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Advisory Task Force on Inclusion & Race Relations

Introduction

In Fall of 2017, after conferring with College leadership, Dr. Murillo formed a group, representing the College's constituencies, to serve as an advisory task force on inclusion and race relations (Task Force). In the 2017-18 year, the Task Force agreed on a vision, mission and values to guide their work.

The Task Force also participated a member checking session in April 2018 for the USC Racial Experience Climate Assessment, and through a series of meetings discussed how to effectively navigate issues of inclusion and race relations at Southwestern College.

In fall 2018 The Task Force engaged in eight equity institutes led by nationally recognized experts on issues specific to Southwestern College. The Task Force will provide recommendations on the recommendations from the USC Racial Experience Climate Assessment, and formed four working groups to develop four transformative interventions designed to strengthen, enhance, and support shifting the culture at the college.

Vision, Mission and Working Values

Task Force Vision

SWC is the mecca of educational equity and academic excellence.

Mission

We acknowledge a history of racism and inequity by design. We are guided by social justice principles to create the foundation for change that fosters innovation and opportunity to empower individuals, students, employees, and the larger community.

Working Values Areas

  • Cultural proficiency
  • Professional Development
  • Inclusive Environment
  • Hiring Practices
  • Student Centered/Academic Excellence
  • Race Consciousness
  • Data Informed/Research Informed
  • Equity & Social Justice

Task Force Members

Abdimalik Buul, Allison Green, Angelica Palacios Gonzalez, Angelica Suarez, David Caspi, Emmylou Gamoning, Henry Aronson, Janelle Williams, Jesse Reyes, Kindred Murillo, Linda Escobedo, Lisa Rodriguez, Lourdes Sevilla, Maggie Croft, Marisol Natividad, Martha D. Garcia, Myesha Jackson, Patricia Flores-Charter, Ronnie Hands, Veronica Cadena

A Plan to Create Employee Equity

Overview of Race Relations Efforts Southwestern Community College District

The Governing Board of Southwestern Community College District has been engaged in assessing, understanding, and acting on the racial challenges at the college since overcoming significant challenges during 2011, 2012, and 2013. After recommendation from a report regarding the issues, the Board set in place the following:

  • Training
  • Title IX director position
  • Revised polices on harassment and discrimination
  • Inclusion Matters professional development series

After further assessing the situation, making strategic changes in the focus, and obtaining a report regarding the racial tensions in 2016, the Board hired Dr. Murillo as the superintendent/president to lead the District because of her experience and background in culture assessment and change. The Board set six clear goals in the order of importance for the president to meet over a three-year period. The specific one related to the concerns addressed in your letter:

  • Fostering a climate of respect, trust, and openness through building a culture of fairness, equity, and inclusion.
    • Provide constituencies with the opportunity to constructively address race/inclusion issues on campus

During the first six months of her presidency, Dr. Murillo provided a preliminary assessment regarding the racial tensions at Southwestern College, and the college began working on deeply assessing the issues and began internal process improvements. Following are the actions taken:

