In 2019 Bryn Mawr revised its Mission Statement to assert that "equity and inclusion serve as the engine for excellence and innovation," and that “a commitment to racial justice and to equity across all aspects of diversity propels our students, faculty, and staff to reflect upon and work to build fair, open and welcoming institutional structures, values, and culture.”
The College recognizes that racial justice and equity are foundational values, and that work to achieve them is urgent as well as an ongoing priority. The College’s early history in particular was marked by racist, white supremacist, and anti-Semitic thought, statements, and actions, most prominently — but certainly not exclusively — in the public statements, private letters, and discriminatory admissions and hiring actions of Dr. M. Carey Thomas during her tenures as Academic Dean and President from the College’s founding until 1922.
Over the past decade, often inspired by the activism of BIPOC students and other members of the community, Bryn Mawr has worked to come to grips with the history, legacy, and ongoing effects of institutional racism and bias. Even as efforts to build new practices and policies have been substantive, more needs to be done.
In fall 2020, Black and other students of color led a three-week strike seeking to educate all members of the community about the legacy and harms of racism, and to call for additional change. In response, Bryn Mawr has made focused commitments to anti-racist action and prioritized investments that incorporate critical elements of its existing framework for action. This is a transformational moment in our history, and the College is committed to seizing this opportunity to advance equity and belonging for every member of our community.