The president of Coe College in Cedar Rapids is announcing he’ll identify a senior staffer to oversee diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives on campus.
It follows a protest march and rally by hundreds of students and at least one faculty member on Thursday. Coe student Angelina Ramirez called for diversifying the school’s board of trustees.
“To fix structural issues we need structural reform. That is necessary. That is why we are here today,” Ramirez says. “Our demands will result in accountability and representation. Again, that is necessary and that is why we are here today.”
Coe faculty member Anthony Kelley joined the demonstration and protested with the students. “We’re sick and tired of being sick and tired,” Kelley said. “We’re sick and tired of a board of trustees composed of mostly wealthy white men who do not reflect the racial, ethnic and gender diversity of our broader campus community. We’re sick and tired of feeling unwelcome.”
The students were galvanized by the resignation of a longtime trustee who criticized the school’s recent presidential search process as lacking diversity.
(By Kate Payne, Iowa Public Radio)