California Community Colleges Vow to Fight for Racial Equity
Recently, cities across the United States rose up in peaceful protests to take a stand against racial violence and police brutality. In the collegiate world, eyes went to higher education institutions to seek a response, which ranged from promising protections for students from discrimination, implementing diversity training, promising reform of admissions procedures, and donating to causes.
Inside Higher Ed reported in a recent article that, in California, over half of the state’s community colleges have vowed to work together to promote racial equity across all of their campuses. This team, called the California Community College Equity Leadership Alliance, was created by Shaun Harper, founder of the Race and Equity Center at the University of Southern California, calling it, “an important reckoning with systemic racism.”
Each campus in the alliance will commit $25,000 each year to fund 12 training sessions about important topics like implicit bias and racism on campus, as well as funding online tools and campus surveys to gauge progress. Each campus can send a total of 75 people to training, with 20 being allowed in the first session and 5 at each session after that. The survey used will be the National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates survey, developed by the Race and Equity Center at USC.
This large commitment is indicative of change at an institutional level. At Pasadena City College, President Erika Endrijonas wants her college to be the first in the state to ensure equity for all students by 2027. To her, this commitment is a long time coming.
Members of the alliance are hopeful that, not only will this promote student equity on campus, but that the positive results will encourage more members to join. While the alliance is fresh, it will continue to stay open to new members and promote the spread of campuses stepping up in favor of their minority students.
Read the full article here.