Every member of the College of the Atlantic community deserves to feel welcomed, valued, recognized, and respected, with equal opportunity to thrive, regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, educational background, gender, ability, sexuality, citizenship, or religion. 

Our mission calls us to investigate and improve upon the relationships between human beings and our social, natural, and built environments. This mission is actively translated as we seek to build more racially and socially just communities and institutions, including our own.  

We are committed to engaging thoroughly with the ways in which our institution is complicit in perpetuating racism and structural white supremacy, and we are committed to the work of addressing structural inequalities on all levels of our institution and within our community.  We hope you will join us in this essential work.


On this page you’ll find a time line of all the DEI efforts and initiatives on our campus. 

Special notice to the many student-led DEI efforts, such as Decolonization at COA and the Anti-Racist Growing Space, that are not listed here. COA students are an essential part of the college and are always pushing us towards more innovative and inclusive approaches.




COA2 program

The College Opportunity and Access Program is a pre-orientation and year-round program designed to build a supportive, educational, and communal advocacy space for students who self-identify with the experiences of minoritized, first generation, and/or low-income college students.





DEI Working Group

Members of the DEI Working Group come together regularly to share their experiences and views on inclusion/exclusion and deepen their understanding of power and privilege, both on and off campus. This group serves as a generative space to develop ideas for making COA a more diverse, equitable and inclusive place, operating as a leaderless group that rotates responsibilities so action items are attended to. The group is open to all members of the community and also organizes educational events, weekly readings and discussion groups.


Trainings for faculty, students and staff

We are committed to providing training for all faculty and staff on a range of topics related to racism in the US, higher education, and our institution. New workshops with updated information on various topics were offered by Diversity, Equity and Inclusion fellow Rachael Blansett (2021-2022). The latest series of workshops offered are available on our DEI resources page.



Comprehensive orientation

New and updated DEI-themed workshops are an indispensable part of College of the Atlantic’s orientation, focusing on various themes, including the history of structural racism in the US, social justice and students’ experiences at COA. Since 2019 the orientation workshops have been consistently remodeled to remain current and to be an honest and holistic portrayal of all of College of the Atlantic’s DEI-related efforts and resources.



OAR team

OAR team (Summer 2021 - Spring 2022)

Envisioned in COA’s DEI strategic plan, the OAR team was composed of students, faculty and staff. The group was tasked with overseeing and supporting the implementation of all immediate actions listed on phase one of our strategic plan. The OAR team provided assistance and resources for committees and individuals that work with DEI related issues on campus, and established clear and transparent communication channels between DEI groups and the broader COA community. The group also worked on collecting feedback from all members of the college about the needs and priorities of the COA community, in order to inform phase two of the strategic planning, that is currently in motion.


DEI Strategic Planning Task Force (2019 - 2021) 

Tasked with coordinating an institutional planning effort related to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion at COA, the task force hired Dr. Liza Cariaga-Lo in 2019 to facilitate an institutional climate study that included focus groups, listening sessions, and a survey of faculty, staff, and students. The group also engaged with Dr. Lynn Hernández that conducted workshops and trainings for faculty and staff on topics of implicit bias and microaggressions, and offered one-on-one coaching for faculty on these and other DEI-related topics. The DEI phase one strategic plan was completed by the task force and approved by the community during spring term 2021.