Northwest Vista is Committed to Being an Anti-Racist College

We stand with Black Americans, and as educators, we strive to empower our students to think critically and speak truth to power. Therefore, Northwest Vista College’s Leadership Team cannot stand by in silence since we see the pressing need to end racism and dismantle white supremacy that, today, continues to undermine freedom and justice.

We will translate our passion and commitment into anti-racist actions. The recent Black Lives Matter protests in San Antonio, and all around the United States, include many young people. Their faces are the faces of our students. Despite the current risks to their health and safety, they are showing up, speaking out, and saying the names of the victims of racial violence. Today, we stand in solidarity with our fellow Americans, who can also no longer stay silent. The senseless deaths of victims like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Botham Jean, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Yvette Smith, David McAtee, Walter Scott, Breonna Taylor, and so many others, must stop.

One of the defining characteristics of Northwest Vista College is our touchstones: learning, creativity, community, caring, synergy, diversity, openness, integrity, and joy. In order to embody these values, we understand that these touchstones must be accessible to every member of our college community without exception. NVC acknowledges the historical legacy of exclusion and marginalization in higher education, and even sadly, our college’s participation in a flawed system. We affirm our responsibility to continuously learn about and disrupt systems of privilege, inequality, and oppression. We will reform NVC’s programs, procedures, pedagogies, and best practices to be part of the change necessary to transform ourselves and society. Northwest Vista College is committed to being an actively anti-racist organization.

Today, Northwest Vista College leaders declare a commitment to justice, and we pledge to integrate the spirit of justice into all we do and at every level of our engagement with our students, faculty, staff, and community. Embracing justice as a central value, particularly for Black community members, means that we recognize that racism is systemic; the results of racism are caused not only by the isolated actions of individuals but also by the practices of institutions. Whether intentional or unintentional, individual, or institutional, racism is harmful, dehumanizing, and has adverse effects on our community.

How do we take action to dismantle racist actions and pledge our community to being anti-racist? First, we must acknowledge our own shortcomings concerning justice-oriented action. The leadership at our college does not reflect the diversity of our community. We also know that we have many blind spots when it comes to equity and inclusion in our institution. Going forward, we will work to integrate justice into our classrooms, our student services, our hiring practices, our leadership structure, our response to community needs, our interactions with one another, and our efforts to recognize and contend with our individual biases.

The question we now ask ourselves is, “How do we make progress?” Northwest Vista College moves forward, with our mission as a compass, continuing our journey, and recognizing the individual and distinct struggles our students, faculty and staff face. We move forward with renewed energy to these 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

Please join us in an ongoing dialogue on Black Lives Matter and anti-racism, with the first of many conversations, on July 9 at 11 am where we address and discuss these three commitments. This dialogue will continue, and action plans will be created with collective input at the fall All-College Convocation in August.

This year, Northwest Vista celebrates its 25th year. While we are proud of the many awards and achievements we have garnered over the years, we believe our greatest accomplishment will be to co-create, through conversation, a future that exemplifies equality.

Sincerely,

Northwest Vista College Leadership Team

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