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The time is now: Rooting out racism

June 12, 2020

President Swallow sent the following email to all Carthage students on Friday, June 5, inviting them to participate in a series of listening sessions about racism at Carthage. Please email Dana Kroll at to participate.

Dear Students,

Many of you have written to me in the past two days about racism in our community, sharing with me images of social media posts that are cause for concern. You have asked what Carthage is doing, and whether Carthage will take action. I want you to know that Carthage is definitely investigating and that Carthage will certainly take action. I have made it clear that I will accept no delay in addressing this situation.

How students proceed through disciplinary investigations is something Carthage cannot share, due to federal laws on student privacy at institutions of higher education. That does not mean, however, that there is no further conversation to have.

I know that many of you have deep concerns about Carthage and our nation, and I know that I need to hear from all of you. The email messages I have already received share pain, suffering, and an insistent desire for social change and action. I want to take them a step further. I know that I cannot fully understand the experiences of Carthage students, and especially our Black students and others whose experiences are significantly different from mine, without ongoing dialogue. The greater the dialogue, the greater the opportunity for understanding and positive change. I want to facilitate that dialogue, so that together we can explore ways that each of us can act to improve our community.

To that end, I am opening up spaces for us to engage in conversation. Over the next few weeks, I will be holding online meetings, first for students in diversity, equity, and inclusion student groups, including the Black Student Union, United Women of Color, Mi Gente, and Asian Pacific American Coalition of Carthage. Then I will meet with students more broadly. My top priority in these sessions will be listening, learning, and hearing your ideas for steps Carthage can take this fall and beyond.

If you are interested in participating, please email Dana Kroll at She will provide information on how and when to join. I am grateful for your willingness to engage in conversation, and I look forward to discussing how we may move from truth to strength to service as a community.

John Swallow