunities for departments to dive into the ongoing questions that emerge from the 2020 IRT them as they pertain to our own work. Guiding questions for discussion include "What are the colonial roots of your discipline?", "How is the discipline connected to institutions, practices, and ideologies of anti-Blackness and white supremacy?", "How do we collectively (as an institution) reproduce anti-Blackness and structural/systemic racism through our policies, practices, systems, structures, and assumptions about students?"
  • Macalester has "Immersive Faculty/Staff Development" initiatives such as Faculty Development International Seminars, which strives to foster exploration of new pedagogical approaches and reflections on "engaging political and cultural issues across disciplines and identities."
  • Macalester has BIPOC Faculty Cohort Programs such as the Roots Early Career Faculty Group and the Mid-Career BIPOC Faculty Group. The early cohort focuses on community building, networking, social support specifically with regards to "issues of marginalization in the institution and mental health"; knowledge sharing; and political advocacy for issues that NTT and pre-tenure BIPOC faculty face.
  • Macalester is a member of the "Consortium for Faculty Diversity", which was founded as an association of liberal arts colleges committed to strengthening the ethnic diversity of students and of faculty members at liberal arts colleges.
  • Macalester has an Office of the Vice President for Institutional Equity.
  • The Cultural House is a living-learning community for students interested in "liberatory education, community engagement, and anti-racism movement building". The 2023-24 residents are required to be enrolled in the EDU 194 First Year Course: We Demand! Student Power, World Building, and Democratizing Higher Education, which looks at critical ethnic studies, local community activism, the global movement to decolonize higher education, and the history of Macalester College.
  • Campus Reform reported that Macalester College is offering "weightlifting for women of color" as part of its "anti-racism" efforts.
  • The Lealtad-Suzuki Center for Social Justice "[interrogates its] lived experiences and center the voices of those marginalized in our society with the goals of building strong relationships, critical consciousness, and collective liberation."
Symbolic Actions
  • "HONORING THE LAND AND ITS PEOPLE Macalester is located in Saint Paul on the stolen homelands of the Dakota people. Today, we work to honor the land and its people. At Mac, our Indigenous students build community on and off campus—from our Proud Indigenous People for Education (PIPE) student organization, interdisciplinary indigenous studies courses, to internships with Indigenous-centered organizations." Macalester has fully embraced the messages of anti-racism and social justice.
  • According to a statement by the college president, "Macalester condemns anti-Black racism, white supremacy, and other forms of bigotry."
  • Macalester partnered with The Posse Foundation and will be providing 10 students from the Twin Cities with full tuition scholarships starting for the Fall 2022 semester.
  • The university held a discussion on "Misogynoir and Sustaining AntiBlackness" in April 2022.
  • Macalester is creating a new Vice President position to "lead the college in the fostering of inclusive excellence in learning and teaching, institutional equity, and community flourishing." This new role will be responsible for advancing its anti-racism and social justice goals, "removing barriers" for members of underrepresented groups, improving intercultural relations, and fostering a safe and welcoming campus climate.
  • MacTogether, Macalester’s alumni advancement team, states that it affirms the college’s antiracism statement and strives for equity and inclusion in all of its work.
  • The Psychology Department has a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plan.
Last updated November 23rd, 2023
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