Macalester College, Carleton College and St. Olaf College have joined a new nationwide alliance of liberal arts colleges seeking to address racial equity.

Members of the Liberal Arts College Racial Equity Leadership Alliance will meet monthly to share strategies and mull how they can collectively work to make higher education more racially equitable. Colleges in the alliance will also have access to online resources and workplace climate surveys to guide employees in racial equity work.

Macalester, which is in St. Paul, is one of six founding members of the new alliance. Carleton and St. Olaf, both in Northfield, are among 51 colleges that have signed on as inaugural members.

"Membership in the Alliance gives us the opportunity to learn with and from other colleges like us and from leading experts working on diversity, equity, and inclusion," St. Olaf President David Anderson said in a statement Tuesday.

"This alliance was created out of a circle of new presidents and presidents of color," Macalester President Suzanne Rivera added. "A tight bond between these particular presidents led to the idea of an alliance … to advance racial justice and I'm very proud to have Macalester be among the founding members."

Rivera has made racial equity one of her top priorities in her first months as president. She started at Macalester on June 1, exactly one week after George Floyd died under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. Just last week, Rivera said the school would reimburse students who were arrested while participating in civil disobedience and couldn't afford to pay the fine.

Ryan Faircloth • 612-673-4234

Twitter: @ryanfaircloth