Leadership Forum Reflects on Equity

Members of the Valencia College Leadership Forum reflected on equity and how we, as a college, may move the discussion to action during the forum’s Tuesday, October 22, 2019, meeting.

President of West and Downtown Campuses Falecia Williams, Vice President of Academic Affairs Isis Artze Vega, Vice President of Student Affairs Joe Richardson, Assistant Vice President of Teaching and Learning Wendi Dew, Assistant Vice President of Equity and Access Ryan Kane and Assistant Vice President Organizational Development Carla McKnight facilitated the conversation.

Forum members broke into small groups for discussions focused on what diversity, inclusion and equity look like in each participant’s work, how others have defined diversity, risks related to not treating everyone the same and what is possible if we don’t treat everyone the same. Initial impressions of the terms equity, diversity and inclusion were explored and discussed, followed by explanation and illustrations of the terms and their differences.

Updates on our equity work in several areas were shared. Equity-minded hiring practices training is currently under development and will launch in December 2019 for deans and January 2020 for all members of spring 2020 faculty hiring committees. The trainings will contain toolkits and resources for all hiring committee members. Plans to put equity in action in the classroom, in campus plans and in faculty development were also shared as an update on our work thus far and to provide examples of goals, outcomes and practices that help to create an equitable environment.

Leading and advancing the equity work will take both internal reflection and understanding and assessing the external environment by reviewing practices, processes and protocols through an equity lens. At the end of the meeting, forum members were asked to think deeply about their own equity beliefs and to share what they will commit to work on, such as committing to learning or committing to unlearning and making a commitment to embed equity in their work. In addition, they were asked to share what support they needed to advance our work at Valencia on equitable workplaces.

Feedback from the meeting was collected and will be reviewed and analyzed by the presenters, the Council Officer Co-chairs group and senior leadership to identify themes and create plans to advance the work. For a copy of the presentation, click here.

The next Leadership Forum meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, from 1 – 4 p.m. in the School of Public Safety Auditorium.

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