The Cowl Launches Cross-Campus Listening Tour
By Andrea Traietti ’21
This week’s issue marks the official start to The Cowl’s listening tour across campus, as we publish the first in a series of articles on the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at Providence College.
As part of our listening tour series, The Cowl will be publishing an article relating to DEI in each issue of the paper for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. With our listening tour, our intention is to learn more about the experiences of BIPOC members of our community; bring attention to the efforts of different clubs, organizations, and departments that are working on social justice initiatives; and promote strategies for active anti-racism at PC and beyond.
The listening tour series is one of the ways we are working to follow through on the commitments we made to the PC community over the summer.
In July, The Cowl appeared on the @BlackatPC Instagram page in a post that highlighted a 2017 incident in which The Cowl published an article which used racist terminology and subsequently failed to apologize appropriately. The incident conveyed clearly to us that when it comes to DEI work and anti-racism, The Cowl has a long way to go.
In our response to that post, and in a statement on anti-racism that we had issued earlier in the summer following the murder of George Floyd, we committed to making improvements in our organization and to being active participants in anti-racism at the College.
When we turned to Quincy Bevely and Nick Sailor ’17 of the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for their insight and advice on following through on those commitments, they generously lent their time and suggestions—one of which was a listening tour. We owe credit for this idea to them.
We are so excited to put this plan into action because it fits perfectly with another point that Quincy and Nick made when we met with them: too often, we treat DEI work as something separate from the other parts of our life, when in reality, DEI should be a lens through which we see each and every part of our lives and the world around us.
That is why articles that we publish as part of our listening tour will appear in different sections of the newspaper each week, in News one week, but in Arts & Entertainment or Sports the next.
Each week, a different member of The Cowl will conduct an interview with another student, administrator, faculty member, or staff member to cover a specific DEI-related topic.
Our goals in connecting and conversing with these members of our community are two-fold, internal and external: first, we hope that as a staff, this initiative will enable us to listen and learn more about the initiatives taking place on our campus and the experiences of our BIPOC community members.
Second, we hope that by publishing what we learn from these conversations, we can help to amplify the voices of members of our community that have been marginalized for far too long and bring attention to causes across campus that need our action and support.
Our listening tour is only one step that we are taking in a movement for social justice that we know requires consistent and continuous action on our part. As we continue to build on this initiative and develop others, we invite the PC community to join us on our tour by reading each week, and we look forward to connecting with our readership and the community at large on our mission to listen, learn, and take action.