2015-2020 Social Equity Plan
Clark College recognizes, understands, confronts and challenges the institutional systems of power, privilege, and inequity so that all members of the Clark College community can support student learning.
Facilitate student learning by providing the conditions that improve educational outcomes and eliminate systemic disparities among all groups.
The Clark College 2015-2020 Strategic Plan requires the college to provide the conditions that improve educational outcomes and eliminate systemic disparities among all groups. The college’s strategic plan established the expectations that all students are prepared for life and work in a multicultural, diverse and international society as well as are exposed to a variety of beliefs, cultures, and differences as a catalyst for intellectual growth while challenging the systems of power, privilege, and inequity. This Social Equity Plan will guide the college in these efforts.
This social equity plan is deeply rooted in the college’s former diversity plan. The Cultural Pluralism Committee (CPC), proud of the previous plan and related work, believed continuity was critical to implement the new plan. Consistent with the former diversity plan, this social equity plan explicitly recognizes, facilitates awareness and addresses patterns of social inequity at Clark College. This desire for equity is reflected in its definition and vision at Clark College and is based on several assumptions:
- Clark College approaches diversity from the standpoint of differences among social groups, not among individuals. For example, while the presence of a variety of psychologically diverse attributes such as personality or individually based values are critical to our institutional development, these are not the areas specific to social inequity in which groups of people systemically experience inequitable treatment and institutional barriers to success.
- Social groups are marked by socially created differences in power, privilege, and access. Approaches to social difference, social identity, social location, and social inequity calls for appreciation of the multiple, complex, fluid, and cross-cutting aspects of social identities, and awareness that the inequities experienced by any and all disadvantaged groups warrant attention and collective efforts towards remedy (Adams et al., 2013).
- Fostering social equity requires purposeful, institutional-level change. Individual-level strategies by themselves cannot create and sustain a diverse college community.
College leadership and the college as a whole will implement this social equity plan. Implementation will require a team effort. The plan will be implemented through broader civil deliberation and a process of exploration among members of the college community to determine how the expressed goals manifest into departmental activities, and contribute to the value of institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Setting the Stage: The first Clark College Diversity Plan
The Cultural Pluralism Committee (CPC) began developing Clark College’s first diversity plan in 2006. CPC began framing the plan to support, enhance, and ensure student success. CPC worked in a manner consistent with the desired outcome of the process, meaning in a civil, respectful, and equitable manner which fostered a community of care and trust among its members. Committee membership included faculty, students, staff, and administrators, each of whom had the opportunity to contribute to the development process.
In winter of 2007, the committee began conducting an environmental scan of how Clark College experiences, supports and, in some cases, potentially undermines the healthy development of a diverse college community. CPC engaged in three fact-finding projects for the environmental scan:
- Administered a college-wide survey in winter of 2007. A report was issued in winter 2008. That report is available on the Clark College intranet under College Committees and Reports, Cultural Pluralism and Diversity Evaluation (2007).
- Conducted two student focus groups to gain first-hand qualitative data regarding student experiences at Clark College in the spring of 2008.
- Convened a broader work group that consisted of the Executive Cabinet, the Instructional Council, Student Affairs' Deans, and Disability Support Services, Multicultural Student Affairs and International Programs staff in summer of 2008.
The Clark College 2008-2014 Diversity Plan was created based on the information that came from the environmental scanning activities. The plan included four broad goals with supporting strategies. These goals directed the college to challenge systems of power, privilege, and inequity in the following areas: 1) student recruitment and retention; 2) diversity education and training; 3) curricular transformation; and 4) employee recruitment and retention. The strategies identified to accomplish the goals were incorporated into various areas through department and unit operational plans that were intended to improve student success and sustain a diverse college community.
Student learning is the foundation of the Clark College 2015-2020 Strategic Plan. Throughout the development of the college’s strategic plan, social equity rose to the forefront. The college identified social equity as a core theme that must permeate throughout every aspect of the college so that students – all students – can effectively learn. In January 2015 during the final stages of the strategic plan’s development, the Cultural Pluralism Committee (CPC) began to develop an operational plan that outlined how to meet the college’s strategic plan objectives within the social equity core theme. The operational plan became this social equity plan.
