We believe that achieving equitable outcomes for all students regardless of their race is a moral obligation and what deeply resonates with the community college mission.
In fall of 2020, we affirmed our commitment to racial and social justice through publishing our planned actions. We want to reaffirm our commitment by providing an update articulating where we are today and our plans going forward.
Our faculty and staff have undertaken significant efforts to shift our academic structure and operations to a new remote environment. In doing so, they often reckoned with what it means to address the systemic racialized inequities that define the experience of so many of our students. While we recognize that these are just words, writing them is an exercise of both celebration and accountability. Although we are doing great work, our efforts need to continue and with greater intensity and focus, resulting in measurable outcome gains for our students and community.
Following some highlights of the work that is ongoing in many areas of the college:
- Leadership: With recent transitions and position retirements, keeping our momentum and building our capacity to enact practices that promote equitable student success as an Executive Team is even more critical. Here are some highlights of what we have done and plan on doing:
- All Executive Team members collectively read and discussed sections of the book Uprooting Racism, by Paul Kivel and The Racial Healing Handbook, by Anneliese A. Singh
- Most members of the Executive Team have completed the Professional Development Cultural Competence Certificate
- In addition to engaging in ongoing training, specific professional development is planned for January 2022
- Strategic Planning: Equity and academic excellence continue to be centered in our planned work:\
- The implementation of Chemeketa Pathways is taking shape and included in this process is our use of disaggregated data, which is informing not only the project’s implementation, but its impact after implementation
- Faculty are engaged in disseminating best practices in culturally responsive teaching through delivering presentations during Faculty Retreat and other professional development opportunities
- We are building capacity in the Human Resources office to increase applicant outreach, training, committee support, and to study current processes to better understand potential barriers and effectiveness of current practices
- We are continuing to improve the onboarding of new employees and focus on efforts that promote employee retention
- Our Hispanic Serving Institution grant that funds the Chemeketa Accelerated Pathways to Success (CAPS) project has provided the opportunity to institutionalize student success practices that increase access, progression, and degree/certificate completion. From college process navigation to using data to provide assistance and support, this grant has been key in developing the infrastructure to better serve our HIspanic and low-income students.
- Campus Climate: The climate survey results have been analyzed and employees and students are engaged in providing input concerning actions the college can take to create a more inclusive environment. As a result, the Diversity Advisory Council has been reconstituted and includes subcommittees in the following areas:
- College Climate: Advises the President and Chief Diversity Officer on opportunities and challenges related to College’s Equity roadmap action items.
- Data: Advises the President and Chief Diversity Officer on relevant data trends from the college scorecard, affirmative action report, equity scorecard, Early Momentum Metrics, and other data, as well as opportunities to increase access and the use of data to support college’s commitment to diversity and equity.
- DEI Education: Advises the President and Chief Diversity Officer on informing, collaborating, and planning education opportunities college-wide.
- Communication and Community Engagement (Internal): Advises the President and Chief Diversity Officer on relevant issues that need to be communicated to the larger public.
- Community Engagement (external): Advises the President and Chief Diversity Officer on issues of importance to external stakeholders and promotes opportunities to engage partnerships that benefit the community.
Additionally, several community conversations have been held with students and employees of color to provide support and connection during this time of great uncertainty.
- Capacity Building: Starting last fall, our professional development offerings began incorporating increased emphasis on building capacity for delivering anti-racist practices. Some of our professional development offerings included:
- Anti-Racism In A Box: From Theory to Practice - Ten employees were selected to participate in our newest program. Each participant received a box in the mail each month - for six months - containing physical items that were discussed during monthly meetings. In addition, participants were required to attend a related training session each month.
- Anti-Racism Track: This is a new track of the Professional Development Cultural Competence Certificate.
- A Day of Learning for Racial Justice celebrates Juneteenth, College employees were invited to participate in a day of learning with interactive virtual activities to incite self-reflection and action.
- Hispanic Serving Institution grant| Chemeketa Accelerated Pathways to Success (CAPS): new professional development for faculty has been developed and implemented as a part of the holistic approach of the CAPS grant.
- Social Justice in the Curriculum: Faculty in different academic programs have partnered with local and regional organizations to lift and integrate in the curriculum voices that have been historically erased or underrepresented. One example of this is the grant the college received from the National Endowment for Humanities for a project entitled: Lifting Voices: Public Speaking as a Bridge to the Humanities.
- Equity Lens: The college has adopted the following five equity principles to guide our decision-making process and have trained managers and employees on using our equity framework.
- Five Equity Principles:
- Representation does not equal voice: We seek representation from diverse voices and are committed to addressing dominant norms to achieve equal participation.
- Everyone has potential: We believe in every student’s potential to succeed.
