Macalester College offers 'weightlifting for women of color'

Macalester College in Minnesota is offering "weightlifting for women of color" as part of its "anti-racism" efforts.

The announcement from the college's president is the latest in a nationwide trend toward racially segregated spaces.

Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota is offering race-based “affinity groups,” including a new “weightlifting for women of color” program, according to a statement from the college’s president. 

President Suzanne Rivera of Macalester College, a private liberal arts school in St. Paul, Minnesota, provided an “Update on Equity and Anti-racism Initiatives,” which read, “Macalester continues to do the important work of self-assessment with a focus on identifying opportunities to increase the diversity of students, faculty, and staff on our campus and to foster a culture of inclusion in which each member of this community can thrive and flourish.” 

In the update, Rivera wrote about identity-based affinity groups for Macalester’s very diverse staff. Rivera noted, “Identity-based affinity groups are being established to provide support for underrepresented employees at Macalester. Information about these spaces will be posted on the Employment Services website by the end of the week.”

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Rivera continued on to note that “50% of our full-time staff hires identified as being a part of a minoritized group,” the past year at Macalester college

In addition, Macalester College is creating a new Vice President position “to lead the college in the fostering of inclusive excellence in learning and teaching, institutional equity, and community flourishing.”

In the update provided, a number of priorities are outlined, including “weightlifting for women of color,” specialization of “mental health for  LGBTQIA+” and an “Equity purchasing Initiative,” which “provides resources to help identify minority-owned businesses and women-owned businesses.” 

Rivera wrote that, “ Business Services announced details of our new Equity Purchasing Initiative. This initiative helps us all to consider the ways and the places we spend the college’s money.” Rivera also wrote that“ we have been engaged in a search for an additional full-time mental health counselor, with expertise in mental health care for BIPOC, LGBTQIA+.”

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“I’ve said before that there is still much work to be done as we advance our institutional commitments to equity and inclusion. I’m excited to be engaging with so many of you in this important work,” Rivera concluded. 

Macalester College did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment in time for publication. 

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