As a 25-year-old research center, we have grown into our identity as a collaborative, team-based model that seeks to find innovative solutions that promote equity and opportunity in communities throughout the Chicago metropolitan region and beyond. Our Governing Standards guide our discernment of potential projects. It is now time to explicitly articulate our positions and commitment to anti-racism within the center and within our discernment processes while acknowledging our failure to intentionally call out racism or practice anti-racism in the past. As a center, we are committed to further learning, growth, changes, and accountability in order to enact these inclusive and anti-racist values.
We at CURL acknowledge the continuous impact of racism and discrimination on our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) staff, faculty, fellows, and community partners. We recognize that racism exists as a form of violence in which structural and systemic oppression normalizes discriminatory treatment, police brutality, and White supremacy. This has detrimental and long-term effects on ALL communities. We also understand racism as it functions at the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, religion, gender, sexuality, disability, age, etc. and the overlapping forms of oppression upheld.
CURL is located within the larger Loyola community, and as such we must acknowledge our existence on the stolen colonized land of the Kiikaapoi, Peoria, Bodéwadmiké, and Myaamia and our existence within a historically racist institution. Recognizing our oppressive and racist roots informs our present and the ways in which BIPOC students, faculty, and staff are tokenized, marginalized from institutional support, and often harassed on and off campus. CURL thus also acknowledges that we have been complicit in both conscious and unconscious acts of racism as a center. Acknowledging our history, we stand in solidarity with our BIPOC staff, faculty, students, and community partners as we will first and foremost educate ourselves, hold ourselves accountable to uphold anti-racism, create a supportive space for BIPOC to grow and learn, and collaborate towards justice and equity.
CURL commits to challenging and addressing racism, discrimination, and marginalization as it shows up interpersonally and internally at CURL; keeping the larger Loyola institution and community accountable to upholding anti-racist policies and initiatives; and, collaborating with our community partners towards anti-racist ends in the larger Chicago community.
As a center located both within a larger university environment and deeply tied to our community neighbors, we are collectively and publicly committing to anti-racism in our practices, our research, and our relationships. We plan to actively work on these values in the following ways and we welcome our partners to reciprocate, hold us accountable, and uplift us in our active commitment towards anti-racism:
- All CURL staff, faculty, and fellows will take part in an anti-racism or diversity, equity, and inclusion training at the beginning of the academic school year. These would be an addition to any trainings required by the university.
- In line with our mission to engage in action-oriented research and policy making, we will commit to contributing to research seeking to develop anti-racist and racially equitable policy. Working with our partners to effect change and racial justice in the larger society.
- As a collaborative learning and research center, first and foremost, we will continue to learn and adopt anti-racist and anti-oppressive methodologies and research processes. We will ask the following questions throughout our projects: What theoretical frameworks are guiding our work? Do our research methods and practices reflect these anti-racist and anti-oppressive values? We will take particular care to collaboratively embed critical race theory, intersectional feminist theory, queer theory, decolonizing theory, and others in our research approach. We will use our internal Learning Exchange (LeX) spaces and community Friday Morning Seminars to further educate ourselves and our communities.
- As with our community partners, we will be intentional of the partnerships we build with funding sources and philanthropic groups as well as the grants we apply for to have a shared commitment to anti-racist values and action. We intend to fund our research in a manner that both reflects our values and furthers our commitment to anti-racism.
- Community partners are integral to CURL and our commitment to conducting research with the goal of social equity and justice. We will continue and expand our relationship-building and partnerships with communities and organizations of color across Chicago neighborhoods.
- CURL is committed to intentionally networking and building partnerships with more BIPOC faculty and staff at Loyola. We are particularly dedicated to uplifting junior staff and faculty of color in their initiatives to further anti-racism and social justice within Loyola and beyond.
- CURL’s undergraduate and graduate students are pivotal to the center and will continue to actively support our BIPOC fellows. We are committed to creating a safe space for our BIPOC students by uplifting their experiences, their skills and achievements, and their learning and growth within and beyond CURL. We will also continue to hold our student-centered spaces to build comradery and solidarity among our diverse student fellows.
- Pathway for BIPOC Researchers and Evaluators
- As a unique research center within Loyola and the larger Chicago community, CURL will commit to developing positions (post-baccalaureate and post-doctoral) for new researchers. These mentoring positions are designed for BIPOC students who want to enter the research field through these full-time positions.
- CURL is formalizing a process for hiring Black, Indigenous, and People of Color across all staff, faculty, and fellowship positions. Hiring practices will continue current practices of hiring BIPOC research fellows and expand this to include subsequent full-time hires. Within any hiring process, CURL is committed to ensuring salaries that recognize and actively challenge the pay inequities that exist across race and its intersections with other identities.
- CURL has formalized a protocol that helps CURL staff, fellows, faculty, and community partners identify racism and other forms of discrimination; and outlines how CURL will address the harm inflicted and facilitate healing and support.
- You can find the detailed protocol here.
CURL commits to the above actions and will create accountability structures within the center and within our projects to assure they are being enacted. This will include re-envisioning our CURL Advisory Board to direct and challenge us to embody these commitments and also act as a sounding board to continue to improve our practices and procedures. CURL will also use our own expertise to evaluate ourselves, our progress and our failings to abide by the above listed actions. We will create protocol for yearly evaluations of our anti-racist procedures, practices, and trainings to ensure that we are becoming a more inclusive, equitable and educated research center. We will then use the yearly evaluations to adjust practices, procedures and trainings in order to continue to grow into the anti-racist center we aspire to be.