1st Annual Equity Institute

Over 50 educators from around the state gathered at Kellogg West on the beautiful campus of Cal Poly Pomona for the first annual 3CSN Equity Institute. The two-day event, held on November 18-19, was sponsored by 3CSN’s newest Community of Practice, Equity Project.  Twenty-six colleges and four organizations were represented, including Carnegie Math Pathways, The Education Trust-West, Minority Male Community College Collaborative (M2C3), and USC’s Center for Urban Education (CUE). 

Day one was exciting. Friday began with keynote speaker Ryan Smith, Executive Director of The Education Trust-West, sharing findings from the organization’s recent study, Black Minds Matter. 

He discussed data on opportunity and achievement gaps in California that persist from K-12 schools through higher education and choices community colleges can make to help close those gaps.  Dr. Frances Kendall, author of “Understanding White Privilege: Creating Pathways to Authentic Relationships Across Race,” followed with her keynote address Inequity by Design, which focused on organizational systems that were specifically designed to produce inequitable realities based on race, sex, class, religion, ability, sexual orientation and identity, skin color and ethnicity.  Dr. J. Luke Wood, Co-Director of Minority Male Community College Collaborative, shared insights from his research with men of color and discussed practical strategies to support men of color and underserved students.  He offered teaching and counseling strategies, as well as recommendations for planning and policy.  

Keynote speakers also facilitated breakout sessions, which allowed participants an opportunity to dive deeper and explore topics discussed in the keynote addresses. Ryan Smith was joined by Anthony Chavez, External Relations Associate.  Engaging conversations also took place in other Breakout Sessions.  Dr. Karon Klipple, Executive Director of Carnegie Math Pathways, and Dr. John Kellermeier of Carnegie Math Pathways Faculty, shared lessons from implementing Statway and Quantway and discussed approaches for improving persistence and successfully achieving equitable learning and outcomes in developmental mathematics.  Equity Project Co-Coordinator, Paula Brown, discussed the four stages of dialogue, the importance of setting norms and offered effective techniques for engaging in difficult conversations in her session, Facilitating Conversations on Race. Dr. Chau Dao and  Desiree Marquez discussed Mt. San Antonio College’s model Veteran’s program in Strategies for Supporting Veterans.  Jessica Petrass, of the John Burton Foundation, discussed challenges experienced by Foster Youth and offered promising practices to support and guide them in, How to help Foster Youth turn their dreams into degrees.  Counselor and 3CSN LARN Co-Coordinator Diana Bonilla facilitated the Spotlight Session with Drs. Jessica Cristo (3CSN), Marilyn Harvey (San Diego City College and Online Education Initiative) and Crystal Keikel (LA Pierce College) who addressed unique challenges of students who are AB540, LGBTQ, multicultural, and those who have physical and mental health challenges.  They also offered strategies for equity practitioners in classrooms, student services, campus programs and in online environments. 

Day two was led by Dr. Lindsey Malcom-Piqueux, Associate Director for Research and Policy at the Center for Urban Education, USC, who offered practitioners tools and concrete strategies for instructional practices, and data-based inquiry in Putting Equity-Mindedness into Practice.  Dr. Veronica Neal, Director of Equity, Social Justice, and Multicultural Education at De Anza College discussed key components of an equity framework, the benefits of developing a conceptual framework, and offered strategies to participants for deepening their campus equity work.

Participants were appreciative of the opportunity to dialogue and collaborate with like-minded