Affirmation of Inclusion

Whatcom Community College is committed to maintaining an environment in which every member of the College community feels welcome to participate in the life of the College, free from harassment and discrimination. We welcome people of all races, ethnicity, national origins, religions, ages, genders, sexual orientations, marital status, veteran status, abilities and disabilities. Toward that end, faculty, students and staff will:

  • Treat one another with respect and dignity;
  • Promote a learning and working community that ensures social justice, understanding, civility and non-violence in a safe and supportive climate;
  • Influence curriculum, teaching strategies, student services and personnel practices that facilitate sensitivity and openness to diverse ideas, peoples and cultures in a creative, safe and collegial environment.

The Campus Diversity Committee (CDC)

CDC Mission

As stated in the strategic plan, Whatcom integrates principles of diversity, access, and inclusion throughout policy, practice, services, and curriculum to close equity gaps in student outcomes and create an equitable work environment.

CDC Vision

All students, staff, and faculty are given equal access to educational and professional attainment and are empowered through the support of the college community which encourages self-identity awareness through the lense of intersectionality.

CDC Plan

In order to create a framework for advancing equity, we will use the objectives listed in the College’s strategic plan and accompanying work plan. We will work with campus stakeholders to continually assess our progress.

Objectives

3.1 Ensure all students have access to campus resources that support educational success.

3.2 Apply culturally responsive pedagogy in all teaching and learning environments.

3.3 Increase services focused on supporting marginalized student populations to close the equity gap in student outcomes.

3.4 Revise policies, practices, services, and curricula from an equity-based lens.

3.5 Improve recruitment and retention of diverse students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

3.6 Increase campus engagement in social justice education and leadership opportunities.

The Equity Project

Each year, the Campus Diversity Committee offers professional development for faculty, staff and students called The Equity Project (TEP).  TEP offers ongoing opportunities to engage in social justice education and work towards Advancing Equity at Whatcom Community College.  Each year a topic is selected and WCC offers programming centered on a theme and a OneBook reading.  Activities include keynote speakers, Bento Box Workshops, campus discussions, films, and more.  The theme for 2018-2019 is "A Local Context." 

Strategic Plan and Equity Plan Glossary

Diversity

Includes all the ways in which people differ, and it encompasses all the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. A broad definition includes not only race, class, and gender but also such categories as age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, education, language. It also involves different ideas, perspectives, and values.

Equity

Equity in education means that personal or social circumstances such as gender, ethnic origin or family background, are not obstacles to achieving educational potential (definition of fairness) and that all individuals reach at least a basic minimum level of skills (definition of inclusion). In these education systems, the vast majority of students have the opportunity to attain high-level skills, regardless of their own personal and socio-economic circumstances.

Inclusion

Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, and decision/policy making in a way that shares power.

Racial Equity

The condition that would be achieved if one's racial identity no longer predicted, in a statistical sense, how one fares. This includes elimination of policies, practices, attitudes and cultural messages that reinforce differential outcomes by race or fail to eliminate them.

Equity Gap

Statistically based differences in student success outcomes for particular groups of students. Eliminating equity gaps involves focusing on opportunity gaps and gaps in access to the resources and information required for academic success.

Implicit Bias

Automatic associations that people unknowingly hold. They are expressed automatically, without conscious awareness. Many studies have indicated that it can affect individuals' attitudes and actions, thus creating real-world implications, even though individuals may not even be aware that it exists within themselves.

Intersectional/ality

The understanding that we simultaneously occupy multiple social positions and that these positions do not cancel each other out; they interact in complex ways that must be explored and understood.

Social Justice

A process and a goal. A commitment to a socially just world and the committed actions to make that world a reality. “The goal of social justice is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure.

Systemically Non-dominant Groups

Systemically non-dominant refers to membership outside of the dominant group within systems of oppression. Systems of oppression are created to provide benefits and assets for members of specific groups. The recipient groups are referred to as dominant groups because such advantages grant impacting levels of power, privilege, and status within social, economic, and political infrastructures of a society. For example such frameworks are established to specify who is in control and who is not, what is acceptable and what is unacceptable, and who will have access to resources and who will not.

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy

Culturally responsive pedagogy is a student-centered approach to teaching in which the students’ unique cultural strengths are identified and nurtured to promote student achievement and a sense of well-being about the student’s cultural place in the world. Culturally responsive pedagogy is divided into three functional dimensions: the institutional dimension, the personal dimension, and the instructional dimension.

The institutional dimension of culturally responsive pedagogy emphasizes the need for reform of the cultural factors affecting the organization of schools, school policies and procedures (including allocation of funds and resources), and community involvement. The personal dimension refers to the process by which teachers learn to become culturally responsive. The instructional dimension refers to practices and challenges associated with implementing cultural responsiveness in the classroom.

Marginalized/Minoritized

A social group that is devalued in society. This devaluing encompasses how the group is represented, what degree of access to resources it is granted, and how the unequal access is rationalized.

Ally

Someone who makes the commitment and effort to recognize their privilege and work in solidarity with oppressed groups in the struggle for justice. They understand that it is in their own interest to end all forms of oppression, even those from which they may benefit in concrete ways. They also commit to reducing their own complicity or collusion in oppression of those groups and invest in strengthening their own knowledge and awareness of oppression.

Ethnicity

A social system of meaning and custom that is developed by a group of people to assure its adaptation and survival. These groups are distinguished by a set of unspoken rules that shape values, beliefs, habits, patterns of thinking, behaviors and styles of communication.

Race

A social construct that divides people into smaller social groups based on characteristics such as shared sense of group membership, values, behavioral patterns, language, political and economic interests, history and ancestral geographical base.

Examples: Cape Verdean, Haitian, African American (Black); Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese (Asian); Cherokee, Mohawk, Navajo (Native American); Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican (Latino); Polish, Irish, and Swedish ( White).

Privilege

Unearned social power accorded by the formal and informal institutions of society to all members of a dominant group. It is usually invisible to those who have it because they are taught not to see it, but nevertheless, it puts them at an advantage over those who do not have it.

Power

Unequally distributed globally and in U.S. society; some individuals or groups wield more than others, thereby allowing them greater access and control over resources. Wealth, Whiteness, citizenship, patriarchy, heterosexism, and education are a few key social mechanisms through which it operates.

Discrimination

The unequal treatment of members of various groups based on race, gender, social class, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion and other categories.

Prejudice

A pre-judgment or unjustifiable attitude from one type of individual or group toward another group and its members. Typically based on unsupported generalizations (or stereotypes) that deny the right of individual members of certain groups to be recognized and treated as individuals with individual characteristics.

Oppression

Systemic devaluing, undermining, marginalizing, and disadvantaging of certain social identities in contrast to the privileged norm; when some people are denied something of value, while others have ready access.

Racism

Refers to individual, cultural, institutional and systemic ways by which differential consequences and advantages are created for groups historically or currently defined as White, and groups historically or currently defined as non-White (African, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, etc.) as disadvantaged. Combining the concepts of prejudice and power points out the mechanisms by which this concept leads to different consequences for different groups.

Institutional Racism

Refers specifically to the ways in which policies and practices create different outcomes for different racial groups. The policies may never mention any racial group, but their effect is to create advantages for Whites and oppression and disadvantage for people of color.

Glossary Sources