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LACCD: Framework for Racial Equity and Social Justice

Originally Published: 7/9/2020

Taking Action to Root Out Racism and Internalize Anti-Racist Policies and Practices at LACCD

As an organization founded on educational excellence, opportunity and access, and dedicated to the principles of equity, justice and community, the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) must lead by example, and make structural and permanent change to root out the ill effects of racism and bias from our classrooms and our workplace.

The horrific, inexcusable killing of George Floyd, the shooting death of Andres Guardado, a student at Trade Tech College, and the beatings and killings of other unarmed men and women and people of color are absolute, unwarranted tragedies.

These deaths also represent a tipping point for our national consciousness and our actions, where as a society we have been neglectful or remained uncomfortable in discussing the impact of race in this country and at our institutions of higher education. LACCD must be deliberate and purposeful in educating around being anti-racist, while internalizing anti-racist and eradicating anti-Blackness policies and practices.

The following Framework for Racial Equity and Social Justice speaks to the values of our organization and directs specific action steps and commitments that will allow our colleges and District to set a cultural tone and to actively build anti- racist organizational capacity and resilience, and move forward towards a more socially and racially-just academic community. The action steps are intended to complement, not supplant, specific activities and programs at the nine colleges, where some of this work has already begun.

To provide continuity and accountability, the District will establish a Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Black/African American Student Affairs to provide advice, guidance and expertise to the Chancellor and Board of Trustees on issues impacting the Black/African American faculty, staff and student community. Amongst its first charges, the Advisory Committee will develop an Equity, Anti-racism and Inclusivity Statement for LACCD to use as our “North Star” for the District’s social justice and racial equity framework and values.

Through its employees and students, LACCD has tremendous assets and personal narratives to draw from. As such, LACCD will commit to create and sustain safe places for open dialogue, and courageous and crucial conversations on race and equity through scheduled and coordinated forums and Town Halls.

This spring, the District became a founding member of the California Community College Equity Leadership Alliance through the Race and Equity Center at the University of Southern California. Through the Alliance, our District will have access to resources, trainings and annual assessments, all aimed at improving equity. Among the first activities, we’ll conduct a Districtwide racial climate survey administered by the USC Race and Equity Center to assess the racial and equity climate at the nine colleges and Educational Services Center, and disaggregate the data to better understand the dynamics of race, gender identity and multiracial intersectionality.

The District will deploy an accountability framework to ensure an equity lens throughout this work, and use the Guided Pathways framework for action, measures, follow-through on the identified action steps with annual reports to the community.

LACCD ACTION STEP COMMITMENTS

  1. Create and empower a Districtwide Race, Equity and Inclusion Human Resources Workgroup to bolster the focus and work of the Human Resources Division, Personnel Commission, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the District EEO Advisory Committee. The Workgroup will be charged to review all district policies and practices aimed at identifying structural and systemic barriers to the recruitment, hiring, onboarding, supervision and promotion of historically underrepresented and marginalized communities, with an emphasis on the historical barriers for Black/African Americans.
  2. Begin an immediate review of campus-based Equity Plans and strengthen the investment in proven practices that advance diversity, equity and inclusion (e.g. EOPS, APASS, DSPS, Umoja, Puente, Dream Resource Centers, re-entry programs and services, Veterans’ Resource Centers, Black Scholars, LGTBQIA+) aimed at eradicating currently existing equity, opportunity and achievement gaps and review and recommend policies that close the equity gaps and advance student success.
  3. Support the faculty’s efforts to construct and redesign curriculum intentionally and strategically to support and build upon equitable, anti-racist classroom environments and professional learning, beginning with the review of curriculum germane to the study of race, class and equity, administration of justice, and first-responder training, including the investigation of an ethnic studies requirement for LACCD.
  4. Engage with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Community College to begin an immediate review of the Community College Bureau’s contract for services, policies and practices related to community policing, de-escalation techniques, risk assessment and establishing mandated cultural proficiency, anti-bias and cultural responsiveness training.
  5. In consultation with each of our six employee groups and unrepresented groups and senior management:
    1. Support the alignment and availability of professional development and training around diversity, equity, inclusion, equitable teaching practices, implicit bias, micro-and macro- aggressions and anti-racist behaviors; and
    2. Review the employee evaluation process to improve performance, cultural responsiveness and outcomes.
  6. Develop student leadership opportunities that promote equity and that celebrate and respect the differences that make up multiracial America, including education, protest, and empowering initiatives that incorporate the knowledge and voices of minoritized populations.
  7. Plan, coordinate and implement Districtwide Teach-Ins around race, justice and equity, and anti-racism and develop user-friendly resources of anti-racist literature and practices.
  8. Engage and invest in Districtwide advocacy efforts aimed at introducing and supporting state and national legislation focused on racial equity, inclusion and diversity.
  9. Coordinate and promote a Districtwide civic awareness and volunteerism campaign to bolster civic engagement, voting, and full participation in the democratic process.

In Solidarity We Stand,
Members of the Chancellor’s Cabinet:

Francisco C. Rodriguez

Chancellor

Barry C. Gribbons

President, Los Angeles Valley College

Melinda A. Nish

Interim Deputy Chancellor

Seher Awan

President, Los Angeles Southwest College

Mercedes C. Gutierrez

Interim Vice Chancellor, Human Resources

Monte E. Perez

President, Los Angeles Mission College

William H. Boyer

Director, Communications and External Relations

Otto W. K. Lee

President, Los Angeles Harbor College

Jeffrey M. Prieto

General Counsel

Ryan M. Cornner

Vice Chancellor, Edu. Programs and Institutional Effectiveness

Carmen V. Lidz

Vice Chancellor/ Chief Information Officer

Alberto J. Roman

Interim President, East Los Angeles College

Ronald D. Delahoussaye

Director, Personnel Commission

James M. Limbaugh

President, West Los Angeles College

Rueben C. Smith

Chief Facilities Executive

Mary P. Gallagher

President, Los Angeles City College

Valencia M. Moffett

Director, Business Services

Katrina A.VanderWoude

President, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College

Jeanette L. Gordon

Chief Financial Officer/ Treasurer

Alexis S. Montevirgen

President, Los Angeles Pierce College

Maria Luisa Veloz

Administrative Officer to the Chancellor


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