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As many of you are aware, campus faculty have rallied recently via an Open Letter, to support campus diversity and inclusion efforts. This letter reflects a partner effort on behalf of Staff, as another critical piece of this initiative.
Students at Humboldt have repeatedly called for better and more widespread awareness of issues surrounding support of diversity in higher education, macro and microaggressions, explicit and unconscious bias, being good white allies, and culturally inclusive pedagogy. Campus stewardship extends far past our positions, and what we do at our desks. We can truly take diligent action to listen, and respond to the concerns of our campus community. As staff on campus we have a unique opportunity to serve students, one another, and a myriad of contacts as representatives of the university.
A growing number of staff, including ourselves, are circulating an "open letter" acknowledging this critical need, urging administrative action, and committing to supporting training efforts on these topics.
Here is the link to the Open Letter:
I encourage you to read and consider adding your signature. This is a small but very important and visible step that staff can take to help directly support the success of our students, our fellow staff, and the community as a whole.
Morgan Barker - Staff Council President
Eli Pence - Staff Senate Representative
Students, faculty and staff who hold marginalized identities have been clear and generous with sharing their experiences and articulating their needs, chief among them being trainings on issues of macro- and microaggressions, explicit and unconscious bias, and culturally inclusive pedagogy for faculty, staff and administrators on our campus.
We believe that becoming educated on these topics is an important first step in making HSU a place where all members of campus, whether they are students, staff, faculty, or administrators, feel their lived experiences of campus culture more closely align with the values of diversity, inclusion and equity we hold as an institution. Like our faculty, we recognize the need to continuously learn and grow in our roles as part of an inclusive community, and we acknowledge that the work of educating ourselves on these issues and creating a just and inclusive campus culture is an ongoing process.
In support of our students and in solidarity with our faculty partners on campus, we the undersigned staff members at HSU commit to doing the work necessary to effect this change on our campus and prevent harm in our campus community, beginning with attending at least one professional training on these issues in the next academic year.
For these educational efforts to be effective we urge the campus to: (a) involve input from campus experts in the process and practice of these types of educational commitments, (b) ensure the sustainability of these efforts through adequate resourcing, (c) integrate fully supported anti-bias education plans, (d) create an environment where trainings are a vital and expected part of staff professional development, (e) utilize current mechanisms to acknowledge staff development on these topics, (f) ensure that new staff get similar training in subsequent years and (g) ensure that a mechanism exists for follow up workshops in the future, allowing us to continually increase our capacity around these issues. We ask that all administrators also join us in this educational process.
Diversity and bias intervention trainings as part of professional development need to become a university expectation, rather than an exception among staff on our campus. We ask and encourage the university administration to join with us and our faculty colleagues by setting aside funding, time, and other resources needed to ensure that a transformation in campus culture occurs.
Additions to encourage action NOW
Staff - here are a few items you can use to become more informed on this topic; to self-train:
1. Book - “Defining Racism”, Beverly Tatum - goo.gl/aRjZWw
2. Project - Seattle Times, Under Our Skin - http://projects.seattletimes.com/2016/under-our-skin/#
3. Video - Deconstructing White Privilege with Dr. Robin Di Angelo - https://vimeo.com/147760743
4. Article - "Same Team", Maxwell Schnurer - goo.gl/45oZQx
(it may take several hours for new signatures to be added)