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.

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

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 campusesThe vision for the NSC is two-fold: to support institution leaders in their transformative work and create spaces that nourish and uplift BIPOC faculty.

NSC Pilot Year (2021-2022)

The NSC launched its pilot year in 2021-2022 with 13 institutional members and generous support from the Hildreth Stewart Charitable Foundation.

NSC 2022-2023 Program

NEBHE is pleased to partner with 16 institutions for the 2022-2023 NSC program: Bridgewater State University, Clark University, Eastern Connecticut State University, Endicott College, Framingham State University, Goodwin University/University of Bridgeport, Rhode Island College, Roger Williams University, Salem State University, Simmons University, University of Hartford, University of Massachusetts – Boston, University of Southern Maine, University of Vermont, and Worcester State University.

Click here for information about the 2022-2023 North Star Collective.

NSC Institutional Programming

The North Star Collective offers several activities to engage and support our institutional partners, including:

  • Two webinars on issues related to reparative justice and BIPOC faculty equity, open to the campus communities of our institutional partners.
  • Two facilitated roundtable discussions for Chief Diversity Officers (CDOs) or their equivalents/ affiliates to share best practices and problem-solve issues related to BIPOC faculty on campus.

NSC Faculty Fellowship

The North Star Collective offers programming to support BIPOC faculty on our member campuses:

  • 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 created by BIPOC faculty for BIPOC faculty to support their professional development. It is focused specifically on supporting fellows’ writing and publishing endeavors and overall wellbeing, which are both essential to advancement, tenure and promotion. The Fellowship provides a support network for BIPOC faculty to help navigate the challenges they face in their academic careers, to promote wellness and healthy work-life balances, and to foster a community of care for Fellows’ holistic growth. The Fellowship is unique in its focus on racial trauma healing.

The North Star Collective Institutional Members: