Academic Senate

Decolonizing the Academy Committee

 

 

Scope

The committee serves the Senate’s and the College’s commitment to continual reflection by giving deep consideration to  the structures, policies, and culture of the institution. By working toward a decolonized academy, the committee will review and respond to campus-wide matters and give recommendations that aim to alleviate the cycle of colonization.

Function

  • Begin a process of acknowledgment, reconciliation, and healing.
  • Identify the structures, policies, and regulations that may perpetuate a colonized hierarchy and discuss ways to reduce their harm.
  • Respond to state- and college-wide undertakings and propositions.
  • Examine inherited constructs and culture and their effects on the campus and its people.

    Land Acknowledgment and Action Practice

    The Decolonizing the Academy Committee is motivated by a deeply-felt and shared belief that in order to shape a more interdependent, collaborative, and sustainable world we need to recognize and redress the colonial structures that currently shape and define our inequitable and unsustainable reality.

    The principle guiding the Decolonizing Committee is the desire for more imaginative control over our shared reality - this includes our relationship to the land.

    In 2021, Tongva elder Julia Bogany visited with us to discuss the process of renewing our connection to the land. Shortly after her visit, Julia died of a stroke (read the L.A. Times article here), but her work continues.

    Watch the recording of her visit and read her website, To Be Visible, for more information about the enduring relation between Native peoples and the land.

     

    "I never say that the land was stolen. It wasn't stolen. It never belonged to us. We were entrusted by our land acknowledgment to take care of it and to teach all those that come."

     

Community Read

Every semester, the Decolonizing Committee convenes conversations around a shared text to create a collaborative campus-wide space to clarify our goals and values as an institution. 

Fall 2021: adrienne maree brown, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds

If you missed brown's visit, check out the recording here.

Spring 2021: Prof. Gina A. Garcia, Hispanic-Serving Institutions in Practice: Defining Servingness at HSIs.

It's one thing to be an HSI; it's another to serve our Latinx students. Watch a recording of her 2021 discussion  at SMC. 
 
 

 

Fall 2020: Prof. Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

Resources & Readings

Decolonization unsettles settler-colonialism and the systems and cultures that support and perpetuate it. In an academic setting this means critically examining how settler-colonial epistemologies continue to shape what we consider knowledge and what we teach. The resources below center non-white, non-Western perspectives and ways of knowing.

Decolonizing Events

Everyone is welcome to our conversations!