At Mercyhurst, students, staff and faculty members are working together to help solve problems relating to racism here on campus and in the community. One way that students, faculty and staff have been going about this is having monthly meetings with a group on campus called the Anti-Racism Cohort. This group started over this past winter break after the group had a three-part discussion on the novel, “So You Want to Talk About Race.”
The University has had a meeting every month discussing various race-related problems to tackle and find more ways to help educate each other and the community on anti-racism efforts. This group is voluntary and consists of over 100 members.
“Each member has a strong desire and commitment toward an-ti-racism initiatives and actions,” said a main member of the cohort, Mary Bauer.
At each session, the members check in with one another regarding their own personal and professional strides in their anti-racist journey and discuss various initiatives and actions being taken on campus to encourage anti-racism. Every session is different, but the main objective of each meeting is to hold one another, and every aspect of campus, accountable in their anti-racism journey. Most of these meetings are heavy in discussion rather than trying to tackle specific objectives in each meeting.
“I think the check-ins help people stay up to date on current actions being taken on campus while also keeping anti-racism at the forefront of all our minds. Having monthly check-ins encourages all participants to actively work toward making ourselves and our environment more equitable and inclusive” Bauer said.
This group also shows the campus community that there are people taking large strides in helping make this campus and community a better and more comfortable place for everyone.
This group helps shed light on a very difficult topic to talk about and will help future students and staff at Mercyhurst. Moreover, the group is always looking for more people to join and Bauer is in charge of keeping a running list of all those who attend the sessions.
When you attend a session or express interest in the group, she adds you to the list. Once someone interested has been added to the list, they will be included in all communication that is sent out amongst the group. The group members truly believe that education begins with the willingness to listen or engage in these conversations.
“These conversations are very difficult, but necessary if we want to change the norm of society,” Bauer said. The Anti-Racism Cohort is very welcoming and encourages anyone who is even slightly interested to take a leap of faith and attend one of the meetings. “It is a great way to bond with various Mercyhurst commu-nity members and grow not only personally, but professionally as well,” Bauer said.
If anyone has any questions regarding this group or future check-ins, they are encouraged to reach out to anyone in the group, or Mary Bauer herself, as she is one of the main sources of communication for the group. You can also contact other group members like Garrett Freas or Kiara Booker.