EQUITY MATTERS: Envisioning and Building a Culture of Justice TogetherPosted: Jun/16/2021 11:57 AM
Envisioning and Building a Culture of Justice Together
Equity Audit Dialogues
Throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, ELAC joined The California Community College Equity Leadership Alliance hosted by the USC Race and Equity Center and participated in monthly state-wide eConvenings focused on expanding racial equity in academia. These workshops have provided critical space for campus leaders to explore practical and strategic approaches for strengthening campus commitments to anti-racist practice. The ELAC faculty, staff, and students who participated in these learning sessions gained significant insights that they were then able to share at our Equity Audit Dialogues.
The ELAC Equity Audit Dialogues are an interactive workshop series aiming to foster engaged space for students, staff, and faculty to deepen our understanding and implementation of anti-racist and equity-minded educational frameworks. We work to build a campus culture that emphasizes education as a space rooted in empathy, allyship, solidarity, and empowerment.
Gratitude to Our Equity Ambassadors
|Djuradj Babic||Chris Garcia||Golden Sheard|
|Yuxuan Bai||Raeanna Gleason||Stuart Souki|
|Leticia Barajas||Robert Godinez||Josh Summers|
|Michele Benjamin||Emily Haddad||Emily Sun|
|Vernita Burrell||LaQuita Jones||J. Edward Stevenson|
|Carlos Centeno||Monica Lopez||Beatriz Tapia|
|Ken Chaiprasert||Kendra Madrid||Kevin Van Houten|
|Laura Cruz-Atrian||Natalina Monteiro||Jose Villareal|
|Cecilia Cruz||Raymond Oropeza||Steve Wardinski|
|An Do||Kashif Powell||Promise Williams|
|Miguel Duenas||Kenny Renderos||Ruth Zambrano|
|Joanna Flores||Amanda Ryan Romo||Nora Zepeda|
|09.25.20||Fostering and Sustaining Inclusive Classrooms for Students of Color|
|10.23.20||Understanding and Addressing Implicit Bias|
|11.20.20||Understanding and Confronting Anti-Black Racism|
|01.22.21||Meaningfully Integrating Race Across Curriculum|
|02.26.21||Recruiting and Hiring Faculty of Color|
|03.26.21||Confronting Explicit Acts of Racism and Racial Violence on Campus|
|04.23.21||Equity-Minded Student Support|
|05.28.21||Implementing AB 705 and Other Legislation in Equitable Ways|
Join us for the upcoming Equity Audit Dialogues:
Recruiting and Strategically Diversifying Staff at All Levels
Accountability and Incentives for Advancing Racial Equity
Opposing the Erasure of Asian Americans
Creating Equitable Pathways to Leadership Roles for Employees of Color Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans
|“We will not go back to normal.
Normal never was.
Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding,
hate and lack.
We should not long to return, my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature."
~Sonya Renee Taylor
ELAC RACIAL EQUITY & SOCIAL JUSTICE
TOWN HALL SERIES
|Fall 2020||Spring 2021|
Building an Anti-Racist Culture at ELAC:
It Starts With You
When They Call You a Terrorist:
A Black Lives Matter
Racial Microaggressions: Using Critical Race Theory to Respond to Everyday Racism
Fighting for Racial Equity and Social Justice Mendez v. Westminster School District (1947) Desegregation Case
A Discussion on Racial Equity and Social Justice
Cultivating a Community of Praxis at
East Los Angeles College
Racial Equity and Social Justice
The Uses of Anger: Writing on Love, Rage, and Healing
In Winter 2021, we launched an Anti-Racist Reading Group dedicated to collectively studying timely texts in order to both strengthen bonds among members of our ELAC community and to work together to envision a more just and equitable campus.
Each semester the Anti-Racist Reading Group selects a different book, and faculty and staff volunteer to facilitate open-ended discussions of the book’s central themes. During winter we read Bettina Love’s We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom and during spring, we read Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Anti-Racist.
