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University of Massachusetts Amherst

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
243 Whitmore Admin. Building
181 Presidents Dr
Amherst, Massachusetts 01003
Phone
(413) 545-0111
School Information
"UMass Amherst is one of the major public research universities in America. Nestled in idyllic Amherst, Massachusetts, the campus is consistently ranked among the top public research universities in the nation, and offers a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers." The university enrolls over 31,600 students, employs over 1,400 full-time faculty, and offers 110 bachelor's degree programs, five associate's, 79 master’s and 48 doctoral programs. (Source: https://www.umass.edu/gateway/about) (Source: https://www.umass.edu/gateway/about/umass-glance)
General Information
The university has been focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and anti-racist initiatives. The university has sponsored programming including "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution" and a podcast called "The Black Experience Series." It has also featured art and research projects focused on DEI. No mandatory Critical Race Training sessions are yet required of students. However, see developments below:

Actions Taken

Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • As part of the Bachelor’s degree requirements, all students must take 2 Diversity courses.
  • Based on the Dean's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Curriculum Challenge, the college of engineering is asking every faculty to submit a DEI lesson plan that is being taught to students.
Program and Research Funding
  • On September 27, 2021, the Chancellor expanded on the “ongoing commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion with additional initiatives and programs including the Black Joy, Black Healing and Black Justice Forum, launching the Black Advisory Council and increasing the funding for the Center of Racial Justice (CRJ).
Resources
  • For Black History Month, the university has sponsored programming including "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution" and a podcast called "The Black Experience Series."
  • The university also recently featured a fine arts exhibit, the online gallery, “Breathing While Black,” which "represents an international response to the recent and ongoing killing of Black Americans."
  • The university also recently showcased research on "understanding of interracial contact and communication about inequality."
  • The Committee Against Racism and for Equity (CARE) is hosting a monthly Diversity and Inclusion Discussion Series.
  • The Center for Racial Justice and Youth Engaged Research at the university is hosting a program in Spring of 2022 on “White Allies Against Racism: How to be a co-conspirator for racial justice” where students are asked to “fight racism every day by unlearning whiteness” and understand their “complicity in white supremacy.”
  • The Office of Equity and Inclusion at UMass Amherst provides numerous Anti-Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion Resources including Ibram X. Kendi’s book, How to Be an Anti-Racist.
  • The university has numerous academic departments and centers that have diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.
  • The Office of Equity and Inclusion at UMass Amherst has numerous diversity, equity and inclusion events scheduled throughout the year, including a cookout for Black Justice as well as many talks and discussions.
Symbolic Actions
  • University Professor Nilanjana Dasgupta was “appointed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Advancing Anti-racism, Diversity. Equity, and Inclusion in STEM Organizations.”
  • In July 2021, the Department of Theater in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts at the university released their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Anti-Racist Roadmap listing progress on recent initiatives including the creation of the Anti-Racism Committee.
  • On January 25, 2022, Associate Professor at UMass Amherst was quoted in a tweet by Ibram X. Kendi in reference to a recent university poll in favor of critical race theory being taught to children.
Last updated July 26th, 2022
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