2021 Milestones

The journey continues and there is much more to be done, but we are proud of our progress in 2021. Despite challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and sustained social injustice across the nation, our campus community participated in courageous conversations, training sessions, healing circles, as well as celebrations of our heritages. We came together to mourn the deaths of Black lives and to witness social justice history being made.

Looking back at our work in 2021, the following milestones stand out for Agnes Scott College: 

  • As part of the 2021-2026 Strategic Plan, Agnes Scott reaffirmed its commitment to inclusion and belonging by outlining specific and tangible action steps for each year.
  • As the college adopted these new goals, our leaders put in place additional resources, systems and practices to institutionalize a culture of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. For example, a new position, the Assistant Vice President for Diversity Equity & Inclusion Initiatives, was created and filled by Professor Regine O. Jackson, PhD, to promote and further embed J.E.D.I. in key academic areas and to ensure student learning is examined through a J.E.D.I. lens.
  • The 2021 Founder’s Day celebration highlighted the college’s past, present and future relating to inclusion and belonging.
  • As the college revamped its website, it ensured that its commitment to J.E.D.I. was prominently displayed throughout. The Director of Diversity Training served as a member of the website implementation team, reviewing each site to ensure that J.E.D.I. principles were embedded in every department.  
  • Agnes Scott College was the recipient of the 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity, the oldest and largest diversity focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the HEED Award – a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion – Agnes Scott was featured in the November 2021 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.
  • The college received a $146,000 research grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to investigate the importance of mission-driven institutional efforts to realize equitable student success. This research is being used to develop a mission-interrogation tool that will ideally help accelerate the imperative for equitable value, equitable student success, as well as the implementation of principles of institutional transformation. 
  • The Gay Johnson McDougall Center for Global Diversity and Inclusion received a $4,000 grant from the Alliance For Full Acceptance (AFFA) to support leadership and training through Safe Zone, Lavender Hours and LGBTQ+ programming.
  • 2021 marked the 50th anniversary of the graduation of Edna Lowe Swift ’71, the first Black graduate of Agnes Scott College. One of Edna’s various accomplishments as a student was founding Witkaze, Agnes Scott’s Black student organization. In 2002 the college established the Edna Lowe Swift Trailblazer Award, which is presented each year during the Mosaic Awards Banquet to recognize a faculty or staff member for their contribution to creating a more inclusive community at Agnes Scott. Fifty years later, Agnes Scott continues to be recognized nationally for its diverse student population, an achievement for which Edna Lowe Swift laid the path. On Nov. 17, 2021, the campus community joined Witkaze and President Leocadia Zak to honor Edna Lowe Swift with one of its most hallowed recognitions – a wooden bench on front campus lawn with a silver plaque commemorating her place in the college’s history.
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