Racial Discrimination Prevention Policy (RDPP)

Since its student-initiated inception in 1997, the Racial Discrimination Prevention Policy (RDPP) was the work of students, staff, faculty and administrators at Antioch College prior to the closure in 2007. The college’s Sexual Offense Prevention Policy inspired the idea for a policy designed to support an anti-racist college environment. Procedural components to address prevention are also included in the policy as part of the mediation and resolution process. The College’s Administrative Council approved this policy in 2006.

At its reopening in 2009 the College chose to re-adopt this policy in recognition of the extensive work and research of past Antiochians to create it and the continued need that it addresses in our culture. It is our belief that there is a need on every campus across the nation to support an inclusive and diverse community. The Antioch College Diversity Group reviewed the policy in Spring of 2012 and Community Council and Senior Leadership Team reaffirmed institutional commitment to the policy with minor revisions.

You can report a violation of the RDPP by filling out the form at this link. 

Introduction

Antioch College is committed to being an inclusive community in which all persons have an equal opportunity to pursue academic excellence and participate in governance and community life. The educational mission of the college includes a proactive commitment to increase our knowledge, to develop our ability to question, and to develop intellectual consciousness regarding ourselves and the society in which we live.

Antioch College – students, faculty, staff, and administrators – has as its goal to create and sustain an anti-discriminatory environment, as articulated in existing anti-discrimination statements and legal obligations. Moreover, through this Racial Discrimination Prevention Policy (RDPP), the College actively commits to being an anti-racist, multicultural institution. The college will achieve this through:

A) Education, orientation, and training for all community members with the purpose of creating awareness of individual and collective accountability.

B) Ongoing workshops and administrative, curricular and co-curricular policy strategies aimed at preventing racial discrimination.

1. Faculty will incorporate educational strategies in their curricula and classes as fully as possible in accordance with the existing faculty personnel policy relative to academic freedom. That policy reads:
“Freedom of inquiry and freedom of communication are essential to human dignity and progress and to self-government. That freedom is won at great cost and can be maintained only with courage and vigilance, especially during times of great stress, such as may be ahead.
“The Board of Trustees of Antioch College takes this occasion to assure the faculty and students of Antioch College that it shares with them this commitment to freedom of inquiry and of expression, and will support them in maintaining it.
“The value of a college is that it supplies leadership and equips men and women for leadership in citizenship. It is not enough that a college meet the minimum standards of citizenship. Members of the College community should be expected to meet reasonable standards of propriety and good taste, and to have a decent respect for the opinions of mankind.
“The dangers of freedom in inquiry and of expression are not only from without. Abuse of such freedom by members of a college community would be one of the surest ways of undermining it. The members of the college community, therefore, by acting with good will, good taste and with a sense of fitness, greatly contribute to maintaining and strengthening the heritage of freedom.” Adopted by the Board of Trustees, May 1941, and reaffirmed, May 1948.

C) Establishing processes for dealing with offenses and violations of community standards having to do specifically with racial discrimination.

Antioch Statement on Diversity

In the Winter of 2015 Antioch College adopted an official statement regarding diversity that had been put forth by the Task Force on Diversity. That statement is a follows:

“As an educational community dedicated to the pursuit of social justice, Antioch College defines diversity as the active inclusion of and support for the identities, cultures, perspectives, and experiences of individuals and groups from a wide variety of backgrounds, including but not limited to: race, ethnicity, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexuality, physical and mental ability, age, religion, and national origin.

Antioch College acknowledges and seeks to end the existence of systemic inequity in terms of access to power, resources, and privilege, and works to develop access and equity within the community.

Within this context, Antioch seeks to build authentic engagement across diversity, ensure systems of support for historically and currently marginalized groups, and promote safety in challenging dialogues and exchanges. Diversity enhances learning and our individual and collective ability to manifest positive change. The College devotes resources to support our commitment to these ideals and initiatives.

Antioch College affirms diversity that respects and resonates with our core values as expressed in such documents as the Honor Code, the Civil Liberties Code, the Racial Discrimination Prevention Policy, the Sexual Offence Prevention Policy, the All Gender Restroom Resolution, the Non-Discrimination on Basis of Disability Policy, and the NonDiscrimination Statement.”

