Spotlight on Equity: Upcoming and Recent Events from Our Partners
Championing an Equity-Focused Approach to Student Success at the Community College
On October 20th, 2023, Santa Monica College, in partnership with the California Community Colleges’ Success Network (3CSN), will be hosting an NSF-sponsored one-day virtual conference (#2231669) that focuses on practices in STEM aimed at closing equity gaps for historically marginalized communities, including Black and Latinx students. This conference provides a platform to exchange ideas and knowledge, and to highlight faculty innovations, programs, and student support services that promote equity and inclusion in STEM education. Keynote by Dr. Terrell R. Morton, Assistant Professor of Identity and Justice in STEM Education, and Scholar-Activist.
Find more information on the Equity in STEM Conference website.
In response to the findings of the 2022 Big Annual Employee Survey, the College is conducting focus groups organized by constituency groups to better understand how the College can respond to make employees feel more valued and identify steps to create a more welcoming and collegial working environment. Register for focus groups by using the links below:
- Friday, 9/15 (10 - 11:30 a.m.) : Register for Zoom Focus Group Session 1
- Monday, 9/18 (1 - 2:30 p.m.) : Register for Zoom Focus Group Session 2
- Wednesday, 9/20 (9 - 10:30 a.m.) In-person at SSC 223 : Sign Up for an in-person Focus Group
- Tuesday, 9/19 (11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.) : Register for Zoom Focus Group Session 1
- Friday, 9/22 (9 - 10:30 a.m.) : Register for Zoom Focus Group Session 2
All Faculty (Adjuncts and Full-Time)
- Friday, 9/22 (1 - 2:30 p.m.) : Register for Zoom Focus Group Session 1
- Tuesday, 9/26 (11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.) In-person at SSC 223: Sign Up for an in-person Focus Group
- Tuesday, 9/12 ( 9 - 10:30 a.m.) In-person at SSC 223: Sign Up for an in-person Focus Group
- Friday, 9/29 (10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.) : Register for Zoom Focus Group Session 2
USC Race and Equity Center Latest Report: "The Equitable Protection Principle: How California Community Colleges Can Make Progress Toward Racial Equity in Today's Legal Climate" by Thúy Thị Nguyễn, Partner, Garcia Hernández Sawhney, LLP.
Per USC’s Adrián Trinidad: “Even as California limited the use of race since 1996 (e.g., Proposition 209), there are race-conscious ways that colleges can support and ensure the success of their students of color. We invite you to read this rich, informative report outlining ways colleges can legally make progress toward racial equity, even in light of the latest supreme court ruling.”
The SMC Division of Equity, Pathways, and Inclusion invited the SMC community to join a session with the author held by USC.
Conversation with report author Thúy Thị Nguyễn
Date and time: July 19th at 12:30 p.m. PT
Thúy Thị Nguyễn is a Partner at the law firm of Garcia Hernández Sawhney. Nguyen served
as in-house General Counsel to the Peralta Community College District for more than
11 years. In addition to her duties as chief legal counsel, she served as Acting Vice
Chancellor for Human Resources for one year and as Districtwide Strategic Planning
Manager for two years.
Nguyen was an adjunct instructor/lecturer teaching education law for several years at California State University, East Bay. She previously practiced school desegregation law: Nguyen worked on desegregation consent decree and voluntary integration programs for school districts such as San Jose Unified School District and Berkeley Unified School District, and served on the Court Monitoring Team for the San Francisco Unified School District desegregation consent decree.
From January to June 2015, Nguyen took temporary leave from Peralta CCD to serve as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community College League of California (a non-profit organization that represents trustees and chancellors/college presidents of the 72 community college districts in California). As Interim CEO of CCLC, Nguyen co-redesigned the statewide training program on governance (Collegiality in Action) with the State Academic Senate President and provided training, technical assistance to community colleges on governance and Assembly Bill 1725.
Nguyen also served as Interim General Counsel for the California Community College’s Chancellor’s Office where she wrote a legal guidance on Equal Employment Opportunities and Proposition 209 and initiated a change in the statewide EEO funding allocation to the Multiple-Method model in order to promote diversity. Thereafter, in 2016, Nguyen was appointed President of Foothill College – becoming the first Vietnamese American college president in the country, a position she served for over five years.
