NEBHE aims to lead the region in reparative justice efforts, and, to that end, we have developed a series of new initiatives to support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) faculty. We call these initiatives the North Star Collective (NSC). They are 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.
The North Star Collective (NSC) 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 and create spaces that nourish and uplift BIPOC faculty.
North Star Collective Activities
The North Star Collective offers several activities to engage and support our institutional partners and BIPOC faculty on their campuses.
- 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.
For BIPOC faculty at member institutions:
- 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 will provide 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.
During this pilot year (2021-2022), NEBHE selected 24 fellows from the founding member institutions. Click here to see the complete list of our 2021-22 inaugural Fellow cohort.
Information regarding applications to participate in the 2022-23 cohort of fellows will be available on this page soon.
In the pilot year (2021-2022), we welcomed 13 institutions as our founding members of the NSC: Bridgewater State University, Clark University, Eastern Connecticut State University, Endicott College, Framingham State University, Goodwin University, Rhode Island College, Roger Williams University, Salem State University, Simmons University, University of Bridgeport, University of Massachusetts – Boston, and the University of Southern Maine.
We are pleased to grow the NSC and its faculty program, the North Star Collective Faculty Fellowship in the 2022-2023 academic year.