Achieving the Dream (ATD) stands in solidarity with marginalized students and is committed to making equity a reality. We believe that for colleges to advance student success, ensuring equity is paramount. Since our founding in 2004, we have taken seriously our responsibility to support ATD Network colleges in their work to dismantle the structural barriers that students face in our institutions.
Through our Equity Statement, we are setting the direction we expect our colleges to navigate: a direction that reinforces an institution-wide commitment to transformational change that eliminates systemic barriers, addresses student needs, and increases social justice and equity.
Achieving the Dream believes that equity — our core founding principle — is the driving force to achieve the educational, economic, and social benefits of higher education for the students we serve. We believe that when colleges intentionally design and implement antiracist and just structures, policies, and practices that combat oppression, students and their communities thrive. Higher education must interrogate the disconnect between institutionalized practices that impact student success and the systemic structures and processes that continue to oppress and exclude students based on the intersection of race, ethnicity, gender identity, language, (dis)ability, sexual orientation, economic status, and/or religion.
Achieving the Dream remains steadfast in our commitment to delivering student-centered strategies to guide and support colleges to disrupt and dismantle historical systemic discriminatory legacies, structures, and barriers that prevent community members from prospering. We expect ATD Network colleges to honor their institutional responsibilities to create and invest in thriving local communities by leveraging their leadership positions to actualize social, economic, and racial justice. Through bold actions, colleges must transform their practices to target and eliminate specific barriers to student success and address their students’ needs by centering equity within their local context.