The head of Champlain College’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Amé Lambert, was recently on a hiatus to finish her PhD dissertation. This caused a temporary halt in some of the work of the Office including many activities that are centered around racial justice.

In early October, a very serious racial incident occurred at Spinner Place, Champlain’s off-campus apartment building: a student spray-painted “white power” on an announcement board outside of the elevator. Fortunately, Champlain College takes racial discrimination and harassment very seriously. Even with the Office of D&I working at a decreased capacity, the response to this racially charged aggression was meaningful: the President issued a statement, there was a building-wide meeting to discuss the issue, and a new seminar called the Racial Justice Intensive was created.

The Racial Justice Intensive Seminar is a semester-long extra credit course that teaches students to acknowledge, address, and counteract racism when it occurs. This class has already filled to capacity which is very encouraging. The class will be run by Tony Periello and Andrew Plumley, both men of color who have plenty of experience with racism. I applaud Champlain College for creating this initiative and addressing racism head on.

Also at the college, is the new Race Bender-Gender Bender workshop offered every other Friday starting at just $15 for students and $20 for adults and non-students over 18. Race Bender-Gender Bender is a preparatory workshop to address race and gender in the workplace. I definitely plan to attend soon one.

It is great to have Ms. Lambert, the head of Office of Diversity & Inclusion, back in action because the existence of this office is key in taking on racism within the school and community. It also seems that in this instance Champlain was successful in taking major steps to addressing racism on and off campus. Bravo Champlain College, bravo!
By Brattina Fields, PJC Racial Justice Intern and

Champlain College Legal Studies Student