The Cultural Pluralism Committee began by reviewing the Clark College 2008-2014 Diversity Plan. The committee affirmed that the college had made gains in cultural competency, yet still had an arduous, but meaningful and important road ahead. The committee identified areas that were not yet accomplished in the former diversity plan, analyzed whether they were still relevant, and, if so, used these strategies as the starting point for the development of the new social equity plan.
Consistent with the first diversity plan, CPC began the development process for the social equity plan within the context of respect, equity and civility for the interaction among diverse constituents of the college. Speech and actions which perpetuate minimization, hate, oppression, group supremacy or exclusion are not recognized as productive and constructive forms of diversity at Clark College. As a result, CPC chose to use “systemically non-dominant” terminology rather than “historically disadvantaged” developed by Debra Jenkins, AAS, MA, MS, Ph.D candidate.
CPC believed that replacing “historically disadvantaged” with the title “systemically non- dominant” brought the attention to the current systems of oppression and no longer allowed us to deny or minimize the way oppression manifests today. For purposes of this social equity plan, systemically non-dominant groups refer to groups of people outside the dominant group within systems of oppression. Systems of oppression provide benefits and assets for members of specific groups. The recipient groups are referred to as dominant groups because such advantages grant impacting levels of power, privilege, and status within social, economic, and political infrastructures of a society (Jenkins, 2015).
CPC, then, separated into three groups to develop goals and activities for each of the three social equity objectives in the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan.
- Create and sustain an accessible and inclusive environment by utilizing principles of universal design and social justice so that all students can achieve equitable outcomes.
- Demonstrate improved intercultural competency among employees and students through comprehensive professional development and curricular transformation.
- Institutionalize hiring and retention practices that challenge systems of power, privilege, and inequity.
Each group began by collecting and analyzing all of the information they had gathered related to their objective. The groups utilized the following sources to develop the goals and activities for each of the social equity objectives:
- Former diversity plan
- Student and employee climate surveys
- Internal committee work regarding hiring and recruitment of employees
- Clark College Environmental Scan, Spring 2014
- Key informant interviews of both internal and external experts
- Best practices and procedures in universal design and social justice
- Literature review of social equity in higher education
The social equity plan is a product of all the research and discussions of how to create and sustain Clark College as a socially equitable college for all groups. The goals and strategies of the social equity plan are intentionally broad and provide the opportunity for individual units and departments to lead the implementation.
This plan has been developed as a five-year plan, as the identified goals will take time to implement. Both the strategies and progress toward the goals will be evaluated each year by the committee. Additional goals may be added to the plan as continued assessment of diversity at Clark College indicates the need.
The Cultural Pluralism Committee, in collaboration with the Office for Diversity & Equity, will serve as a resource to the college on matters which relate to the implementation of this plan. The committee will develop goals in the annual planning process in collaboration with the Office for Diversity & Equity. The Cultural Pluralism Committee and the Office of Diversity & Equity will serve as evaluators of the plan and strategies which are implemented, in addition to continuing to monitor the diversity-related climate and health of Clark College.
The Clark College 2015-2020 Social Equity Plan will guide the college’s efforts in promoting, developing, and sustaining diversity and equity in our college community. The plan’s intention is to develop and enhance systems, trainings, programs, and policies that analyze and challenge systems of power, privilege and inequity to support student learning.
Objective: Create and sustain an accessible and inclusive environment by utilizing principles of universal design and social justice so that all students can achieve equitable outcomes.
- Adapt physical structures and spaces to meet universal design and social justice principles
utilizing the following guidelines:
- Clear directional signs have large, high-contrast print
- Restrooms, classrooms, and other facilities are physically accessible to all individuals regardless of gender identity, mobility, and size
- Furniture and fixtures are adjustable for mobility and size to allow arrangements that are accessible and improve work environment, various learning activities, and interactions
- Emergency and security policies and procedures are clear, visible, and inclusive of all individuals. Routes of travel are unobstructed, rubble and hole free, and non-slip
- Design all courses and learning resources that meet minimum standards for universal design and challenge power, privilege, and inequity within multiple delivery modalities.
- Utilize universal design and social justice principles in materials, events, and environments utilizing the following guidelines:
- Provide caption videos
- Offer touch screens
- Write out words in materials and signage– no acronyms
- All Clark College events have marketing tools that are accessible
- Adhere to Clark’s standards for accessible, adaptable and usable design of websites
- Create all materials available in various formats and languages
- Provide comfortable and easy access to computers for both left- and right-handed students
- Provide audio descriptions for visuals including pictures, videos and charts
Objective: Demonstrate improved intercultural competency among employees and students through comprehensive professional development and curricular transformation.
