The North Star Collective (NSC) is a group of colleges and universities in the New England region that are working towards transformative racial equity and are committed to supporting and uplifting Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other faculty of color (BIPOC) on their campuses.

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 Collective is funded by our institutional members (highlighted below) and generous support from the Hildreth Stewart Charitable Foundation and the Boston Foundation.

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 vision for the NSC is two-fold: to support institution leaders in their transformative work towards racial equity at their home institutions (institutional programming) and to create spaces that nourish and uplift BIPOC faculty (faculty fellowship).

  • Institutional Programming: The NSC 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.
  • Faculty Fellowship: The NSC Faculty Fellowship is a semester-long community for BIPOC faculty at our member institutions. The Fellowship is designed to support BIPOC faculty and their career advancement, to foster community, and to provide opportunities for peer mentorship and racial healing. It also provides opportunities for fellows to focus on their scholarship through structured programmingand immersive experiences like writing retreats and virtual writing groups. Research shows that writing retreats are an effective response to the “publish or perish” pressure and that they provide numerous benefits such as protected writing time and space, a supportive community for accountability, increased productivity and motivation to write, and foster healthy, sustainable long-term writing practices that will help further academic careers, since successful writing is the key to tenure and promotion.
      • Call for Faculty Fellowship 2025 Applications (coming soon!)

The North Star Collective Institutional Members:​