St. Cloud State University’s newly created Antiracism Institute for Teaching and Research marks a renewed focus and commitment for promoting antiracist projects and scholarship with the goal of addressing racism on the individual and institutional level in education settings across the country. The institute, co-led by Drs. Kyoko Kishimoto and Mary Clifford and professors Iyekiyapiwin Darlene St. Clair and Melissa Prescott, will be a leader in the country in advancing interdisciplinary antiracist scholarship in Minnesota and beyond and will work collaboratively with Minnesota State system initiatives and K-12 institutions to promote antiracist work.
Prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion is one pillar of the It’s Time initiative that is central to turning St. Cloud State into a new university focused on making higher education accessible and welcoming to all students. It’s Time signals St. Cloud State’s dedication to prioritizing and funding research, scholarship and creative work that advances diversity, equity and inclusion and the launch of the Antiracism Institute for Teaching and Research furthers that effort.
“The Antiracism Institute for Teaching and Research envisions an antiracist society that is equitable, empowering, and liberating for all,” said St. Cloud State President Robbyn Wacker. “Our It’s Time framework has established that St. Cloud State University will be the leader in implementing sustainable ways to achieve equity and inclusion in educational settings, including at our own campus. The Antiracism Institute will also demonstrate SCSU’s commitment to invest in new and innovative antiracist projects to our benefit and other educational institutions throughout the state and country.”
The Antiracism Institute will build on existing efforts to make the university an antiracist institution. St. Cloud State University has long been committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion through the Community Anti-Racism Education (CARE) Initiative and the Antiracist Pedagogy Across the Curriculum (ARPAC) Institute, which provide campus and community members with antiracist education. The Antiracism Institute will also support the equity goals of the Minnesota State system and its Equity 2030 initiative.
“The current national and local context of the need to challenge systemic racism calls for leadership in antiracist work,” said Dr. Kyoko Kishimoto, of the Antiracism Institute. “The Antiracism Institute will help institutions and organizations implement a different, more sustainable and engaged DEI strategy.”
Faculty involved in the Antiracism Institute will facilitate conversations and projects so that antiracism is integrated throughout St. Cloud State as a model for other institutions.
About St. Cloud State and the It’s Time initiative
St. Cloud State University is reinventing to be a new university through the It’s Time initiative by building on strong foundations of academic excellence and investing in core academic areas that prepare students for dynamic careers while prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion. As part of these efforts, St. Cloud State is investing in the creation of centers and institutes to advance academic excellence. This includes the launch of the Center for International Disability Advocacy and Diplomacy and The Minnesota Institute of Technology this year to address the needs of the region and promote positive change through applied research, scholarship and creative works.