St. Olaf College | News

Equity and Inclusion Update

A yellow "Equity and Inclusion Update" image with black and white lettering.

This is part of a new series of regular updates that Interim Vice President for Equity and Inclusion María Pabón Gautier sends to the campus community.

This has been a difficult, painful, and emotionally taxing week. There has been so much loss and injustice surrounding our communities of color that I know I am having a hard time quieting my mind and heart, and I imagine many of you are feeling the same. I was faced with the question “How do you pour from an empty glass?” Many of our BIPOC students, staff, and faculty have been pouring from an empty glass for a while now. However, they are still showing up and whether they want to or not, they are having to do this work. Believe me, I see you and I feel you — and I call on the rest of our community to step up and do this work, because the burden and work needs to be spread across all Oles. During this time when we mourn, feel anger, and grieve due to the murder of Daunte Wright, I encourage you to examine individually and in your communities white supremacy, anti-Blackness, racism, and the engrained violence in our systems.

What can you do?
(Thank you to some of our staff and faculty who have shared resources!)

Remembering our Pioneers
On Tuesday, April 13, William “Bill” Green passed away. Mr. Green — or Bill, as he was known by many of our students — was the former Director of Multicultural Affairs and Community Outreach (MACO) and an Assistant Dean of Community Life and Diversity. He worked to create an inclusive environment and raise the level of cultural awareness and appreciation for ethnic differences on campus. Many of us who interacted with him knew the impact his work made on our College. I know that the work I do, I do because I stand on the shoulders of people like Bill Green. He will be remembered and missed.

Derek Chauvin Trial Resources
Community of Lights. This Monday, April 19, between 12 and 2 p.m. at The Pause is the last time that the Taylor Center will have available paper bags and decorating materials so each person can create their own paper bag luminary. Each bag will be displayed at Boe Chapel. Art and creation is a natural way of healing for many communities, especially communities of color.

Understanding the Derek Chauvin Trial Verdict. I will be inviting back attorney Barry Cattadoris to discuss and unpack the Derek Chauvin trial verdict. Save the Date: April 23, 2021 at 3 p.m.. More information to follow next week.

We are constantly adding new information to our Derek Chauvin Trial Resources page, including conversation spaces, community care, self-care, healing, and opportunities to learn and understand the different components of the trial.

Co-Creating an Inclusive Community
We are moving forward and going strong with our Co-Creating an Inclusive Community Initiative. To give you a sense of the power of our community and our participation, here are some exciting numbers: In the last two weeks we have met with 15 groups, and approximately 227 students, staff, and faculty have participated in at least one co-creating session.Thank you to our wonderful facilitators and to our offices, departments, and student groups who have engaged so deeply in this work! To learn more about the Co-Creating an Inclusive Community initiative visit the website.

Opportunities for Development on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism
For Black Folx: Black Survival and Wellness Resources



Dr. María C. Pabón Gautier
Interim Vice President for Equity and Inclusion
Director of the Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion