As a Black man, I have personally experienced racism and the trauma that comes from being its target. I have endured questionable treatment during traffic stops; have been watched or repeatedly asked by a retail clerk, “May I help you with something?” for fear that I was shoplifting; and have avoided running in certain neighborhoods, to name just three examples. The trauma associated with experiencing racism is real, and addressing this truth is an essential first step toward transforming society. But I am just one individual. How can any one person or organization elevate the enormous issues of equity, antiracism, and democracy during this time that’s calling us to action? One way is to “unite for truth” by supporting the work of those within the higher education community who are confronting racism.

This discussion with Laura Gambino, vice president at the New England Commission of Higher Education, is the first in a series of brief video interviews with leaders of the seven regional accrediting bodies in US higher education. To get an accreditor’s view of assessment, we asked each leader what they have been hearing and thinking about during the pandemic related to two critical areas: the campus climate toward assessment at their member institutions and what expectations the accreditors have for useful evidence of student learning.

Over the past four years, AAC&U has been working with institutions of higher education from across the country to develop self-sustaining, community-integrated Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers that advance racial and social justice on our campuses and in our communities. In this video message, AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella explains why this work is more urgent than ever.

The linkage between liberal arts education and democracy is unmistakable. A renewed and strengthened national commitment to accessible and inclusive liberal arts education opportunities will not only permit members of our society to live more meaningful and productive lives, but will also allow our nation to resist authoritarian impulses and embrace the openness of mind and spirit that are essential for a self-governing people in a democratic society.

In the 1930s, the turmoil of the Great Depression uncovered “old poverty”—largely invisible privation and suffering experienced by millions of Americans. This was among the most important—and the most heartbreaking—discoveries during that dark time in our history. Today, the Covid-19 pandemic is casting light onto similar kinds of deeply rooted structural inequalities in America and in higher education—especially for community college students.

COVID-19 and the transition to online-only or hybrid forms of learning and engagement have made navigating voter engagement opportunities extremely difficult, even with months left on the clock. And now, to make student voter engagement feel even more daunting, we’re only a week away from Election Day. You might be asking yourself: “What can I possibly do today that would still make an impact?” Well, we are here to help.