Nguyen has received various honors and awards throughout her career. The Mayor of Oakland named June 23, 1993 “Thuy Thi Nguyen Day” in Oakland for her service to the city. Nguyen has been inducted into the Castlemont High School’s Alumni Hall of Fame. In 2007, she was named one of eighteen “Best Lawyers Under 40” in the country by the National Asian American Bar Association. In 2016, for her leadership in creating an unprecedented community college pathway to law school initiative, Nguyen received the coveted Diversity Award from the State Bar of California – a statewide award given to an individual each year who has helped diversify the legal profession. In 2017, she was presented with the Trailblazer Award by the National Conference for Vietnamese American Attorneys.
Also in 2017, Nguyen was honored as part of the Carnegie Corporation’s “Great Immigrants” tribute in the New York Times. The tribute is aimed at recognizing naturalized citizens, including former refugees such as Nguyen, who have helped advance society, culture, and the economy.
Nguyen earned her B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University and J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, where she was a member of the inaugural class of the Public Interest Law and Policy Program. Nguyen is a Paul and Daisy Soros for New Americans Fellow.
USC Race and Equity Center Latest Report: "Faculty Hiring Does Not Have to be Explicitly Racist to Reproduce Racial Inequity: Considerations for California Community Colleges When Implementing the Vision for Success DEI Plan" by Román Liera, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Higher Education, Department of Educational Leadership, Montclair State University.
Dr. Román Liera is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership at Montclair State University. He was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County, where he attended Los Angeles Pierce College before transferring to San Diego State University to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in counseling and social change. He then moved to New York City to attend Teachers College, Columbia University, where he received a Master of Arts in Higher and Postsecondary Education before moving back to Los Angeles, where he earned a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. Dr. Liera designed his research program to study racial equity and organizational change in Higher Education. Specifically, he draws on qualitative research methods to understand how organization processes, norms, and practices perpetuate racial inequity. He anchored his scholarship on a theoretical understanding of university and college campuses as racialized organizations with cultures and structures constraining administrators and faculty efforts to advance racial equity. His current research projects focus on understanding how racism operates in doctoral student socialization, the academic job market, faculty hiring, reappointment, tenure and promotion, and presidential hiring. His research appears in the Journal of Higher Education, American Educational Research Journal, Teachers College Record, Review of Higher Education among others.
SMC recently held Race Relay, a multimedia production that was a collaboration of several groups on Campus. We would like to personally invite you to help us continue the conversation and share this opportunity widely.
As a part of the Race Relay experience, "passing the baton" to the community is a key and integral piece to the movement. This is where the real work for our community begins, and we hope you will join us in helping to cultivate a safe space to discuss race. Our goal is to continue the conversation monthly and it is not required that you attended the performances. We welcome all who want to join us and engage in dialogue centering race. All we ask of participants is to come with an open mind that is willing to explore, practice active listening, utilize your own personal experiences, and be willing to engage in conversation.
This event will take place in our newly opened Student Equity Center (Located on SMC Main Campus, Cayton Building, Basement). Be one of the first to get a sneak peek of the space before our Fall Semester Grand Opening.
Race Relay Dates:
- June 28, 2023
- July 26, 2023
- August 30, 2023
Race Relay conversations will start at 5:30 p.m. on all the above dates.
RSVP is not required; however encouraged to help know how many participants to prepare for.
Questions can be emailed to the Student Equity Center at email@example.com
In collaboration with the SMC Public Policy Institute; SMC Associated Students; SMC Division of Equity, Pathways & Inclusion; SMC Student Equity Center, SMC Community and Academic Relations, Santa Monica Bay Area Human Relations Council, and the City of Santa Monica.
Community colleges across the U.S. have experienced significant enrollment declines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These declines were particularly concerning for men of color. For instance, community college enrollments for Black and Native American men dropped by 26% and 24%, respectively. However, many colleges have struggled to return enrollments and retention to their pre-pandemic levels.
This webinar focused on recommendations for enrollment and student success efforts designed to support community college men of color. Our presenters included Drs. Frank Harris III, Marissa Vasquez, and J. Luke Wood.