Glossary of Terms

For a clear understanding of this policy, terms below are defined as follows:

Race: A social construct that artificially divides people into distinct groups based on characteristics such as physical appearance (particularly color), ancestral heritage, cultural affiliation, cultural history, ethnic classification, and the social, economic and political needs of a society. Racial classifications subsume ethnic classifications. (source: Teaching For Diversity and Social Justice: A Source. NY. Routledge: 1997.)

Racism: A system of advantage based on race and supported by institutional structures, policies, and practices that create and sustain advantages for the dominant white group while systematically subordinating members of targeted racial groups. This relative advantage for Whites and subordination for people of color is supported by the actions of individuals, cultural norms and values, and the institutional structures and normative practices of society (source: Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Source. NY. Routledge: 2007.)

Within a global context racism is a global system of material and symbolic resource management that subordinates members of targeted racial groups. According to the United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, racial discrimination is defined as, “Any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference based on race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise, on equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, or any other field of public life.” (source: U.N. The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.)

Institutional Racism: The network of institutional structures and practices that create advantages and benefits for those whom the power structure favors, and discrimination and disadvantage for people from targeted social groups. (source: Teaching For Diversity and Social Justice: A Source. NY. Routledge: 2007.)

Individual Racism: The beliefs, attitudes, and actions of individuals that support or perpetuate racism. Individual racism can occur at both an unconscious and conscious level, and can be both active and passive. Examples include telling a racist joke, using a racial epithet, or believing in the inherent superiority of Whites (source: Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Source. NY. Routledge: 2007.)

Active (Explicit) Racism: Actions that have as their stated or explicit goal the maintenance of the system of racism and the oppression of those in targeted racial groups. People who participate in active racism advocate the continued subjugation of members of targeted groups and protection of “the rights” of members of the advantaged group. These goals are often supported by a belief in the inferiority of people of color and the superiority of white people, culture, and values (source: Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Source. NY. Routledge: 2007.)

Passive (Implicit) Racism: Conscious and unconscious beliefs, attitudes, and actions that support the system of racism, racial prejudice, and racial dominance and contribute to the  maintenance of racism, without openly advocating violence, discrimination, or an ideology of white supremacy (source: Teaching For Diversity and Social Justice: A Source. NY. Routledge: 2007). It should be noted that passive racism does not diminish the impact on the targeted group.

Discrimination: A decision-making process that results in differential allocation of goods, resources and services, and access to full participation in society based on perceived identification with a particular social group. (source: Teaching For Diversity and Social Justice: A Source. NY. Routledge: 1997.)

Harassment: A wide range of behaviors of an offensive nature intended to disturb or upset and is characteristically repetitive. In the legal sense, it is intentional behavior which is found threatening or disturbing. Racial harassment targets individuals because of their race or ethnicity.

Implicit Bias: Unlike explicit bias (which reflects the attitudes or beliefs that one endorses at a conscious level), implicit bias is the bias in judgment and/or behavior that results from subtle cognitive processes (e.g., implicit attitudes and implicit stereotypes) that often operate at a level below conscious awareness and without intentional control.

Microaggressions: Are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.

Person of Color: (plural: People of Color) – Sometimes abbreviated POC, is a commonly understood term, used primarily in the United States to describe any person who is not white. The term encompasses all non-white groups, emphasizing common experiences.

White Privilege: The concrete benefits of access to resources and social rewards and the power to shape the norms and values of society that Whites receive, tacitly or explicitly, by virtue of their position in a racist society. Examples include the luxury to be unaware of race, the ability to live and work among people of the same racial group as their own, the security of not being pulled over by the police for being suspicious person, the expectation that they speak for themselves and not for their entire race, the ability to assume that a job hire or promotion will be attributed to their skills and background and not to affirmative action (Mclntosh, 1988).

Prejudice: preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience; an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.

For Ohio laws regarding racism and discrimination please review the Ohio Revised Code.

Policy Guidelines

It is expected that the institution, as a whole, and each community member, will strive individually and collectively to achieve the following:

A) Communication Guidelines

All community members should have an equal voice. It should be acknowledged that conversations and confrontations (personal, group and institutional) surrounding race and racism are often uncomfortable, and discomfort in these exchanges often leads to growth. The following communication tools may help in fostering and enhancing respectful dialogue, discussion and conversation:

  1. Acknowledging the likelihood that one may not completely understand another person’s perspective.
  2. Acknowledging the discomfort of confronting racism.
  3. Acknowledging the danger and potentiality of racists acts, unintentional or not, when discussing how not to be racist.
  4. Asking questions to enhance one’s understanding of another person’s perspective, while acknowledging that it is not the sole responsibility of people of color to educate about racism or to be singled out as representative of their racial group.
  5. Acknowledging that community life requires appreciation of difference (not simply tolerance), as a positive value in personal, work and community interactions.