- Provide comprehensive and continuing training and educational resources to help college
employees work effectively in a diverse college community utilizing the following
- Select all trainers and facilitators based on their ability to (a) infuse the analysis of power, privilege, and inequity into their trainings and (b) share strategies for creating equitable learning outcomes for students from systemically non-dominant groups
- Ensure all trainings and workshops rely on active learning methods rather than lecture-based presentations
- Develop and offer trainings and professional development to be inclusive to all staff, faculty, and administrative employee groups at the college
- Develop all trainings and professional development in collaboration with the Teaching and Learning Advisory Committee
- Embed intercultural competency in all employee evaluations.
- Transform curricula in all programs to identify and analyze dynamics and implications of power, privilege, and inequity.
Objective: Institutionalize hiring and retention practices that challenge systems of power, privilege, and inequity.
- Develop and implement a multifaceted, multicultural media recruitment campaign.
- Improve all components of the internal hiring process and procedures utilizing the
- Develop and implement tools to assist hiring managers in identifying and supporting equity and inclusion in the recruitment and hiring process.
- Train for screening committees
- Outreach with professional associations and other networking groups to effectively
source, attract, and engage diverse talent utilizing the following guidelines:
- Strengthen relationships with community, professional associations and networking groups
- Develop and implement targeted marketing communications
- Be present at job fairs attended by systemically non-dominant populations
- Create a new Clark College diversity hiring event
- Generate a pipeline of highly qualified diverse candidates utilizing the following
- Partner with regional graduate schools and universities’ offices of diversity to connect their students and graduates with internships and open positions with the college
- Invite visiting professors from systemically non-dominant populations in the areas where the college anticipates vacancies
- Increase college presence at regional and national professional conferences and trainings for faculty and staff from systemically non- dominant populations
- Intentionally retain systemically non-dominant employees by developing and implementing
strategies utilizing the following guidelines:
- Develop multiple communication conduits, relationships, and trust with members and groups in the community which represent systemically non-dominant employees
- Develop, implement and sustain a mentoring program for employees to create relationships, build community and foster interpersonal self- efficacy in order to navigate dominant systems
- Develop and sustain an ongoing reporting system regarding issues around power, privilege, and inequity in the college community
- Create career pathways to prepare and encourage advancement for employees
- Offer opportunities for employees to build connections within the college community and outside communities through encouragement and support of their supervisor
- Advocate for the retention, persistence, and completion of systemically non-dominant
students utilizing the following guidelines:
- Create a welcoming physical space to reflect our value in social justice and universal design
- Sustain peer mentoring programs for students to develop skills in self- advocacy and build a sense of belonging at Clark College
- Create advocate positions for systemically non-dominant groups to work with students
- Offer courses that reflect the identities and history of systemically non- dominant groups
- Develop and sustain an ongoing reporting system regarding issues around power, privilege, and inequity in the college community.
Responsibility and Compliance
In addition to the goals and strategies of this plan, compliance remains a necessity from the standpoint of college policy and state and federal laws and regulations.
The responsibility for and the protection of this commitment extends to students, faculty administrators, staff, contractors and those who develop or participate in Clark College programs. Clark College affirms a commitment to freedom from discrimination and harassment for all members of the college community. The college expressly prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, perceived or actual physical or mental disability, pregnancy, genetic information, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, creed, religion, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or use of a trained guide dog or service animal. In addition, the college is committed to freedom from all forms of harassment including sexual harassment, gender violence, and harassment in the workplace.
