NEBHE aims to lead the region in reparative justice efforts, and, to that end, we have created the North Star Collective (NSC). The NSC is a part of NEBHE’s broader reparative justice initiative, which is committed to restoring, nourishing and uplifting BIPOC faculty in the region, and supporting leaders as they transform institutions around racial equity.
The NSC is funded by 16 institutional members (highlighted below) and generous support from the Hildreth Stewart Charitable Foundation. Click here for information about the 2022-2023 North Star Collective.
Rationale for Name
The “North Star Collective” name has several historical and contemporary influences. “North Star” pays homage to the fact that enslaved Africans and African Americans used the North Star in the night sky to guide them to freedom. The name is also a nod to The North Star, the antislavery newspaper published by African American abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
NEBHE believes it is important that higher education institutions acknowledge the ways in which they have benefitted directly or indirectly from slavery and its long legacy as well as that of white supremacy. We also believe that institutions can support the NEBHE’s NSC faculty initiatives as a way to repair the harm and use them as a way to move forward to become a refuge for BIPOC faculty in the ways that the “North” was once imagined in American history as a promised land of freedom.
The term “collective” reflects our aim to establish a community of BIPOC faculty that are tied together by shared experiences as marginalized peoples in predominantly white institutions in New England. Historically and contemporarily, “collective” has been used by activist groups to promote the liberation, uplift, health and wellbeing, and overall care of BIPOC people. This collective of initiatives will be established by and for BIPOC faculty, and will serve to support these holistic goals as well.
Program Overview and Goals
The North Star Collective is a group of colleges and universities in the New England region that are committed to transforming their institutions and uplifting BIPOC faculty on their campuses. The vision for the NSC is two-fold: to support institution leaders in their transformative work (institutional programming) and create spaces that nourish and uplift BIPOC faculty (fellowship for BIPOC faculty).
- Institutional Programming: The North Star Collective creates opportunities for our institutional partners to collaborate, share best practices, and problem-solve on issues related to faculty racial equity on their campuses. These include in-person, one-day gatherings for campus administrators, staff, and faculty working on racial equity for faculty on their campuses.
- Fellowship for BIPOC Faculty: The North Star Collective offers the North Star Collective Faculty Fellowship, a semester-long fellowship that promotes healing and repair by providing a nourishing community of care, mentorship and professional development for early career BIPOC faculty in New England. The Fellowship is unique in its focus on racial trauma healing. It is created by BIPOC faculty for BIPOC faculty to support their professional development (specifically writing and publishing endeavors) and their overall wellbeing. The Fellowship provides a support network for BIPOC faculty to help navigate the challenges they face in their academic careers, promote mental wellness and health, and foster a community of care for fellows’ holistic wellbeing.