B) Community Guidelines

The intention of this policy is to bring about concrete actions. Community guidelines under this policy are:

  1. Taking personal responsibility for active involvement in creating and maintaining an anti-racist environment.
  2. Challenging racism when we witness it individually and collectively.
  3. Intentionally pursuing the goals of recruiting and retaining qualified students, faculty, staff and administrators of color, at least reflective of the diverse society at large.
  4. Supporting activities that affirm, reflect and celebrate anti-racist and inclusive values.

C) Institutional Commitment

Institutional commitment is a cornerstone of this policy. The institution, in particular Human Resources, the Provost, the Dean of Students and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, will be responsible for maintaining resources to administer the RDPP.

  1. Orientation, training and ongoing educational experiences for students, staff, faculty and administrators.
  2. Promoting the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff and students of color, and assessing annually mechanisms for such retention.
  3. Abiding by, supporting, and periodically reviewing relevant policies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Policy, in accordance with the goals of the RDPP.
  4. Developing annual operating plans with individual administrative and academic areas to address anti-discriminatory and inclusive objectives.
  5. Continual improvement and support for building an anti-discriminatory and inclusive environment.

Offenses

Offenses of racism and racial discrimination, both individual and institutional, by anyone enrolled at or employed by Antioch College, are those behaviors that contribute to the maintenance of the oppression of targeted racial groups. It should be noted that the intentions of one’s actions may or may not diminish the impact of those actions on others. Within the Antioch College Community, individual or institutional behaviors considered offensive, and their consequences, are defined, but not limited to:

A. Verbal, physical, written or pictorial communication relating to race, color, and ethnicity which has the purpose or effect of unreasonable interference with an individual’s performance, or which creates a hostile, offensive or intimidating atmosphere for members of the target group is considered an offense subject to disciplinary action. The College will not tolerate any acts of intimidation, or any behaviors that demean, slur or stereotype, or exclude an individual or group on the basis of race, color or descent, or national or ethnic origin.

B. While some examples of racial and/or ethnic harassment, such as physical and verbal assaults, are easily identified, more frequent and generalized instances, such as blatant and subtle graffiti and insensitive use of language—including epithets and “humor”—often go unacknowledged. All of the above instances are demeaning and violate the spirit of this policy, as well as the educational mission of the College. (Source: Kansas State University policy.)

Racial Discrimination Complaint Procedure

Every complaint, whether formal, informal, third party or anonymous, will be treated confidentially, unless disclosure is necessary to protect the legal rights or safety of others or the institution, and will be documented by the appropriate office. No community member shall be subjected to dismissal, suspension, discipline, harassment, or any form of discrimination having in good faith utilized or assisted others in using the racial discrimination complaint procedures.

The RDPP is in place to resolve issues that involve discrimination on the basis of race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin. Thus, any community member claiming to be aggrieved by an alleged discriminatory act or practice, or having witnessed such an act or practice, in violation of the RDPP, the Antioch College Honor Code, the Non-Discrimination Policy, as well as other policy, federal, state or municipal law with regard to racial discrimination at Antioch College may bring forward a complaint.

A) Responding to RDPP Incidents

The purpose of this policy is to prevent and address issues of racism within our community. However, it is understood that how community members choose to respond to an incident of bias is influenced by many factors. Below outlines various options for response under two categories: individual and institutional. These types of responses are not mutually exclusive and community members can utilize strategies listed in both sections.

Individual Incidents:
If a community member believes that they have been the target of a bias incident, they may but are not required to take the following actions. However, if you witness a bias incident, the witness is obligated to address the target of the bias incident, and attempt to move forward through the following actions together. If the target of the bias incident does not wish to have any action taken on their behalf, the incident may be reported anonymously for record keeping.

  • Directly confront the alleged offender. By naming the offending behavior, the individual targeted may directly address the nature of the issue. Those involved in the situation may decide on a route to resolution amongst themselves.
  • Individuals who believe they have been targeted can attempt to resolve the situation by engaging the alleged offender in a mediated conversation where the individuals involved identify a third party mediator. Community members may decide to utilize campus resources as the mediating party for this conversation.
  • Depending on the nature of the situation, staff may ask the individual targeted to file a Bias Incident Report Form.
  • File a Bias Incident Report Form. (If physically or emotionally harmed, inform a trusted party immediately and a Bias Incident Report can be filed on your behalf).
  • Report the incident to the Office of Public Safety and/or the Yellow Springs Police Department if the incident is of a criminal nature.
  • Have no action taken on your behalf.

