Your Community

A note: This page is geared toward Eckerd students, faculty, and staff as they are our primary audience. If you live outside of the Eckerd bubble we encourage you to look into the history of race and racism in your own community.

Eckerd is a Predominantly White Institution

A "predominantly white institution" refers to both the demographic makeup of students, and the culture of the institution as a whole

The college has recently seen an influx of people of color in positions of authority, from the President's office to Global Education

While important and necessary for change, putting a select few people of color into authority positions isn't enough and could even erode our ability to see our whiteness fully

This is important to consider in the context of a school like Eckerd

It is essential to keep in mind that different identities provide us with different advantages and disadvantages. For example, being a cisgender male in the U.S. is an advantage since we live in a country founded on the suppression of women and we still have a gender wage gap. Suppose that the male-identifying person is also gay. In that case, he has some disadvantages imposed on him since many people in the U.S. are still homophobic, which leaks into their hiring and leasing practices. So, let us keep in mind that this intersection of identities which creates an imbalance of privilege between people is also very prevalent at Eckerd. This means there are all types of identities, including race, that can afford people with certain social advantages and disadvantages.

It is also important to keep in mind that the experiences of people of color are diverse. Intersectionality at Eckerd means recognizing that gender identity, queer identity, race, ethnicity, class, and all identities are constantly at play with each other, creating many levels of privilege.

Student Demographics: A Visual of Whiteness on Campus*

*Sourced from Eckerd College
Race/Ethnicity % of TotalWhite 76.2%Hispanic 9.2%Two or more races 5.4%International 3.6%Black or African American 2.7%Asian 2.5%American Indian or Alaska Native 0.2%Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.1%Race and ethnicity unknown 0.1%

The Spring 2021 ECOS Debate and Election

The Current is a fantastic resource for Eckerd students, particularly if you're interested in learning more about student perspectives on social issues on campus. Here is an article about the ECOS debate and election that followed which is a good read, even though it's slightly outdated. It is a great article for first-years seeking context regarding issues of race and racism at Eckerd.


Most Eckerd students are familiar with Jayzeaster. While it may have been developed with "good intentions," this holiday has become an example of racism at Eckerd. Caricatures highlighting Black features have been used throughout history to degrade Black Americans; this is easily and often replicated in modern pop culture. On the left is a photo depicting anti-black stereotypes rooted in the Jim Crow era, on the right is a photo that appeared on Jayzeaster posters in Spring of 2021. While we acknowledge that the Black community is not a monolith, it's important to consider that harm to even one individual is a reason to rethink our "traditions" and how they may negatively impact our community at Eckerd.

Zooming Out

Eckerd is isolated from the St. Petersburg community. We've all heard about and experienced the "Eckerd bubble." It is important to remember that ur isolation is not an excuse to ignore the history of the city that we reside in. Learn more below.

A Racial History of Saint Petersburg

A Visual of Physical Segregation in St. Pete

Saint Petersburg has a history of racism and segregation; Eckerd's continued isolation from its surrounding community contributes to the segregation we see on this map. If you're outside of the Eckerd bubble or you're interested in learning about the racial demographics of your community, click here.

Indigenous History

The Land We Live On

Below are links to the official websites of the Seminole Tribe, Miccosukee Tribe, Muscogee Nation, and Choctaw Nation. They include rich information about the history, culture, and/or governmental structures of the Tribes:

The Seminole Tribe of Florida's websiteMiccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida websiteThe Muscogee Nation of Florida website The Choctaw Nation website

Here is a timeline created by Pinellas County highlighting parts of history from 14,000 years ago to 1888:

Pinellas county's account of the early history of the area

Here is a rich resource on St. Pete full of many links to written histories, audio clips, videos, and more:

USF St. Pete's Research Guide