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University of Southern Maine

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
96 Falmouth St
Portland, Maine 04104
(800) 800-4876
Email address
School Information
"USM is at the heart of Maine's most exciting metropolitan region — from Portland's lively Old Port to Lewiston's vibrant arts district to Gorham's friendly village center." The university offers over 54 majors, 82 minors, and 26 graduate degrees, as well as employing over 265 full-time faculty, and offering over 1,400 courses. (Source: (Source:
General Information
The University of Southern Maine's leadership has taken steps to encourage its students to support anti-racism. The university president urged students to sign a pledge to “practice anti-racist behaviors.” Only the number of people who sign the pledge will be released, not the students' names. No mandatory Critical Race Training sessions are yet required of students. However, see developments below:

Actions Taken

Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • USM's Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Community Impact trainings include: "microaggressions, implicit bias, gender identity, and anti-racism and whiteness."
  • The Anti-Racism Institute at USM creates "intensive programming for faculty who are interested in deepening their antiracist and anti-oppressive praxis, and workshop series for faculty who are interested in content-specific antiracist and anti-oppressive pedagogies and classroom practices."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • USM's Core Curriculum includes the study of "Culture, Power, and Equity" which is described as follows: "Students engage in critical examination of and self-reflection on issues of privilege and oppression and enhance students’ capacities to analyze systems of power, privilege, and inequality and their intersections, to examine cultural narratives that maintain and/or challenge those systems, and to reflect on and apply theoretical knowledge they gain from such critical examination."
Disciplinary Measures
  • USM's Bias Incident Report Form states that the university "encourages all faculty, staff, and students to report incidents of bias or harassment" and that the form should be "used by USM students, faculty, and staff to report incidents of bias based on, but not limited to, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, [and] gender identity...."
Political Actions and Support for Anti-Racism
  • University president urged students to sign a pledge to “practice anti-racist behaviors.” Number of people who sign the pledge will be released.
Program and Research Funding
  • As part of the UMS Transforms program, grant money is being funded to promote DEI, specifically for students as well as for other goals such as curricular development in addition to recruitment and retention.
  • USM's 2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog includes the Race and Ethnic Studies Minor which is "designed to familiarize students with the historical, social, intellectual, and cultural production of race and ethnicity."
  • Students who take USM's Social Justice Minor "develop a reflexive awareness of their identities and relationships to power, privilege, oppression, trauma, and healing."
  • USM has "hired high-level administrations to head up DEI efforts."
  • The University of Southern Maine created President's Five-Year Plan outlining goals which "include the adoption of aggressive affirmative action plans, the hiring of a DEI hiring coordinator, substantial curricular developments like learning-living communities and associated new programs, and a rebooting of the Intercultural Student Engagement Center."
  • The school "adopted a full-fledged 'diversity' requirement in its 2021-2012 catalog."
  • The school "began offering a 'Women and Gender Studies: Social Justice Minor and Certificate' in 2021," teaching "anti-racist and political economy debates about racialized capitalism."
  • On February 8, 2023, USM's Bertha Crosley Ball Center for Compassion hosted an event titled "Bridging the Knowledge Gap Between Race and Faith: Toward a Model of Love, Healing, and Social Justice" which explored the "the dynamics of race and faith by honing in on the present-day complex relationship between critical race theory (CRT) and communities of faith."
  • USM Libraries provide a variety of anti-racism resources, including "How to be an Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi and "White Fragility" by Robin DiAngelo.
  • On April 23, 2023, USM held a concert titled "Weather" which took a "hard look at the climate in America in 2020 taking into consideration systematic racism and the Black Lives Matter movement as well as the Coronavirus and climate change."
Symbolic Actions
  • USM has instituted "an independent committee on campus - Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Council - charged with expanding and deepening its DEI mission."
  • In September of 2020, the school appointed an Associate Vice President for Equity.
  • USM Libraries has issued the following statement in support of antiracism: "The USM Libraries unequivocally condemn racism. We stand in solidarity with our students, faculty, staff, and community members of color; with Maine's Black community; and with all those calling for an end to the legacy of racist violence."
Last updated February 20th, 2024
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