Dr. Edel Alonso believes that colleges must make every attempt to:
1) Provide programs that attract, support, and enhance the academic success of EVERY student
2) Invite ALL students to participate in continuous dialog to create respectful inclusive campuses
3) Provide mechanisms on campus by which students can engage in community building
4) Dedicate time, effort, and resources to creating an anti-racist campus.
It is imperative that we address the great social divide in part due to the inequities in access to higher education which lead to unequal attainment levels of educational achievement, transfer rates, and completion. A college education means more than education, it leads to economic opportunities and family stability. In addition, we must dedicate ourselves to creating an anti-racist campus where our diverse population of students and staff are free from racism whether overt or of at micro-aggression levels.
WHAT WE ARE DOING:
1) At COC, we review and update the Student Equity Plan with the aim of full implementation to be assured of progress in student outcomes as measured by success indicators outlined by the statewide Community Colleges Chancellor's Office. COC's Student Equity Plan
2) COC has created a new position and hired a Director of Diversity and Inclusion. We need to support his efforts and provide the space for a student center to give visibility to this endeavor. We recently held a town hall to give opportunity for the safe sharing of the personal experiences of African-American employees and students and we are planning a follow-up training session on how to be anti-racist and better allies to persons of color. Much additional work is required and particular commitment from the Board of Trustees to review strategic plans, policies, and practices. On June 29th, the Board of Trustees signed Resolution No. 2020/21-04 Call to Action to Enhance Equity ad Pursue Anti-Racism.
"... the Board of Trustees values the collective strength represented in the diversity of our faculty, our staff, our administrators, and our students, embraces critical reflection, and encourages the college community to continue engaging in the difficult and honest conversations concerning social justice and racial and ethnic bias that are necessary to enhance equity and remove systemic and institutional barriers for Black and African American students."
3) To be constructive, I have reached out to local law enforcement to affirm the existing collaboration between the college and the Sheriffs department for their continuing education.