- Lived experiences matter: We honor peoples’ lived experiences and are aware of historical impacts. As a result, we take ownership of the student outcomes we produce as an institution and engage in improving practices to better serve students, specifically those who have been historically marginalized.
- Mitigate harm: We bring awareness to negative impacts and mitigate potential harm by distributing benefits/services/resources equitably across those who need it the most.
- Self-awareness: We examine how our own values, beliefs, blind spots, and experiences inform our perspective.
In addition, the college is in the process of reviewing all board policies and applying the established equity lens during the process.
Message from September 2020
Our plan begins with identifying existing problems and its scope through a climate survey, which was completed March of 2020. In addition to the survey, we are conducting a root cause analysis through focus groups and engaging employees in providing input. While this assessment is taking place, we continue to promote shared learning through professional development and embed equity-minded practices in decision-making through instilling our desired values in institutionalized processes. Following are the tenets of our plan:
- Leadership: Chemeketa’s Executive Team (ET) has been actively engaged in building leadership capacity to enact practices that promote equitable student success. As part of this work, ET developed specific team goals to prepare for the work ahead.
- Strategic Planning: Equity and academic excellence are central to our planned work. The ongoing initiatives such as Guided Pathways, Learning Outcomes, Diversity Hiring, and the Institutionalization of Equitable Practices, are key to interrogating our practices to address systemic challenges.
- Campus Climate: In March of 2020, the college engaged in completing the campus climate survey. As a result of this work, the Diversity Advisory Council will engage in action planning with our campus community. Learn more about the campus climate survey.
- Capacity Building: Starting this fall, our professional development offerings will incorporate increased emphasis on building capacity for delivering anti-racist practices.
- Social Justice in the Curriculum: It is our vision to be a catalyst for individuals, businesses, and communities to excel in diverse and changing environments. We can do so by being attentive to our curriculum and teaching practices bringing a social justice framework to cultural literacy courses and other programs.
- Equity Lens: The Executive Team has been engaged in initiating the use of a simple equity lens. We invite you to use this same lens during your meetings.
How You Can Engage
- Learn about the priorities of the Diversity Advisory Council and contact one of the members to learn about how to get involved.
- Participate in professional development at Chemeketa and complete the Cultural Competence Certificate. The certificate is a college initiative that requires substantial engagement in professional development and personal engagement.
- Ask about Guided Pathways and how you can support this strategic initiative. Use this equity framework as a guide when assessing decisions. Look at the Early Momentum Metrics. What do you tell yourself about the data? What does the data tell you? How can you use the data to help inform your decisions?
- Through the program review and planning, consider new ways which racial justice can become considerations during these processes. Are you looking for inspiration? Check out these resources.
- Be engaged through current communication channels by reading and contributing your knowledge, experience and expertise through Chemeketa Chatter, Chemeketa Reads, Multicultural Service events and more.
Learn more throuhg our about Black Lives Matter library guide
Racial Justice in the Curriculum
We offer a series of courses that have a cultural literacy designation. Instructors are trained to embed social justice topics within the curriculum. The efforts to meet this requirement are consistently evolving and future updates will emphasize an anti-racist approach.
The Criminal Justice program at Chemeketa recognizes its responsibility in educating students who will make a positive impact on our communities. Ethics and social justice content is embedded throughout the curriculum. Contemporary issues and case studies, including incidents of police accountability and use of force, are regularly reviewed and discussed in the classroom. In the near future, the curriculum will reflect recommendations that result from the audit that the police academy is undergoing, which focused generally on law enforcement use of force practices, police accountability, and community policing objectives. The program chair is participating in sessions hosted by the police academy in professional standards for law enforcement, basic police training, and use of force training. In addition, the program’s advisory committee will be meeting in the coming fall to discuss whether social justice should be a stand-alone course or further incorporated into the existing curriculum.
Are you looking for ways to apply an Equity Lens to your work? Here is how your Executive Team is putting a simple framework into practice:
- Assign a person within your team to serve as the DEI ( Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Lead during your meetings.
- Establish a common understanding of the meaning of the words diversity, equity and inclusion.
- The responsibility of the DEI Lead is to ask the two fundamental questions during the meeting:
- What are the DEI implications of this decision/ proposal/situation?
- Do we have the capacity (knowledge/time/resources) to address these implications? If not, who does?
It is important to attend to the dynamics of your team and promote participation by seeking to establish working agreements.
Cultural Competence Certificate
The Cultural Competence Certificate Program provides recognition for Chemeketa employees who engage in cultural awareness professional development. The activities under this program promote awareness of self and others, while building skills to respond effectively to people from all cultures, economic statuses, language backgrounds, races, ethnic backgrounds, disabilities, religions, genders, gender identifications, sexual orientations, veteran statuses and other characteristics in a manner that recognizes, affirms and values their worth, and preserves the dignity of individuals, families and communities.