If you would like to join the summer reading group, please contact email@example.com.
Gratitude to the Reading Group Facilitators:
Sara Behseta Vernita Burrell Joanna Flores Raeanna Gleason
Eileen Ie Luis Orozco Natalina Monteiro
Kevin Van Houten Kelly Velasquez Promise Williams
F O R T H C O M I N G
|Equity Matters Canvas Repository||
|Equity Matters Newsletter||Issue One to be released on Opening Day that will celebrate the dynamic and creative equity practices faculty and staff are modeling across campus|
|Equity Practitioner Certificate||Monthly workshop series aimed at expanding equity practices culminating in a certification
|Equity Speaker & Workshop Series||Theme: Healing|
|Equity Podcast||Hosted by: Renato Jimenez, Sociology|
A Message from Dean Ochoa and Vice President Benavides
Student Services has been training student mentors in the First-Year Experience program for the past five years. The goal is to foster student agency by students taking an active role in their ownership of their college student journey. The training infuses a strength-based approach which students see themselves as resourceful and resilient (Clifton Strengths, 2006; McCashen, 2005) and emphasizes student’s forms of cultural capital utilizing Yosso’s (2005) theoretical work on Community Cultural Wealth, as well as Rendon’s Validation Theory (1994). There are six forms of capital:
- Aspirational Capital
- Social Capital
- Linguistic Capital
- Familial Capital
- Navigational Capital
- Resistance Capital
In fall 2021, the Peer Mentoring program expanded to include a peer navigator component so that all financial aid work study student workers can receive this training as well as include more intensive training on student support services. This will support student’s navigational capital The intent is support student’s sense of belonging and connectedness to the campus by understanding how to navigate within the campus systems and structures and taking advantage of the college’s social networks. This training has been conducted by Dr. Sandy Chavez who has developed the student mentoring framework through the Student Equity and Achievement program. The training will soon be offered to any student worker at ELAC during summer 2021.
There are several student population groups that have been identified as disproportionately impacted in terms of student success rates, such as LGBTQ+, African American/Black, Latinx, Female Latinx, and formerly incarcerated students. Several programs such as the Dream Resource Center, LGBTQ+ Center, Education Justice/Rising Scholars, and Latina Completion Academy. These affinity groups have banded together under a collaborative entitled the One Zone. It is a collective impact mechanism that brings together these groups to discuss common concerns and unite in solidarityship to support their programming. One Zone is comprised of: The Dream Resource Center, Education Justice Program, The LGBTQ+ Center, Safe Zone Solidarity Trainings and most recently, the Umoja Program. Together these programs support the intersectional identities of our ELAC community and emphasize the importance of centering identity with a strength-based outlook.
2020-2021 also witnessed collaboration work with Dr. Vanessa Ochoa, Dean in Student Services as a Co-Facilitator of Student Equity. Dr. Ochoa co-facilitates student equity work with Professional Development and the President’s Equity Dialogues. In particular, Dr. Ochoa supports student services mission of ensuring that students are provided with knowledge that enhances their ability to advocate for their needs to ensure they meet their educational goals.
|"The classroom, with all its limitations, remains a location of possibility. In that field of possibility we have the opportunity to labor for freedom, to demand of ourselves and our comrades, an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress. This is education as the practice of freedom."
A Letter from President Alberto J. Roman
When I arrived at East Los Angeles College (ELAC) in July of 2020, I introduced a framework to advance Social Justice and Racial Equity initiatives. It has been truly inspiring to see our faculty, staff and administrators carry forward the goals of the framework. ELAC has been simply remarkable in opening up honest and courageous conversations about what it means to be an anti-racist campus. The work of our Equity Leads, Professional Development Office, Women and Gender Studies, and Student Equity Program has been instrumental in facilitating these conversations at various meetings, trainings, and events. Yet, equally important is the active participation of our faculty and staff. I appreciate how supportive our campus has been in becoming the leader in this social justice space.
