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Inclusive Excellence Resources
The Inclusive Excellence Resources page serves as a place for the ACC community to find important tools to support in their equity work. From defining the terminology, professional development opportunities, and equity updates to ACC to books, articles, and podcast recommendations and more, we'll provide you ways you can get started or continue / improve your equity practices.
Inclusive Excellence Terminology
You may or may not have heard these terms at ACC. Find out what they mean.
Review IE Terminology
- Access: Understanding that in the past, people of color and those who have been historically marginalized have not have the same access to higher education. When a person has permission, the equitable ability to fully approach, understand, obtain or retrieve all aspects of our college, there is access.
- Affinity Groups: Groups of people who share an identity or background that gather together, formally and informally, to build community and hold space. An affinity group gives members of a shared identity an opportunity to spend time in a space where their cultural experiences, both healthy are harmful, are commonly understood and affirmed, and where their can backgrounds can be celebrated. In gathering without the presence of those in dominant identities, where affinity group members’ voices can be heard without feeling the need to teach or explain, this fulfills a communal need for those who have not historically had spaces created for them.
- Anti-racism: To view different (ethnic) groups as equal in all their differences and to view inequities between different racialized groups as a problem of policy (From How to be Anti-Racist- pg 64). Anti-racism is the practice of identifying, challenging, and changing policies which engage or sustain racism. In doing this, power is redistributed and dispersed in a more equitable manner among racialized groups (groups who have been negatively impacted by racism).
- Diversity: Differences of groups, characteristics, and individual identities of people. This includes but not limited to race, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, sex, age, religion, veteran status, national origin, ideas, geographic location, and political affiliation.
- Equity: A commitment to creating opportunities for historically marginalized groups to gain fair and just access to and participation in educational, social, cultural, and political experiences and positive outcomes without sacrificing their identities. This is a focus on getting students and employees what they need rather than treating everyone the same with the recognition that not everyone is accessing education from an equal standpoint due to systemic and historical disparities.
- Equity-Mindedness: A frame in which to identify and address patterns of inequities in student and employee outcomes. This frame focuses attention on institutional practices, policies and processes that create barriers to student and employee success rather than solely on the work of the individual. This framework requires awareness of social and historical exclusionary practices to inform equitable changes needed to address outcome gaps among students and employees of different identities. Equity-mindedness requires practitioners to be accountable for these outcomes.
- Historically Marginalized Populations: Refers to groups of people in the U.S. context, who have historically experienced intentional and unintentional oppression that has limited their access to be able to fully thrive in all sectors of society regarding education, housing, healthcare, environment, legal systems, and the marketplace that has resulted in disparate outcomes. These groups include but are not limited to (people of color, women, the LGBQTI+ population, people who are non-binary, non-U.S. Citizens, people with disabilities, people from low-income backgrounds, people whose second language is English).
- Inclusion: Intentional and on-going engagement from all members of the community with a focus on the people whose voices have historically been left out of college operations, decisions, culture, and practice due to their marginalized identities and societal disparities. When inclusion is present, there is a high value placed on including these voices, their experiences, and perspectives to inform practices, processes, and policies.
- Inclusive Excellence: An institutional commitment to create an environment in which excellence is more expansive for students, faculty, staff, and the community. For the institution to be excellent, practitioners must focus on embedding equity, diversity, and inclusion into practices, procedures, and culture in support services, curriculum, and classrooms. Efforts go beyond diversity in recruiting, admissions and hiring, but are embedded throughout the organization.
- Justice: The outcome of fair and equitable access, opportunity, and treatment which allows someone to achieve their full potential in all aspects of life and society, including but not limited to education, career, health, and housing. As societal institutions, structures, and systems have not been historically setup for the benefit of all, justice is a goal for which to strive. In order for justice to be achieved, the voices of and input from historically marginalized populations must be heard and validated, and an awareness by and advocacy from those in dominant social identities must be realized.
- Privilege: Access to resources, opportunities, psychological safety, and power that is more readily available by nature of one’s dominant social identities. Such access is not earned or received based on merit, rather is granted or given based on those identities. People are often unaware of the advantages and benefits they are receiving, and have received over the course of their lives, and may experience discomfort in developing awareness of their privilege. Some individuals who benefit from the status quo may actively work to maintain the structures by which they receive privileges. It is important to understand that privilege does not mean one’s life is free of challenge and struggle, yet their overall experiences occur within a framework setup to provide them with benefits whether or not they are aware of them, and whether or not they are currently accessing them.
- Systemic Oppression: The negative and harmful impacts, both compounding and cumulative, that are experienced by historically marginalized populations in all facets of our societal structures. Systemic oppression may be formally present as written in policies and procedures or informally present by unwritten rules and practice. Regardless of initial intent, system oppression exists and creates disadvantages throughout our institutions.
