A number of steps have already been put into motion, including
- the creation of the Black Alumni Council,
- changes to Furman’s website to provide more information on diversity, equity and inclusion
- the completion of a proposal for a major in Africana studies, and
- a revamping of our bias incident response system.
Since launching The Furman Advantage in 2016, Furman has adapted its critical analysis of the student experience to better deliver on its promise, positioning Furman at the forefront of universities that are focused on student belonging. Our strategic vision aligns community engagement with a knowledge of privilege. This allows our students to build coalitions that seek to propel equitable social change across race, socioeconomics, political affiliation, religion, ability, sexuality, regionalism, gender identity and more.
To advance this, Furman secured a $150,000 grant from The Hearst Foundation to help increase historically underrepresented students’ participation in programming and experiences offered through The Furman Advantage. Hearst Fellows have access to all of Furman’s premier programs, but with additional mentoring and financial support.
At the heart of this mission is the Center for Inclusive Communities, which supports the immediate and long-term success of Furman’s historically underrepresented students. Using current research on belonging, well-being and career engagement, the center helps prepare Furman students to appreciate difference and to make a lasting positive contribution in their post-graduation life.