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Despite the increased numbers of students of color in higher education, racial stratification is deeply entrenched in the university system (Carnevale & Strohl, 2013), and it is within these racialized systems of inequality that students of color seek academic excellence. This paper describes three student activism initiatives at Bridgewater State University focused on racial justice, in response to the non-indictments of white police officers lethal brutality toward men of color in New York and Missouri, and in the face of pervasive systemic racism. During the 2014-2015 academic year, students, in collaboration with employees, organized a Black Lives Matter event, an Acting for Justice Troupe, and a state-wide summit focused on the success of male students of color. The paper outlines the relational nature of these student activism initiatives, how non-traditional mentoring relationships with employees support students, and the impact on the campus community as well as higher education institutions across the state.

Original Citation

Willison, J., et al. (2016). Supporting the Success of Students of Color: Creating Racial Justice through Student Activism. Transformative Dialogues: Teaching & Learning Journal 9(2), 1-18.


Transformative Dialogues: teaching and learning journal and the articles by individual authors are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.