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 Announces Anti-Racism Plan

Amherst College seal

Letter to the Community

August 3, 2020

“Racism, particularly anti-Black racism, is woven into the fabric of the country,” wrote Biddy Martin in her letter introducing Amherst’s anti-racism plan. Read her full letter.

President’s Letter
President Martin listens while a student talks at the Amherst Uprising

The 17-Point Anti-Racism Action Plan

Included in President Biddy Martin’s letter to the community of August 3, 2020, these are the specific measures the College will take.

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.

Norm Jones, chief diversity and inclusion officer, leads a discussion

Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Led by Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer Norm Jones, ODEI supports the growth of a just, equitable, vibrant, and intellectually challenging educational environment, and a culture of engagement.

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.

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.