Message from President Roberts: Living Our Values

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly…” 

 — Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. –

Dear Colleague, 

These are the times that will define us. Over the recent weeks and months, we have continued to see incidences of police brutality and the injustices of racism and inequality against Black communities —locally and nationally. These events have heightened our awareness of the centuries of racism and social inequities that have been a part of the fabric of our nation. 

As a place of learning, we are called to not only listen and support our Black students and employees, but to improve their educational experiences and outcomes, as well as, their working experiences on our campus. Our Community Standard speaks to what we stand for and stand against because when one of us is diminished, we are all diminished. 

As a College, we support Black Lives Matter because their tenets stand for creating “a culture where each person feels seen, heard, and supported.” These principles align with what we care about. We stand with our Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) as we reaffirm our commitment to our Community Standard and College Values

Today, in this space, we have the opportunity to make the following words a living testament to what we hold dear and precious through our work at Shoreline Community College.

Shoreline’s Community Standard Statement
Shoreline Community College is a place for students, employees, and the community to pursue excellence in education in an environment dedicated to equity, inclusiveness, and self-reflection. We value respectful, dynamic interactions and lively discussion. We strive to create an environment where everyone is supported and valued.  

Shoreline Community College does not tolerate hateful, violent, or discriminatory actions that target any person or group based on their beliefs, customs, identity, or affiliations. When one of us is diminished, all of us are diminished. 

Our beloved, the late Congressman John Robert Lewis lived a life of nonviolence and peaceful demonstration. He continues to provide an example in these eloquent words, “We must find a way to get in the way. To get into trouble – good trouble, necessary trouble.” We are called to action and so the Executive Team (ET) has accepted the recommendations put forth by the Inclusive Excellence Steering Committee (IESC) and members of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive (DEI) Leadership Team. It is a multi-year set of recommendations in the Inclusive Excellence Executive Summary 2020 that we will work through each year. 

The Board of Trustees is alongside the ET in support of this work, including the advancing of the following recommendations for 2020-21:  

  1. Establish clear annual goals within a five-year plan related to efforts which support increased diversity of applicants and new hires with regard to recruitment, hiring, and retention of Black, Latinx, Native American, Asian, Pacific Islander, and LGBTQ employees.
  1. Hire a position to provide leadership to our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) efforts. This position would provide an equity lens to our hiring, recruitment, campus policies and practices, and facilitate DEI professional learning at the College.
  1. Create communication strategies with a web presence for DEI resources, affinity groups, and events at Shoreline including resources for search committees, Multicultural Interviewing Rubric (MCIR) training, and a list of certified Search Advocates.
  1. Ensure New and Not-So New Employee Orientations include and “centers” an introduction to DEI.  
  1. Develop asynchronous DEI learning opportunities on demand in an online format.  
  1. Strengthen support for historically underrepresented students through efforts such as improved space for the Multi-Cultural & Gender Equity Centers, additional emergency aid, and bring to scale significant academic and student success retention work involving all employees on campus.
  1. Build a foundation for data-driven recruiting strategies related to Historically Underrepresented students.
  1. Continue Opportunity Gap and Guided Pathways work groups and implement recommendations related to equity.   

Community colleges are distinctively a United States invention, an expression of our democratic values. It is only right that we stand up and reaffirm the importance of being a beacon for what is best about who and what our nation can be. Together, we can be that difference – to be a place that will do its part to address systemic racism and be a welcoming harbor to those who struggle to feel supported, welcomed, and included. 

In the coming weeks, we will be called to do more, to learn more, and to achieve more as we begin implementing this plan. I look forward to our common work to realize these bold recommendations as our BIPOC students and employees are watching and deserve no less. 

With a sense of urgency and regard, 

Cheryl Roberts, Ed.D.
President
Office of the President
                             

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