In June 2020, the Santa Clara University Alumni Association joined the national conversation on systemic racism and made a public commitment to better serve all alumni, and specifically our Black community.
Over the past 12 months, we have continuously collaborated with alumni, current students, administrators, faculty, staff, and community advocates to cultivate generous encounters, engage in meaningful conversations, and implement actions that will help us build a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive alumni family.
After sharing our mid-year update in December 2020, we now share our progress since January 2021:
- SCU named T. Shá Duncan Smith as the first Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Alison M. Benders as the first Vice President for Mission and Ministry. Alumni representatives participated on both selection committees and we are planning opportunities for alumni to engage directly with both Shá and Alison, including during Grand Reunion Weekend.
- The Alumni Identity Council was formed in October 2020 and consists of leaders from all seven alumni identity-based communities. Following the November 2020 kick-off meeting, the council met in January 2021 with key student leaders, and again in March, to learn how alumni can financially support Santa Clara’s DEI programs and initiatives.
- We’re happy to report that more than one-third of the $3.5 million raised during SCU’s 2021 Day of Giving was designated for student scholarships or assistance, including scholarships devoted for students from underrepresented communities.
- In order to provide a more personalized experience, Broncos can now proactively opt-in to receive identity-based community emails and communications.
- The Alumni Association posted support resources in response to the rise of attacks on Asians and Asian Americans across the nation.
- The Alumni Relations Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group, consisting of two members of the Alumni Relations staff and eight members of the National Alumni Board of Directors:
- Worked with the Office for Diversity & Inclusion (ODI) to arrange implicit bias training for the Alumni Board Nominating Committee before a slate of new members was selected
- In collaboration with the OML, is developing a Racial Justice Workshop for the Alumni Relations staff, Alumni Association Board of Directors, and key alumni community leaders that will take place this fall
- Added Alumni Board member Alex Lopez ’99 to the Athletic Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which is developing a comprehensive plan to aid Santa Clara Athletics in racial justice reform
- We added a channel for alumni to report any incidents of discrimination by staff, other University representatives, or attendees at Alumni Association events and programs.
- The link can also be found on our Alumni Association Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion webpage.
- Looking forward, we plan to:
- Hire an Assistant Director, Community Engagement—Student & Identity who will work with our identity-based communities and lead current student engagement efforts
- Continue bi-monthly Alumni Identity Council meetings to discuss key topics including enhancing student and alumni connections, recruiting diverse candidates for faculty and staff roles, and how best to work with the Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
- Host receptions for new Asian Pacific Islander South Asian (APISA), Black, Chicanx Latinx, Middle Eastern & North African (MENA) and Native American students during Welcome Weekend on September 18, 2021
- Engage alumni at identity-based programs throughout the 2021 Grand Reunion Weekend, including:
- A conversation with the Vice Presidents for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Mission and Ministry
- An interfaith vigil
- A bilingual reunion Mass
The mission of the Alumni Association is to serve and engage the Santa Clara Family by fostering active lifelong relationships between the University and alumni. We will continue integrating DEI learning and actions into all we do so that every Bronco feels heard, and welcome to participate meaningfully in our community.
Have a wonderful summer. We look forward to seeing you in person soon!
Dr. Melina Johnson '01, M.A. '03
President, Alumni Association Board of Directors, 2019-2021
Co-President, Black Alumni Group
Santa Clara University
Kathryn Kale '86
Assistant Vice President, Alumni Relations
Santa Clara University