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Reaffirmation of the Committee’s Work and Moving Forward

Dear Northwestern Community,

The Committee’s work consists of four broad efforts. The first is to assess and collect data on the status of what is currently happening at Northwestern. Nationally, we know that antisemitism and anti-Arab, -Palestinian racism and Islamophobia are on the rise. Assessing and collecting data will help us to better know specifics at Northwestern and help guide our continued efforts. We are also creating structures that will allow Northwestern to collect data more systematically, for both informational and comparison purposes, well into the future. That is, we hope to create data-gathering structures that are usable in the immediate term and that will endure.

The second effort is to listen. To this end, we have had a number of listening sessions, and the workgroups are currently scheduling more with students, staff and faculty, as well as broader Northwestern constituencies. The intersections of listening and assessing will provide the Committee with both data and some analyses of those data. The teams setting up listening sessions are doing so with deep care with the intent of protecting the privacy of those who speak to us, driven by protocols that are backed by research, and creating interview environments that are open and conducive to information gathering.

The third effort is to find ways to provide teaching and learning opportunities. Some of this work, the Committee will lead; others will be led by organizations at Northwestern. We expect that this effort will also lead to highlighting current courses and the creation of new ones.

The final part of our work is to make recommendations to Provost Hagerty and President Schill. The Committee understands that there is urgency in recommending different policies. We also know that assessment and listening take time. We will be guided by urgency, and we will take care to ensure that the recommendations are based on sound data.

We imagine that our recommendations will be both actionable and aspirational. More specifically, we will make very specific recommendations that, for example, highlight already existing policies or create new ones to address concerns or opportunities. These are actionable recommendations. The aspirational is fundamentally guided by considering: What do we want our Northwestern community to be as we grapple with big, important questions? And what is necessary to create the conditions for all our students, staff and faculty to thrive?

Two weeks ago, Effi, Bryan, Lily Cohen and Michael Simon were invited to participate in a panel discussion with the Board of Northwestern Hillel. It was a wide-ranging conversation that allowed the co-chairs and Committee members to better inform these important campus leaders on the Committee’s work. We will continue to engage in discussions with other Northwestern groups that reach out to us to talk.

The workgroups are also meeting, building systems for deeper data collection, planning listening sessions and moving toward deeper conversations. The Committee is also working to better understand the legal, institutional and structural opportunities for the work we have been charged to do.

While our workgroups are scheduling meetings with more than a dozen different student, staff and faculty groups, we are also interested in hearing from students outside of these groups. We would value hearing directly from students about any possible challenges or experiences related to these issues at Northwestern, your perceptions of them on campus more broadly, and your ideas for potential solutions. We want to gain a deep and multi-faceted understanding from you to complement a quantitative survey we are also doing. The results of this data collection will constitute the first comprehensive picture of discrimination against these groups at Northwestern. They will enable the Committee to make well-grounded recommendations to the President and Provost to prevent discrimination moving forward.  

The ultimate goal of our work is to make a better Northwestern for you. We can’t do that without your input! All interviews will be conducted with graduate students or recent alumni trained in qualitative methods, and individually identifying data will be anonymized.  

If you are a student interested in learning more or in signing up for an interview, please send a message to

Thank you for your continued feedback and engagement. We’re grateful.


Bryan and Effi (on behalf of the Committee)

For all updates, please visit the Committee Updates page.