Trainings, Events, Professional Development Opportunities
For any instruction-related support or advice for integrating equity and inclusion into your classroom, reach out to Megan Rector, megan [dot] rector [at] arapahoe [dot] edu (megan[dot]rector[at]arapahoe[dot]edu). For non-instructional support, please contact Sam Haynes, samuel [dot] haynes [at] arapahoe [dot] edu (samuel[dot]haynes[at]arapahoe[dot]edu).
Equity in Action Symposium
On behalf of the Inclusive Excellence Council, we would like to present an inaugural opportunity to celebrate the diversity, equity, and inclusion work that has taken place at the college over the last year. Equity is not a thing, but rather a process, practice, and relationship that is embodied in our everyday labor as staff, teachers, and leaders. This year, the Inclusive Excellence Council at ACC is hosting a virtual symposium bringing together the ACC community across estates to showcase ongoing work to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion outcomes and experiences on campus.
The 2023 symposium will be hosted virtually on:
Summit Room (in-person)
Theme: Equity in Action
To provide a high-quality, meaningful educational experience for our participants, we are seeking members of ACC who would be willing to share their talent and expertise during one of our conference breakout sessions. The focus of these sessions will be how members of ACC are actively advancing equity in both their individual roles and organizational unit more broadly.
How To Submit A Program Proposal
Proposals will be accepted until March 3, 2023, at 11:59pm. Presenters will be notified of the selection committee's decision no later than January 10, 2023. Check back for submission instructions.
Examples of possible program topics:
- Integrating Marginalized Perspectives into the Curriculum
- LGBTQ+ Perspectives
- Land Acknowledgements and Dismantling Colonial Relationships
- Building an Inclusive Workplace
- Recruiting and Retaining Marginalized Students
- Centering Experiences of Marginalized Students in Support Services
- Equity and Holistic Student Growth
- Serving Students of Color in the Concurrent Enrollment Process
We welcome proposals on a variety of topics including, but not limited to, the following:
Anti-Racism in Pedagogy and Assessment, Understanding Bias, Equity in Process and Procedure, LGBTQ+ Perspectives, Socioeconomic Status and Student Retention and Attainment, Working with Incarcerated Students, among others.
To learn more about this conference, please contact Symposium Planning Committee Member, Jaden Netwig: jaden [dot] netwig [at] arapahoe [dot] edu (jaden[dot]netwig[at]arapahoe[dot]edu)
Equity-Minded Teaching Academy
ACC is seeking participation from full- and part-time instructors who are interested in learning about equity-mindedness in pedagogy and the classroom through participatory action research. Your participation and action taken thereafter will contribute to closing gaps in student success, persistence, and retention rates between students of color and white students. Participants can expect to engage in 52 hours of training, coaching, and development. To participate in the Academy, all participants must be teaching within the same semester and have taught at ACC for at least one academic year. If you are interested please complete this form.
EMTA is open to both instructors and faculty members. To be eligible for the academy, participants must have taught at ACC for at least 1 year and be teaching at least 1 course during the semester they are participating. Instructors will be compensated for 52 hours at the $32.64 hourly rate, funded through the Teaching Excellence Grant, for a total of $1,697.28. Payment will be made upon completion of the course and submission of all documentation through the Instructor Request for Pay form. Additionally, due to CCCS Board Policy 3-80, instructors may not exceed 21 credit hours per semester for all assignments at all system colleges. This 52-hour course is equivalent to 1.54 credit hours. Please be sure to plan your schedule accordingly. ACC considers professional development part of a full-time employee’s regular workload. For full-time faculty, participation in EMTA is part of service workload. It should be included in annual goals and highlighted in the performance evaluation reflection.
Cohorts will be facilitated with 2 facilitators. One facilitator will take on the lead-facilitator role and the other will take on the mentor role. The lead facilitator will coach the mentor through the content, structure, and facilitation skills. Facilitators will meet one on one with participants prior to the start of the Academy and multiple times throughout the academy, to discuss classroom observations, syllabi review, and additional protocols informed by the University of Southern California’s Center for Urban Education and Center for Race and Equity. The mentor will take on the lead-facilitator role the following year and then begin to coach a new mentor.
Facilitator & Mentor Commitment: Up to 83 hours total
- Full-day facilitator training
- Facilitating 9 three-hour meeting sessions
- Six individual 1-hour meetings with five participants
- Preparation and meeting debriefs
Session Descriptions And Learning Outcomes
Participant Commitment: Up to 52 hours total
- 9 3-hour meeting sessions
- 5-7 hours of one/one meetings with peers and academy facilitators
- Homework for each session, ranging from 1-3 hours / week
Over the course of the semester, EMTA participants will increase their knowledge of equity-minded teaching practices, engage in 2 rounds of classroom observations, examine language of success and identify race-neutral language, understand social identity and group membership associated within identities, dive into disaggregated success data for your courses, identify racialized experiences in classrooms, address power dynamics between teachers/students, and more. By examining your syllabi, surveying your students, and deconstructing tasks to name a few assignments, you’ll be able to create an action plan based on data and academy experiences to improve your teaching practices with a supportive cohort of fellow instructors and faculty members doing the work with you.
