Report from Black Lives Matter Action & Accountability Group

Hello Shoreline co-workers,

Approximately one year ago, in early summer 2020, Shoreline employees began to gather monthly to discuss the societal issues highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement, what this means at Shoreline Community College, and what we can do to effect change at the college. Some 50 employees have participated in one or more meetings.

BLM Action and Accountability Group Purpose: Aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement, our goal is to discuss, confront, and abolish racial injustice (and related barriers) at Shoreline Community College.

It is the intention of BLM AAG to support relevant efforts by committees or individuals at the college and to bring continued attention to the issues and how they are or are not addressed on our campus; our goal is not focused on creating new committees or structures.

At each monthly meeting participants discussed campus work and activities related to the college’s eight Living Our Values goals, laid out by President Roberts to the Board of Trustees in September 2020: DAAG Living Our Values.

  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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. Ensure New and Not-So New Employee Orientations include and “centers” an introduction to DEI.
  5. Develop asynchronous DEI learning opportunities on demand in an online format.
  6. 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. 
  7. Build a foundation for data-driven recruiting strategies related to Historically Underrepresented students. 
  8. Continue Opportunity Gap and Guided Pathways work groups and implement recommendations related to equity. 

While progress has been made on a number of these goals, a hiring process for the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion was unsuccessful and this has impeded work on several goals. HR has posted a 30-50% DEI Director position for 2021-2022, open to all Shoreline employees, due on 12:00 p.m. Friday, July 16, 2021. BLM AAG will continue to advocate for having dedicated DEI leadership at our college and is ready to support the Director and DEI work.

Lay-offs in 2020 have been difficult on many levels. BIPOC staff and faculty were among them and this is a step back for college faculty and staff representing our student population. Currently the college is and has been hiring for both temporary and permanent positions. Beyond recruitment and selection,

what can we do individually and collectively to support BIPOC staff and faculty who study and work in the majority white institution that we are?

Three sub-groups have discussed, planned, and worked on the following topics:

1. Anti-Racist Hiring and Retention

a. Some BLM AAG participants have acted as Search Advocates on screening committees or served as members of screening committees.

b. Progress on hiring for the college DEI Executive Director is being followed closely; see note above.

c. BLM AAG participants as well as others on campus have pushed for and been part of efforts to provide better processes for selection and onboarding of part-time faculty.

2. Anti-Racist Pedagogy and Student Interactions

a. Two faculty facilitated and 12 faculty participated in the Equitable Inclusive Anti-Racist Pedagogy Institute. There are plans to make this institute available again next year.

b. The Guided Pathway Equity Group and other GP groups are working on many aspects of becoming an anti-racist college.

c. BLM AAG participants and others organized and presented at Day of Learning.

3. Becoming Anti-Racist

a. Five small book clubs have discussed Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad. New book clubs and books are currently being considered.

b. White Supremacy Culture conversations were held at several of the monthly BLM AAG meetings, using the Characteristics of White Supremacy writing from this resource: CHARACTERISTICS – WHITE SUPREMACY CULTURE

Books, summer and beyond:

· We would like to encourage continued engagement in Anti-Racist work. Many folks expressed interest in continued learning through books with ongoing opportunity to share and reflect. Those conversations were highlighted as the most valuable aspect. We plan to develop further opportunities.

· Two book clubs have selected a book for the summer:

o The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee (2021): “In this critical moment where we have fallen so far apart, The Sum of Us is a book we all need, a must-read for everyone who wants to understand how we got here but, more important, where we can go from here–and how we get there, together.” –Alicia Garza, author of The Purpose of Power and co-founder of Black Lives Matter.

o You’ll Never Believe What Happened To Lacey; Crazy Stories About Racism, by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar. “Amber and Lacey have the gift of making you comfortable enough to laugh at events that will also make you cringe. This book is an opportunity for black people to know you’re not alone in how you’ve experienced the world. And for everyone this book is a chance to see a layer of this world that you might have been blind to. You’ll leave both with a laugh and a little more knowledge.”–Roy Wood, Jr., correspondent, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

· Book clubs are open to all Shoreline CC employees. You can form your own group (3 to 5 is recommended) or ask for help to be placed in one. Groups will meet outside of regular work hours. To join or for questions about joining, contact Brooke Zimmers at bzimmers@shoreline.edu.

Moving forward, 2021-2022

Our BLM Action and Accountability work is not done. We think it is important to continue as an informal, grassroots, open participation group that provides opportunities for discussion, learning, and action planning/supporting/pushing.

· The structure and meeting times may change. · We need several new organizers: please contact Rachel David at rdavid@shoreline.edu if you are interested in helping to organize (in front or behind the scenes) in 2021-22.

Thank you to the many Shoreline CC employees who are dedicating time and effort into the big goal of abolishing racial injustice (and related barriers) at Shoreline Community College.

2020-21 organizers: Rachel David, Elena Esquibel, Joyce Fagel, Jessica Gibson, Crystal Hess, Amy Kinsel, Brooke Zimmers.

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