Taking Action Against Racism

In truth, there is only one legitimate response to the fact of anti-Black racism and the damage it inflicts. That response is opposition.”
— President Biddy Martin

The goal of a liberal arts education is to fight prejudice and ignorance with knowledge and understanding, changing the world for the better. At this pivotal moment in the nation’s history, we have an opportunity to join together to fight systemic racism, racist prejudices, and discrimination.

At Amherst, we are committed to taking action. This website and our Anti-Racism Action Plan are two indications of that commitment. Enacting real and lasting change, however, takes the ongoing efforts of the entire community. Spontaneous statements of anti-racism support that have appeared on many academic departments’ websites are an indication of the widespread support that is necessary to make our Amherst community truly equitable and inclusive.

President Martin listens while a student talks at the Amherst Uprising

The 19-Point Anti-Racism Action Plan

President Biddy Martin sent an updated plan to the community on October 4, 2021

Presidential Scholars

bookscovers: A Terrible Thing to Waste, by Harriet Washington; The Lies that Bind: Rethining Identity, by Kwame Anthony Appiah; The Committed, by Viet Thanh Nguyen; The Disordered Cosmos, by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Distinguished Voices in Anti-Racist Scholarship

The Presidential Scholars Program brings distinguished voices in anti-racist scholarship and policy to Amherst for short-term residencies. Each Scholar presents a lecture, holds seminars, visits classes, and more.

Presidential Scholars
a student presents her science research

Racial Justice Resources

Find solidarity spaces, support circles, reading lists, resource guides, and Amherst College courses about racism and racial justice.

President’s Colloquium on Race and Racism

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and Ibram X. Kendi

Virtual Conversations

Hosted by President Biddy Martin, this series of talks centers the voices of scholars studying intersections of race and American democracy.

President’s Colloquium
Portraits of speakers in the provosts series

Provost Lecture Series: The History of Anti-Black Racism in America

In this virtual series, four of the nation’s foremost scholars of African American history introduce key issues in legal and political history, exploring the history of anti-Black racism in America.

Professor Allen Hart talking with students

Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion supports the growth of a just, equitable, vibrant, and intellectually challenging educational environment, and a culture of engagement.

screenshot of letter

Alumni Letter on Racism, Truth, and Responsibility

Read the letter written by Chaka Laguerre ’08 and signed by over 350 alumni, sent on June 10, 2020 to President Biddy Martin and Provost and Dean of the Faculty Catherine Epstein.