Access, Advocacy, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity

This past year, inspired by NVC’s commitment to our students and our community, the Office of the President of Northwest Vista College created a Student Advocacy team and charged it with developing a diversity statement for the college.

That team was made of representatives from different organizations and task forces on campus, and based on the charge, the group held initial discussions on how to best craft a statement that supported the 2018-2019 strategic plan.  Three key phrases of the strategic plan stood out:

  • Intentionally developing an inclusive environment of respect and compassion
  • Intentionally developing an environment to support equity and diversity
  • Northwest Vista College will continue to focus its efforts on developing community-wide partnerships to improve access to education and the quality of life in San Antonio and its surrounding communities.

After some rich conversation, members of the appointed Student Advocacy team, with the approval of the NVC president and cabinet (NVC executive team), restructured the team to include members of the Cabinet Leaders’ Council and other participants whose work deals with diversity and inclusion. This newly formed group came to be known as the Access, Advocacy, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (AAIDE) Strategic Team; itis a professional and personal development team that is focused on generating shared understanding of access, advocacy, inclusion, diversity, and equity. In other words, this group is committed to learning, to sharing ideas, and to addressing problems or needs in an effort to ensure our college is the absolute best it can be for our current and future students. The team has begun to and will continue to take time to immerse members in opportunities to grow, produce knowledge, and identify strategies that support our Strategic Plan.

The AAIDE Strategic Team participated in a retreat this summer that involved shared readings, a lot of reflection, and deep discussion about subject such as race, class, and gender, to name a few. The members read:

  • White Fragility: Why it’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo, PhD
  • Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Raceby Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD

The purpose of the retreat was to come to a shared understanding of AAIDE and to conduct an analysis and begin planning the application of strategies at NVC. The team will continue to work on a framework for engagement for the college as well as work on an Equity agenda for the 2019-2020 academic year and beyond.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *