Reflection on Black Lives Matter

As Northwest Vista College prepares for a conversation on Black Lives Matter and anti-racism on July 9 from 11 am to noon, we want to make sure that we take this opportunity to look inward.

The goal is to create a space for NVC employees to discuss their experiences related to race, while not attempting to fix all of our race-related problems. Rather than jumping to solutions, we want to take this opportunity to listen and for all to speak their truth in a welcoming environment.

Individuals who are traditionally marginalized also get erased from conversations or erase themselves when there is lack of commitment to listening. To listen without judgment is a very important part of healing.

What started as an immediate call-to-action for July 9, has evolved into a reflection and open dialogue that will guide our call to action. We would like to provide context for our dialogue about Black Lives Matter, NVC’s commitment to being anti-racist, and what that transformation, through actions, entails for NVC. We are committed to taking action. We also acknowledge that everyone is in a different place on the path to building an anti-racist community for our employees and students. Therefore, on July 9, the format for the conversation will be the following overarching goal:

How do we make progress as an actively anti-racist college and honor our commitments:

  1. Public commitment to be an anti-racist college
  2. Commitment to act for racial equity
  3. Commitment to transformation through achieving actions against racism and inequality

In preparation for the meeting on July 9, we suggest any of the following readings and videos:

We also encourage NVC community to explore the following questions:

  • In what ways can NVC improve its focus on diversity/anti-racism?
  • What would an anti-racist college community look like to you?
  • How can NVC rethink the questions we ask during professional development, team collaboration, and building-wide professional development so that they encourage professionals to look through a race lens?
  • What is not working at NVC from your point of view? What do we want to change at NVC to improve equity? Help us figure out these changes, so we can imbed them into actions and processes.
  • How can NVC use the inquiry process to reflect on and explore what we do and do not know about equity in the classroom?
  • How has racial bias at NVC impacted you?

We look forward to NVC’s community reflection on July 9 at 11 am (an email will be sent with the Zoom link information). Following our reflection, the dialogue will continue and action plans will be created with collective input at the Fall All-College Convocation in August and Employee Development Day 2020.

Thank you, and we look forward to listening and learning. Here are some tips for listening on July 9. We also extend an invitation to anyone who would like to serve on this committee.

Sincerely,

Black Lives Matter Planning Committee

Dr. Ric Baser, President
Dr. Daniel Powell, VP for Academic Success
Debi Gaitan, VP for Student Success
Erin Sherman, VP for College Services
Dr. Lisa McGoldrick, Executive Assistant to the President
Dr. Michael Lee Gardin, Faculty Senate President
Pam De La Garza, Staff Senate President
Dr. Russ Frohardt, Dean for Academic Success
Dr. Julie Moore-Felux, Interim Dean for Academic Success
Jennifer Comedy-Holmes, Dean for Student Success
Christina Brown, Interim Dean for Student Success
Dr. Yolanda Reyes-Guevara, Interim Dean for Student Success
Janie Scott, Director of Strategic Initiatives
Dr. Eliza Hernandez, Director of Institutional Research, Planning & Effectiveness
Felix Salinas, Director of Information & Communication Technologies
Garvin Dansby, Risk Management Coordinator
Renata Serafin, Director of Marketing & Strategic Communications
Migdalia Garcia, Community Engagement Coordinator
Paul Vallejo, Visual Content Creator
Melissa Monroe-Young, Manager, Marketing & Strategic Communication
Daniel Johnson, Senior Coordinator of Recreation Sports & Fitness Center
Gerona Nylander, Administrative Services Specialist, Marketing & Strategic Communications
Natalia Treviño, Professor of English

 

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