The Beyond Racial Equity Strategic Review launched in the summer of 2020 in support of the #ESOCWeekOfAction and Access: Student Disability Union’s Action Plan for Disability Justice. In addition to Emerson’s Community Equity Action Plan, the College recognized that we can benefit from the perspectives and recommendations from an external party with expertise analyzing equity in systems and structures. The outcome of the work with Beyond Racial Equity will be a report of findings and recommendations delivered to the College in March 2022.

Project Overview

Discovery (September through December)

  • Gather comprehensive information from students, faculty, and staff about the equity experience at Emerson.
  • Interviews and focus groups with stakeholders that represent a broad perspective.

Institutional and Stakeholder Review (January through February)

  • Continue focus groups and launch the virtual HiveWise conversation. platform to gather input from the full Emerson Community.

Strategic Planning (February through March)

  • Share initial findings in a strategic planning session. Review collective recommendations for consideration in the final report.

Findings and Recommendation Communication (March)

  • Final report released and Emerson determines next steps.

Current Phase

Beyond Racial Equity is currently in the Discovery Phase, gathering comprehensive information from students, faculty, and staff about the equity experience at Emerson. Throughout November 2021, BRE has been meeting with a number of stakeholders across the college, including students, faculty, staff, and administrators. 

Project Timeline

Summer 2021

  • June 2021: Request for Proposals (RFP) released for external consultants to conduct a structural and systemic analysis of barriers that interfere with the ability of BIPOC students, students with disabilities, and students with other marginalized identities to feel a sense of belonging and thrive at Emerson. 
    July: RFPs reviewed and narrowed to two competitive bids.
    August: RFP awarded to Beyond Racial Equity (BRE).
    September: BRE begins working with an Emerson project team. The project team includes Ruthanne Madsen, Alayne Fiore, and Jae Williams. (Additional staff members Tony Pinder and Samantha Ivery are added in November.) 

Fall 2021

  • October: Discovery Phase launched. Emerson shares historical data and current information to BRE, including surveys, articles and blog entries written by student organizations, the #ESOCWeekOfAction Student Demands and Access: Student Disability Union’s Action Plan for Disability Justice, and institutional communications related to the Presidential Working Group for Community & Equity. BRE joins the Presidential Advisory Group for Community & Equity to share a project overview and updates and answer questions about the scope of the project.
  • November: BRE holds individual interviews and focus groups with students, faculty, staff, and administrators to gather as much information as possible about the equity experience at Emerson. These discussions have included gathering information about roles and responsibilities, equity-related experiences and actions, and general perceptions of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice by students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
  • December: BRE compiles information and results from Discovery Phase and determines gaps in information to seek out in the Institutional and Stakeholder Phase starting in January.

Spring 2022

  • January: BRE invites community members for additional meetings and focus groups. HiveWise virtual conversation platform is launched to gather input from students, faculty, staff, and administrators across all areas of Emerson. 
  • February: BRE analyzes information gathered and writes a report that includes both findings and recommendations.
  • March: Strategic Planning sessions and report of findings and recommendations will be submitted. 

Questions regarding the Beyond Racial Equity Strategic Review can be submitted to communityequity [at] emerson.edu or info [at] beyondracialequity.com.