April 23, 2021 Update

Friday, April 23, 2021

Dear Colleagues, 

This week represents an important moment in our journey towards creating a more equitable and just world for our families and communities of color. A guilty verdict for Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd is a step toward accountability and begins to pave the way for meaningful systemic change.  While we still have a long way to go to achieve racial justice, we are taking proactive steps to addressing systemic inequities in our higher education system.

At Orange Coast College, the President's Taskforce on Equity and Inclusion has continued its work with a laser focus on creating a more inclusive, racially just, and welcoming campus for employees and students. Through several visioning sessions, we have critically explored our strengths, areas of growth, and imagined our future through an asset-based equity lens. The Taskforce quad-chairs (Norma Alcala, Juan Gutierrez, Shannon Wells, and Nicole Gaspar) will be seeking additional feedback from you in the next few weeks.

As part of informing our DEI planning efforts, we are committed as a District and College to learning from you and our students about your experiences on campus.  In order to obtain a richer and fuller understanding of these experiences, this Spring semester we administered the HEDS Diversity & Equity Campus Climate Survey for employees and students, and the results are currently being collected, analyzed and summarized. Later this semester, focus groups will be held with College employees and students to seek a better understanding of individual and collective experiences that support our equity and inclusion work on campus.

I am grateful for the work that you do individually and collectively every day to create spaces of belonging for our students, where they are seen, valued and supported.  Our equity journey continues and is strengthened by our shared commitment to racial justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.  

Angelica L. Suarez, Ph.D.