  • Assessment processes
    • Retention meetings with employees considering leaving and listening sessions
    • Requesting and obtaining expertise
      • Dr. Shaun Harper _ USC Race and Equity Center
        • Conducted racialized experiences focus groups
        • Conducted a member checking session April 27, 2018
        • Provide a qualitative racial experience report
  • Compiled ten years of data for faculty, staff, and administrator diversity
  • Reviewed previous investigations, lawsuits
  • Human resources processes assessment
    • Hiring
    • Onboarding
    • Retention
    • Promotions
    • Internal processes are person dependent
    • No desk procedures
    • Lack of stable leadership and dedicated employees
  • Experts
    • Dr. Sonel Shropshire –
      • Training, job description/announcements/placement of announcements
      • Trained College Management Team on hiring diversity
  • Center for Urban Education – USC – Estela Bensimon
    • Training for hiring diverse faculty - sent team
    • Equity Minded Teaching – sent team
  • Dr. Damon Williams – Author of Strategic Diversity Leadership and the Chief Diversity Officer
  • Increased accountability measures
    • Investigated complaints
      • Respond within 48 hours response and assign to a third party investigator within 72 hours
      • Started or Completed 53 investigations
  • Held employees accountable to Board Policies, state and federal statutes
    • Appropriate actions taken; employee/student privacy prohibits us from providing details
  • Encouraged employees to use college processes
    • Discourage from going around appropriate processes by going directly to the Governing Board
  • Communications, Professional Development
    • Revising Vision, Mission, and Values to reflect Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
    • Implemented year-long Inclusion Matters Conference which included such topics as demographic changes and implicit bias
    • Implement Professional Development Hiring Opportunities
    • Trained with Center for Urban Education to revise hiring practices and equity minded teaching
    • Conducted Strategic Diversity Leadership Workshop for all management with Damon Williams
    • Rebranding college identity
    • Things to Know column – direct communication from the President to all college constituents
    • Transparent agendas for shared governance groups and for the Governing Board and public
    • Listening sessions – opportunities for discussion
  • Data Informed
    • Reviewing 10 years employee demographic data to understand community, student, and employee demographic equity disparities
    • Student success – disaggregated data and gaps in equity
      • Focusing on equity disparities by providing the following interventions
        • Embedded tutoring
        • Learning communities such as Umoja, Puente, Black Brotherhood Leadership Alliance
        • Men of Color Conference
        • Black Graduation
  • Board Workshop - Equity and Diversity
    • Board creating a definition of equity, diversity, and Inclusion
    • College and Board will create a scorecard for equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Resources
    • Budgeted for deliberate equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts
    • Created Executive Director of Employee Equity, Inclusion and Professional Development and placed an acting until permanent hire completed
    • Created and trained an Advisory Task Force (Task Force) to the President on Inclusion and Race Relations
    • Providing strategic professional development to ensure implicit bias training, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), and equity institutes.
  •  Hiring Processes
    • In process of revising all hiring processes to ensure diversity
      • Rewriting job descriptions before recruitment to include equity minded and race conscious
      • Reviewing applicant pool, first level, and second level demographics to ensure processes are fair – disparate impact report
      • Changing recruitment flyers to be equity minded; hired a consultant to place job recruitments in locations of high diversity
      • Monitoring and changing committee demographics to reflect diversity
      • Requiring EEO and implicit bias training for all participating on hiring committees.
  • Created professional development leadership process to provide opportunities for promotions
    • Promoted several internal diverse faculty and staff into leadership roles
  • Results for management to date (faculty is in process) based on implementing:
    • Disparate treatment reports
    • Requiring hiring committees are diverse
    • Intentionally placing job announcements for diversity hiring
    • Changing job descriptions to focus on equity, diversity, and race consciousness
    • Revising questions to ensure inclusion, behavioral, and equity
  •   Hired two human resources professional consultant to:
    • Work on internal human resource systems and processes
    • Comprehensively revise hiring, onboarding, retention, and promotion processes
    • Revise appropriate human resources policies and procedures

The Report on the Racial Climate for Faculty and Staff was released collegewide at the beginning of the Fall 2018 semester.

Task Force Work Plan

Date Item Theme
Dec 8, 2017 Retreat Courageously and Effectively Exploring, Discussing, and Navigating Issues of Inclusion and Racism at Southwestern College
Feb 9, 2018 Meeting Courageously and Effectively Exploring, Discussing, and Navigating Issues of Inclusion and Racism at Southwestern College: Part 2
Mar 9, 2018 Meeting Unpacking of Racial Experience Different Group Perspectives
April 13, 2018 Meeting Review of Task Force Vision and Discussion of Values
May 11, 2018 Meeting Debrief of Racial Climate Assessment Preliminary Findings
Equity Institute Begins
Aug 24 – Oct 12   The USC Equity Institute is an 8-week program of virtual classroom instruction provided by experts from across the nation.  After the completing the Institute, the President’s Task Force will develop four sustainable racial equity projects to be implemented at Southwestern College to achieve long-term organizational change.
Based on the Racial Climate Assessment, results and recommendations, the following modules have identified:
Aug 24, 2018 Equity Institute Module 1 FOUNDATIONS OF RACIAL EQUITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION

 

Aug 31, 2018 Equity Institute Module 2 TALKING ABOUT RACE, RACISM, AND RACIAL INEQUITIES
Sept 7, 2018 Equity Institute Module 3 RACE-CONSCIOUS LEADERSHIP IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Sept 14, 2018 Equity Institute Module 4 REC 705 ADVANCING RACIAL EQUITY IN A MAJORITY-MINORITY CONTEXT
Sept 21, 2018 Equity Institute Module 5 LEADING IN MOMENTS OF RACIAL CRISIS: PART I
Sept 28, 2018 Equity Institute Module 6 LEADING IN MOMENTS OF RACIAL CRISIS: PART II
Oct 5, 2018 Equity Institute Module 7 MANAGING AND RESOLVING RACIAL TENSIONS IN THE WORKPLACE
Oct 12, 2018 Equity Institute Module 8 RELATIONSHIPS OF POWER AND REDUCING ABUSE OF POWER IN THE WORKPLACE
Oct 16, 2018 Governing Board Town Hall Governing Board listens to the college community - Room L238 N/S
Nov Meeting Equity Institute Debrief and Project Planning
Dec Meeting Project Discussion and Development
Feb Meeting Implementation of Projects begin
Employee Listening Sessions
Sept 27, 2018 11:45am - 1:10pm Higher Education Center at National City, Room 7130
Oct 24, 2018 11:45am - 1:10pm Higher Education Center at San Ysidro, Room TBD
Nov 29, 2018 11:45am - 1:10pm Higher Education Center at Otay Mesa, Room 4500