We held a meeting of the President’s Advisory Committee on Equity & Inclusion on February 17, 2017. We had representatives from the community, faculty and staff from College of the Redwoods and Humboldt State University, and two students from our Black Student Union attend. It was an incredibly powerful meeting. I want to share some the resultant ideas of the meeting with you.
I asked the advisory committee to provide input on the draft Strategic Vision for 2027. Ideas they come up with included:
· Diversity must be reflected, not only in the student body, but also in the faculty and staff.
· Add accountability so the college is accountable to the community around its mission of service.
· CR should expand its curriculum and develop courses that address the history, experience and identity of students of color. It is important for students of color to know about their history and themselves in order to feel a sense of belonging and succeed in college.
· Stop saying "supporting diversity,” and instead, use stronger language that describes what we really want. Be clearer on our vision: Equity for all people.
I also asked my advisors to provide some advice on what we, as an educational institution, can do to contribute to the social justice and racial inequity discussion. Some of the advice they share included:
· The college should support the creation of more student organizations and the new Multi-Cultural Center.
· We should bring speakers to campus from the community.
· CR’s President must have a greater presence in the general community and share his vision. CR should publicly stand for equity and justice and the ways CR meet the needs of its students.
· We should shift the discussion from fostering "diversity” to creating a college culture centered around student equity and validation. We already have diversity. Students of color should not be burdened with having to educate their fellow students and faculty.
· Include the LGBTQ community in all discussions around equity.
What an energizing experience!
I am attaching the notes of the meeting to this blog article.