Diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice are values central to the Mills mission
of fostering academic excellence, creativity, and innovation and graduating global
citizens and leaders. These values are essential to advance the change needed to become
an antiracist institution and to realize a dynamic new Mills College at Northeastern University, which will sustain and expand the reach of Mills’ rich legacy. Equity in the transition
will include preserving our historic commitment to women’s education and gender equity
while furthering our more recent commitment to antiracism.
During this year of transition for Mills, we remain committed to working towards becoming
an antiracist institution and acknowledge our responsibility to undo racism on campus
Prioritizing curricular reform and changing behavior through ongoing engagement, training,
Providing support and resources that meet the needs of our BIPOC community members
and ensuring diversity among our faculty, staff, and student body through equitable
recruitment and hiring processes;
Developing effective reporting systems and restorative justice practices; and
Dismantling systemic racism to proactively prevent adverse acts specifically against
the BIPOC community.
Antiracism initiatives started both campus-wide and within divisional areas in 2020.
Each division aspires to make every individual feel safe, supported, and included
at all times and to create space in which the BIPOC community is lifted up while continuing
the journey toward eliminating racism and improving equality. Summarized below are
notable accomplishments from the Board of Trustees and each divisional area at Mills
College through the close of 2021.
Established an Antiracism Working Group (ARWG) of the board to reckon with issues
of racial bias and discrimination within the campus community and to promote antiracism,
equity, and racial justice throughout campus policies and practices.
Proposed incorporating the review and assessment of College antiracism initiatives
as a strategic responsibility of each of the board’s standing committees, approved
by the board in October 2020.
Implemented a six-month long educational training program.
Compiled a summary and recommendations report (PDF) of the board’s efforts to understand, assess, and address anti-Black racism,
antiracism, equity, inclusion, and social justice on campus and within the national
context, approved by the board in October 2021.
Framed the Mills Institute to build on the legacy of Mills College while striving to meet changing educational
needs in higher education—with particular commitment to gender and racial justice
and the advancement of women, gender nonbinary individuals, and communities of color—through
programs and partnerships that support transformative teaching and learning, research,
and career development for women, gender nonbinary individuals, and historically marginalized
racial and ethnic communities.
Through a 2018 Mellon Foundation Presidential grant, departments received subgrants
that have allowed faculty to realize equity-centered projects involving curriculum
revisions, antiracism training, syllabus review—all of which aim to better serve a
diverse student population.
Revised the faculty hiring process to include regular analysis of diversity data,
enhanced recruitment focusing on venues and organizations for faculty of color, training
of search committees, a required diversity advocate, and a diversity plan for each
Increased the percentage of BIPOC students admitted to Mills and maintained race and
class equity across retention rates and reducing the gaps that do exist.
Compiled a list of BIPOC-based recruitment sites to help diversify applicant pools
for job vacancies. Held sustainability events and developed programs in collaboration
with DEI groups and organizations on and off campus.
The transition toward Mills College at Northeastern University includes:
Engaging Mills’ existing Intersectional Antiracism Team (IAT) to outline an equity
infrastructure for the new college (fall 2021);
Bringing an external antiracism consultant to conduct focus groups and training workshops
Examining and improving Mills’ systems, policies, and practices, including response
protocols and restorative justice practices;
Listening to our BIPOC leaders, colleagues, and communities on and off campus (ongoing);
Supporting vulnerable members of our community through affinity groups and effective
grievance processes (ongoing);
Funding innovative antiracism work, training, and tools (ongoing); and
Connecting to diversity, equity, and inclusion leaders at Northeastern University
and embracing Northeastern’s emphasis on experiential learning and outside partnerships
Thanking Our Community
We are grateful for the tremendous efforts made by Mills’ BIPOC community leaders
on campus, in particular members of the AAMC Alumnae of Color Committee, the Asian
Student Alliance, the Black Faculty and Staff Association, the Black Student Collective,
the Indigenous Women’s Alliance, the Intersectional Antiracism Team (IAT), the Latinx
Student Collective, the Muslim Student Alliance, the National Black MBA Association
(NBMBAA), the South Asian Student Alliance, the Trans and Gender-nonconforming Club,
the White Accountability Group, and countless faculty and staff advisors who have
sought to combat racism on campus through numerous initiatives and by engaging regularly
with leadership across campus. These groups will continue to meet with leadership
members to share ideas and recommendations for this year and beyond. We also thank
the Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Committee (formerly the Diversity and Social
Justice Committee) that started the College's formal diversity, equity, and inclusion