SBVC President Forms Equity, Inclusion & Anti-Racism Committee
San Bernardino Valley College’s Committee on Equity, Inclusion & Anti-Racism is working to ensure the campus is a safe and welcoming place for every member of the community, where people feel respected, seen, and heard.
“The committee’s goal is to look at our institution’s practices, policies, and processes with a critical and constructive eye, in hopes of identifying areas in which we can improve upon the experience of not only our students, but also our employees, where equity and inclusion are concerned,” Classified Chair Ernest Guillen says.
The committee was formed during the Spring 2020 semester by President Diana Z. Rodriguez, who serves as its administrative chair. There are 40 committee members, representing all constituency groups.
“It’s our hope that by forming this committee and by doing this work, that we, as a group, can identify not only areas in need of improvement, but also areas where we are excelling and duplicate those practices,” Guillen says. “We want to provide a forum where members of all campus classifications can come together and work on and discover ways to move our campus and our surrounding community forward more equitably, more sensitively, and more inclusively.”
The committee is hard at work on multiple projects, including identifying areas on campus that can be converted into inclusive or safe spaces; examining the language used in forms and policies for potential or unconscious biases; partnering with outside agencies that provide resources for underserved learning communities; and beginning the conversations needed to create a multicultural center for students.
“We are committed to doing our part to eradicate systemic racism, not just in education, but everywhere,” President Rodriguez says. “It is imperative that while working on our anti-racism and inclusion efforts, everyone is part of the decision making and feels empowered to share their thoughts and ideas on how to enact change.”
The work being done on campus does not begin or end with the Committee on Equity, Inclusion & Anti-Racism, Guillen says — there are multiple organizations and people across campus who are also taking steps to make SBVC more all-embracing, and the committee looks forward to partnering with them in the future.
“The committee is always looking for constructive input from key areas on campus,” Guillen says. “We hope that with the help of the campus community at large, we can improve upon the student and employee experience and create a more inclusive and equitable environment for us all to thrive in.”