Chemistry Anti-Racism Action Committee (CARAC)

The Chemistry Anti-Racism Action Committee (CARAC) is composed of students, staff, and faculty members who regularly meet to brainstorm new initiatives, process suggestions from the larger community, and interface with the department. Ultimately, the goal of CARAC is to support the Chemistry Department in upholding its commitments to anti-racism. Please email,, or for questions about this committee.

Goals of CARAC

  • Continuing work within the Amherst Chemistry department. Now in its sixth semester, CARAC continues to expand its footprint within the Chemistry Department. CARAC will continue building resources, empowering students, making space for hard conversations, and ensuring that the department upholds its commitments to anti-racism. They are excited to continue expanding their student membership.
  • Strengthening connections across Amherst. CARAC is coordinating with student and faculty groups across other STEM departments at Amherst as well as other campus partners, such as the Center for Restorative Practices (CRP) and Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) to build robust networks and deeper conversations. They hope to arrange a discussion, facilitated by the CRP, in which students from different STEM groups can share experiences and learn from each other.
  • Reaching out beyond Amherst. Recently, CARAC student interns have presented the committee’s work at the Massachusetts PKAL Regional Network Winter Meeting and the AAC&U Conference on Diversity, Equity, and Student Success. Support for students’ attendance at the AAC&U conference was provided by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI).

CARAC Programs and Initiatives

Chemistry Seminars hosted by CARAC
2020-2021 academic year:
  • Welcome back during the first week of the Fall semester:  "Summer in The Chemistry Department"
  • “Critical Mass Takes Courage: Diversity in the Chemical Sciences” 
  • “Chem-unity Building: Chemistry Goes HSTEM”
    • Participants were directed to reflect on their own Being Human in STEM (HSTEM) story and then create a short presentation. Breakout rooms were created to give people the opportunity to share stories to promote a sense of community and humanity across the College. Common themes were recorded at conclusion of event.
2021-2022 academic year:
  • "Chem-unity Reflection Power Hour"
    • Community-building HSTEM workshop, followed by a community T-Shirt dying activity
    • (Link to Chem-unity picture of posters or mini gallery view of all pictures)
  • "Chemistry DEI Fisbowl Discussion"
    • This Cheminar, led by CARAC, gathered student input on a Chemistry DEI requirement. CARAC facilitated a student led discussion aimed at gathering student perspectives on what a DEI requirement course should look like for the Chemistry Major. DEI requirement was successfully added to Chemistry Major Fall 2021.
2022-2023 academic year:
  • "Creating a hiring rubric for new faculty"
    • Collaborative workshop in which students put together a rubric for evaluating future faculty candidates