Community-wide Incidents
Individuals who believe they have identified a community-wide issue may consult with the following offices to bring that issue to the attention of the entire community:

  • Work with the Dean of Students, the Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion, the Office of Public Safety the Office of Human Resources, the Office of Academic Affairs, and the Cooperative Education Program to identify and report potential patterns seen in the community.
  • Work with Comcil to organize a community discussion at Community Meeting.
  • Work with the Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion to organize trainings to address the situation.
  • Regardless of how an individual chooses to respond to a racially charged incident, they should prioritize their safety and well-being. It is not the responsibility of targeted members of our community to educate those who hold privilege.

Institutional Response: To register a complaint with Antioch College, community members can file a report through the Bias Incident Report Form. Engaging in one of the individual strategies listed above does not preclude an individual from also registering a complaint using the Bias Incident Report Form. A complaint may be withdrawn or resolved before the procedure is completed.

Filing a Bias Incident Complaint Form

Community members can utilize the Bias Report Form to submit complaints as the individual directly targeted, as a third-party witness, or anonymously. Complaints filed through the Bias Incident Report Form are sent directly to the Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion and/or their designee. The Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion is responsible for making the community aware of ongoing issues related to racism. Once a pattern has been identified as a result of the filing of Bias Incident Reports, the Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion should notify the Dean of Students, Human Resources, the Provost, and the President, as well as work with the Coordinator of Public Safety to notify the campus.

When a formal complaint has been submitted, the Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion and/or their designee is responsible for deciding the appropriate offices and/or staff to review the complaint. The incident must have already occurred and not be merely anticipatory or speculative. While there is no time limit on filing a complaint, the timeliness of any given complaint could influence the availability of witnesses and other supporting information. See Section B, below, for a detailed timeline.

Steps Taken When a Bias Incident Report Is Filed
  1. The Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion is notified when an online complaint is submitted.
  2. The Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion decides the appropriate office and/or staff to review the complaint.
    1. When the alleged offender is a student, the complaint is referred to the Dean of Students.
    2. When the alleged offender is a faculty member, the complaint is referred to the Provost.
    3. When the alleged offender is a staff member, the complaint is referred to the Human Resources.
    4. There may be instances where collaboration between or among offices are necessary.
  3. Individuals identified in the report are asked to meet with the staff who are reviewing the complaint. This step allows staff to gain more information from all parties involved.
  4. The staff who are investigating the complaint may meet with assigned members of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee to review the evidence and discuss appropriate remedies.

When anonymous reports are submitted, the Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion, on behalf of the College, is obligated to follow up if accused person(s) are named. However, the detail of information provided in the report may impact the College’s ability to respond to or pursue appropriate action against the accused person(s).

Timelines and Notification of Outcome/Remedy

Every effort will be made to address bias incidents as quickly as possible.

Within 48 hours of receiving a Bias Incident Report, the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion will acknowledge receipt of the complaint to the affected parties and refer it to the appropriate adjudication parties.

Within 3 days of receiving the referral from the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, the reviewing office will begin their investigation.

Within 60 days of receiving the referral, the case will be resolved all parties involved will be notified.

B) Remedies

If the person charged in the complaint is found to have violated the RDPP, remedies may range from prescribed educational training to various levels of disciplinary action deemed appropriate by the staff or office reviewing the case.

Any appeals process will be available through the channel by which the disciplinary action was brought. The appellate for cases handled by the Dean of Students will be the Provost, then the President. The appellate for cases handled by the Provost or Human Resources will be the President

Policy Review

The RDPP will be presented for community review every two years through an open format. The review is to ensure that the policy remains a viable document that meets community needs, and that its procedures and commitments are up to date and upheld in practice. The Review process will be facilitated by Community Council through its Diversity Committee in collaboration with the Human Resources Office, Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion, the Office of Student Life, and the Provost.

Policy enactment recommendations will be submitted at the end of the review process to the Human Resources Office, Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion, the Office of Student Life, and the Provost. Any and all revisions are subject to approval by Community Council and the Senior Leadership Team.

Next Review Summer 2019