What Does Race Have to Do With It? 1

This year has laid bare our country’s stark racial and social inequalities. Starting in the spring, the coronavirus pandemic disproportionately infected communities of color. Then, after the killing of George Floyd, protests against police brutality swept the country. In higher education, students and alumni, faculty and staff members have fired up their own efforts to achieve racial equity and inclusion.

When social-justice movements become earthquakes that shake the nation, college campuses are inevitably close to the epicenter. For years, people have advocated for their institutions to become racially diverse and inclusive places. You can hear echoes of past pushes in some of the demands activists are making today: They want their colleges to hire more professors of color, rename buildings that commemorate men who supported segregation or the Confederacy, re-examine policing, diversify the curriculum, and better serve students who reflect the general population.

Almost everyone in higher education — and on your campus — feels the impact of race, but they feel it from different vantages. Our new newsletter Race on Campus will help you understand: Where are they coming from? How are conversations unfolding across the country? And what can colleges actually do to become more equitable places? As we answer these and other questions — including yours — please join us. Log in to, or create, your free Chronicle account, and sign up to receive Race on Campus.

Every Tuesday, starting in December, the newsletter will explore the experiences of your students and colleagues and provide context for the stories and movements shaping colleges. Become part of this new, thoughtful community of readers.