As we turn the corner into a new academic year, I see ample opportunities for ELAC to continue advancing equity-focused initiatives. But to make transformative change, we must be willing to examine college processes, systems and programs that create barriers for our students. The first step in embracing change is to reflect upon on our own contributions towards this very important work. In order to disrupt and challenge inequities and injustices, we must begin by examining who we are based on our identities and how our positionality plays into transformative change or the maintenance of the status quo. Our own positionality and epistemology contribute to how we challenge and disrupt systems of oppression and injustices. Exploring our own identities and acknowledging our own individual need for learning and professional growth will help us better understand the importance of inclusive learning and working environments, and therefore contribute to the vision to better serve our students and address student success equity gaps.
Moreover, to genuinely bring to light the current status of the college, the voices of the students that we serve must also be heard. Let us remember that it is only through student voices that we can provide an education that is culturally relevant, and one which meets the needs of the college’s population and the community we serve. To bring upon transformation we must call attention and center the stories of those who have been historically marginalized and oppressed.
In this vein, I challenge all of us to support the college into the future as we embark upon the work to eliminate educational barriers through equity-driven systems. The passion of our Husky Family for serving students of diverse backgrounds is what separates us from others and will be a contributing factor to our future success.
So, thank you Husky community for helping us set the table for the transformative change we have planned for the upcoming year. The future is hopeful and exciting!
Dr. Alberto J. Roman, President
East Los Angele College
|“I intend to destroy segregation by positive and embracing methods. When my brothers try to draw a circle to exclude me, I shall draw a larger circle to exclude them. Where they speak out for the privileges of a puny group, I shall shout for the rights of all mankind. I shall neither supplicate, threaten, nor cajole my country or her people. With humility but with pride I shall offer one small life . . . To fulfill the prophecy that all are created equal.”
~Dr. Pauli Murray
Murray was an African-American trans, civil rights activist, lawyer, feminist, episcopal priest and author.
Meet the Equity Team
What does educational justice mean to you?
Nancy Ramirez, PhD
Professional Development Coordinator
“Educational justice is the commitment to address the embedded structural racism of our educational system that maintains and oppresses disenfranchised and underrepresented students of color. It is productively disrupting historically powered relations as part of working towards equitable student outcomes, hence cultivating transformative agency among historically marginalized individuals and communities. The aim of educational justice is to create political and cultural change to transform all inequities in public education and to expand equitable forms of learning and teaching that contribute to a socially just society. The seeds of the educational justice movement are found in community building and organizing, educational activism, and equity-minded allies at local, state, and national levels.”
Delloro Program in Social Justice
Educational justice means creating empowering spaces of learning that reach toward personal and collective liberation. While higher education has historically perpetuated oppressive frameworks, we can collaborate to confront systemic inequity by committing to justice-driven values and practices. We must build a campus environment that honors our students’ complex needs and dreams and that amplifies critical thinking and self-expression so that students can strengthen their ability to advocate for themselves and in solidarity with others.
Educational justice means equality of opportunity. A just educational system is one that supports historically marginalized and disenfranchised identities as well as those who have benefitted from systems of domination. It is positive-sum. It is optimistic, personal, and loving. Mutual aid and uplift are common practices. A dynamic and reciprocal relationship wherein institutional policies are informed by data and interpersonal interactions motivated by institutional policies. It recognizes our students and ourselves as whole and worthy humans.
Educational justice means ensuring all students see themselves represented in curriculum, faculty and staff. It must transform campus culture to one that promotes safety and cultural empathy. To decolonize higher education, we must reclaim what was taken by instilling radical change in institutional policies and practices in order to reconstruct an educational system that affirms that every students' journey matters.
Gratitude to Josue Ramirez and Ronaldo Villalobos
Save the Date:
IBRAM X. KENDI
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities
National Book Award Winner
#1 NewYork Times Bestselling AuthorDirector, Boston University Center for Antiracist Research