2015 Cultural Pluralism Committee Members
- Jessica Beach, Secretary Supervisor, Instruction
- Randy Blakely, Administrator of Satellite Campuses, Instruction
- Sirius Bonner, Special Advisor to the College Community for Diversity & Equity, Diversity & Equity
- Dena Brill, Student, ASCC Student Representative
- Janette Clay, Learning Communities Manager, Instruction
- Shanda Diehl, Associate Vice President of Planning & Effectiveness
- Dolly England, Diversity Outreach Manager, Diversity & Equity
- Rebecca Engel, Faculty, Transitional Studies, English, Communications, and Humanities
- Christopher Feener, Student, ASCC Student Representative
- Natalie Guillen, Fiscal Technician 2, Administrative Services
- Miles Jackson, Dean of Social Sciences and Fine Arts, Instruction
- Debi Jenkins, Faculty, Social Sciences and Fine Arts
- Roslyn Leon Guerrero, Administrative Assistant 4, Diversity & Equity
- Maria Masson, Assistant Director, Human Resources
- Malcolm McCay, Faculty, Business and Health Sciences
- Doug Mrazek, Faculty, Transitional Studies, English, Communications, and Humanities
- Daniel Mroz, Lead Interpreter, Disability Support Services
- Felisciana Peralta, Multicultural Retention Manager, Diversity & Equity
- Rosalba Pitkin, Diversity Outreach Specialist, Diversity & Equity
- Bevyn Rowland, Faculty, Social Sciences and Fine Arts
- Kimberly Russell, Faculty, Transitional Studies, English, Communications, and Humanities
- Amy Tam, Program Specialist 2, Student Affairs
- Dian Ulner, Faculty, Social Sciences and Fine Arts
- Heather White, Lead Interpreter, Disability Student Services
- Siri Wickramaratne, Faculty, Social Sciences and Fine Arts
- Tiffany Williams, Pathways Center Program Manager, Instruction
- Community of Care: A community where the organizational culture begins the process to shift from one of control to one of connecting (Bailey, Mrock & Davis, n.d.).
- Demographic Diversity: Differences in observable attributes or demographic characteristics such as age, gender and, ethnicity (Landy & Conte, 2007, p. 555).
- Historically Disadvantaged Group: A group in U.S. society that has been systematically discriminated against over a significant period of time (e.g. Native American/First People's, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered communities).
- Institutional (as in institutional barriers): Refers to both the institution such as Clark College and systemic societal dynamics.
- Power and Privilege: Rights, entitlement, advantage, or immunity granted or enjoyed by certain people or groups of people beyond the common advantages of others.
- Psychological Diversity: Differences in underlying attributes such as skills, talents, personality characteristics, attitudes, beliefs, and values; may also include functional, occupational, and educational background (Landy & Conte, 2007, p. 555).
- Reciprocal Student Development Pipeline: A two-way, mutually beneficial relationship between the college and the community.
- Social Equity: Facilitate student learning by providing the conditions that improve educational outcomes and eliminate systemic disparities among all groups.
- Social Justice: Institutional commitment to produce equitable outcomes and challenge systems of power, privilege, and inequity.
- Social Group: People sharing a social relation sometimes based on demographic or cultural similarity.
- Systemically Non-dominant Groups: Systemically non-dominant refers to membership outside of the dominant group within systems of oppression. Systems of oppression are created to provide benefits and assets for members of specific groups. The recipient groups are referred to as dominant groups because such advantages grant impacting levels of power, privilege, and status within social, economic, and political infrastructures of a society. For example such frameworks are established to specify who is in control and who is not, what is acceptable and what is unacceptable, and who will have access to resources and who will not.
- Universal Design: Universal Design involves designing products and spaces so that they can be used by the widest range of people possible. Universal Design evolved from Accessible Design, a design process that addresses the needs of people with disabilities. Universal Design goes further by recognizing that there is a wide spectrum of human abilities. Everyone, even the most able-bodied person, passes through childhood, periods of temporary illness, injury and old age. By designing for this human diversity, we can create things that will be easier for all people to use.
Adams, M., Blumenfeld, W. J., Castañeda, C., Hackman, H.W., Peters, M. P., Zúñiga, X. (2013). Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Bailey, K.A., Mrock, G., & Davis, F. (n.d.) Changing the Culture of Care. Retrieved January 30, 2009, from www.aacrc-dc.org/public/pdfs.
Burgstahler, S. (2013). Introduction to universal design in higher education. In S. Burgstahler (Ed.). Universal design in higher education: Promising practices. Seattle: DO-IT, University of Washington. Retrieved from https://www.washington.edu/doit/universal-design-process- principles-and-applications
Jenkins, D. R. (2015). Women of Color Experiences and Intercultural Developmental Strategies Constructing Community College Leadership: A Case Study. Dissertation in progress. Phoenix, AZ: University of Phoenix.
Landy & Conte (2007). Work in the 21st Century: An Introduction to Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
Updated September 2017