Racial Justice & Equity/DEI Programs

We are committed to supporting the efforts of our member campuses in promoting diverse learning communities for students, faculty members and staff members.

Statement on Racial Equity & Justice at Five Colleges, Incorporated

A core element of the mission of Five Colleges, Incorporated is to support and sustain a robust academic community in the Connecticut River Valley through the programs we manage on behalf of our member campuses. Doing this community-building work well requires that we engage and empower all members of the community. To that end, Five Colleges endeavors to be an anti-racist organization, that we may better fulfill our purpose and serve our member campuses.

We acknowledge the enduring legacy of racism in our country, in the institutions of higher education that we serve, and in this organization itself -- a legacy built on lands originally occupied by Indigenous peoples and with stolen labor performed by enslaved Africans and their descendants.  A commitment to achieving racial equity and justice is our moral obligation to one another, and also a necessary corollary to FCI’s community-building mission, which requires that FCI employees join as active participants in this work.

We pledge to approach our anti-racism work through:

  • Fostering a culture of belonging in which all feel safe, respected, and treated with dignity.
  • Engaging in on-going education, professional development, and reflection on our roles and responsibilities in improving the organization.
  • Routinely examining the structures, policies, and practices of FCI to identify, dismantle, and re-envision those that perpetuate inequities and injustices.
  • Actively seeking opportunities for creative improvement of FCI as an anti-racist organization.
  • Supporting and advancing campus and community efforts to achieve racial equity and justice.
  • Holding ourselves and one another accountable through ongoing evaluations, reports, and reflections.
  • Committing to approach this work with openness, humility, generosity, and compassion, allowing for mistakes and missteps as necessary to progress and preferable to inaction.

This statement affirms the motivations for our anti-racism work and the broad mechanisms for engaging in it.  Additional details and activities may be found in FCI’s Strategic Roadmap, Action Plan, and related documents.

In the parlance of Five Colleges, “Five Colleges, Incorporated” and “FCI” refer specifically to the 501(c)(3) organization and its roughly 40 employees.  The “Five College Consortium” refers to the broader Five College community, beginning with FCI staff and encompassing the 5 “member” campuses and their employees and students.

Amherst College
Angie Tissi-Gassoway
Interim Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer
Email: atissi@amherst.edu

Hampshire College
Amy Jordan and Roosbelinda Cardenas
Co-Deans of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion
Email: akjSS@hampshire.edu; rcCSI@hampshire.edu

Mount Holyoke College
Kijua Sanders-McMurtry
Vice President for Equity and Inclusion
Chief Diversity Officer
Email: kijuasm@mtholyoke.edu

Smith College
Floyd Cheung
Vice President for Equity and Inclusion
Email: fcheung@smith.edu

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Nefertiti Walker
Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion
Email: nwalker@isenberg.umass.edu

Five Colleges regularly organizes a reception for faculty and staff members of color from the five campuses. The Five College homepage will announce when the next reception is scheduled.