Equity Training Series Description
This training program will support increase knowledge, awareness, and skills regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion concepts and practices that can support and affirm the success and identities of students and employees. The training will consist of 6 workshops for three hours each. Each workshop will be scaffolded and will require prep work and/or homework to do in between sessions. These sessions will be held once or twice a month, depending on the needs of the cohort. Please refer below for the description of each workshop and the outcomes for each one.
Outcomes of Inclusive Excellence (IE) Training Program:
- Provide employees with knowledge, skills, awareness, and resources to create and maintain an inclusive, welcoming, and equitable environment.
- Develop leaders across multiple divisions and departments at ACC who advocate for equitable practices, policies, and environments.
- Implement practices in the roles of ACC employees to equip them with using equity in decision making, in professional development, and in service.
Training Workshop Descriptions
Exploring The Foundation
The purpose of this training program will be covered during this first workshop to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of changing demographics, addressing the equity gap, and creating welcoming and inclusive environments. Participants will explore connections between and commitment to equity and ACC and examine the concept of inclusive leadership. Participants will explore and define common language and begin to reflect on their professional and personal contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Understand the concept and commitment of ACC
- Identify strengths and improvements of Inclusive Leadership
- Identify changing national and Colorado demographics at community colleges
- Connect the concept of diversity to leadership and interactions
Social Identity Awareness
Participants will explore social identities of themselves and others (gender, class, age, race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, and religion). They will also discuss how social identity and perceptions of those identities impact the work environment and interpersonal interactions in the workplace.
- Understand social identity and group membership associated with each.
- Examine social messaging and how it impacts the work environment.
- Identify how the cycle of socialization impacts individual perceptions and assumptions and how to interrupt the cycle.
This workshop will examine language that is oppressive and can unintentionally be harmful to individuals from historically marginalized identities. Participants will learn about microaggressions and gain strategies of best practice to engage inclusive conversations.
- Educate participants on best practices when using inclusive language.
- Build knowledge of microaggressions and their hidden power structure and assumptions.
- Understand the difference between a person’s intent versus the impact it may have on an individual or an organization.
- Create strategies to engage in more inclusive conversations.
This workshop will allow participants to understand the concept of implicit bias and examine how implicit bias influences decisions, guidelines, and interactions with students and colleagues. Participants will have the opportunity to examine strategies to interrupt bias particularly in decision making.
- Explore the concepts around unconscious/implicit bias and its formation.
- Examine one’s own background/experiences and biases and how they influence perceptions and behavior.
- Identify the differences between stereotyping, bias, and prejudice.
- Identify skills needed to interrupt unconscious/implicit bias.
Exploring Systemic Oppression And Critical Race Theory
During this workshop participants will have the opportunity to learn about the historical oppression experienced by different groups and understand the present-day indicators of common isms such as racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia. Participants will also learn about critical race theory in higher education. Participants will then have an opportunity to think critically about their individual contributions to oppression and gain strategies to combat systemic oppression.
- Understand and identify different isms that impact groups.
- Analyze how different isms have contributed to oppressive systems and structures in higher education.
- Examine how members of dominant groups benefit from oppressive structures.
- Identify strategies from Critical Race Theory to examine and analyze ACC policies, processes, and practices.
Equity In Action
This workshop will empower participants to use the equity impact assessment to implement change and embed equity-mindedness in their roles. Participants will have the opportunity to practice navigating difficult but productive and effective conversations with their colleagues by identifying equity detours in order to create and maintain welcoming, equitable, and inclusive environments.
- Understand and demonstrate action techniques that will address and interrupt exclusive and oppressive behaviors.
- Identify strategies to respond to equity detours and dialogue blockers when trying to create inclusive environments.
- Create personal action plans with specific tools individuals will use in their work with others.
College Equity Plan
Arapahoe Community College remains dedicated to diversity equity and inclusion and is continuing to put action towards this commitment. The Inclusive Excellence Council Executive Leadership Team has recently developed a College Equity Plan for the college. This plan is in direct alignment with the current 2020-2025 college strategic plan. The goals outlined within the plan are informed by the Inclusive Excellence Framework that was developed by the Association of American Colleges & Universities (Toward a Model of Inclusive Excellence). These goals address closing student equity gaps and creating a college environment where students and employees feel a sense of belonging, are supported, and are valued. The goals and actions within the plan are informed by current student success data, employee demographic data, and recent campus climate survey and focus group results. The actions within this plan will provide guidance for the institution to embed diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom, in support of students, and in ACC practices and procedures.