Reflections on #ScholarStrike

Thursday, October 1, 2020

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

As you know, Valencia participated in the national #ScholarStrike movement, with more than 300 faculty, staff and administrators who removed themselves from regularly scheduled activities on Tuesday, September 8 – Wednesday, September 9, 2020. They engaged in personal and collective reflection time and teach-ins on the topics of racial equity, systemic racism and opportunities to further take action at Valencia.

Personally, I chose to reschedule all meetings and when unable to reschedule, I used the opportunity in these meetings to discuss #ScholarStrike and racial equity. Furthermore, I scheduled time for directed readings, individual conversations and small group discussions.

Some of my activities during #ScholarStrike included:

– I met with the leaders of our East Region Equity Team; Mark Collins, dean, social sciences and physical education, and Keri Siler, dean, math, to collaborate on a forthcoming process and timeline for next steps regarding inventory of our racial equity initiatives. Students will be joining faculty and staff at a future town hall meeting to add their voices to equity employee discussions.

– I participated in a partners meeting for the Universal Orlando Art of Tomorrow program, where colleagues from Valencia’s School of Arts and Entertainment, along with the Valencia College Foundation, Horizon Scholars and Organizational Design and Development met with the Universal Foundation and Orange County Public School partners, to plan our visioning for explicitly including racial equity as a goal for this high school mentorship program in the arts and entertainment fields.

– I took “time in” (instead of time out) to read from Ibram X. Kendi’s  “How to be an Antiracist” book and journaled my thoughts on how to apply what I’ve read to my life and work.

I have heard from so many colleagues about their experiences during #ScholarStrike. I would love to hear from more of you so please send me an e-mail if you would like to share (wgivoglu@valenciacollege.edu).

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