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SCS DEI Update 15

May. 14, 2021

Reflecting on Leading After a Racial Crisis

As outlined in the report by the American Council on Education, “Leading After a Racial Crisis: Weaving a Campus Tapestry of Diversity and Inclusion,” today we reflect on the idea that fragmented perspectives and tensions, as well as unresolved emotions, create a need for a particular type of leadership, which is placed within a weaver-leader network. This framing articulates several foundational leadership activities, which resonate with our DEI work with the community.

  • Over-Communicating. Weaver-leaders take up the mantle of communication to communicate the approach being taken, the progress being made and to draw on more personalized forms of communication. We must communicate in ways that are public, proactive, personal, caring and transparent.

  • Setting Expectations. One of the most important ways to address fragmented worldviews and emerging tensions is to set expectations. Setting expectations paves the way for large-scale change during the aftermath of a racial crisis. In this way, we will not lose sight of all the campus efforts around DEI.

  • Relationship Building. Relationship-building significantly bolsters the recovery process. It requires multiple levels of engagement among stakeholders. When communities feel fractured and uninformed about decisions being made on campus, it is more imperative that senior-level members of the community forge connections on the ground.

  • Shared Expectations. The weaver-leader must move toward shared expectations. The weaver metaphor helps us to understand how this might be achieved. When one looks at a tapestry, they see a complete work of art. However, tapestries are made up of discontinuous threads of various materials, not all of which are fully seen. In a similar way, campus weaver-leaders work to bring together all of the emotions, needs and proposed solutions to guide the campus community forward. In this way, shared expectations can emerge.

Review the full report on the American Council on Education website.


  • We are delighted to welcome fourteen GEM fellows into SCS graduate programs this fall! Welcome!

  • Suggestions for readings for the DEI community? We’d love to hear from you! Use this form to submit suggested resources.

  • Suggestions for speakers in DEI Lecture Series in the fall? We'd love to hear from you! Fill out this form to submit names of suggested speakers.

  • SCS plans to participate in the NSF HBCU-UP program in 2021. For more information, see the NSF Program Solicitation. Interested faculty should contact Srini Seshan and Jodi Forlizzi, who will be coordinating a submission.

Upcoming Events

CaPS will host “Healing From Racial and Ethics Discrimination,” a support group specifically designed for students who identify as a racial or ethnic minority, and who are looking to understand how racial and ethnic discriminations affect our mind, body and feelings, and find ways to work through them in a supportive and healing space. Sessions will be held on Mondays from 4:30 to 6 p.m. ET. This will be a closed group with limited space. Students interested in participating must reside in the Pennsylvania. Interested students are welcome to reach out to Dareen Basma ( to schedule a screening appointment.