While George Floyd’s death serves as yet another painful reminder that too many individuals face discrimination and persecution in this country simply based simply on the color of their skin, the nationwide protests and calls for systemic change are important reminders of the critical nature of the work this college has committed to around creating a more inclusive culture and erasing the equity gaps that exist for our students along racial, ethnic, and gender lines.
Consequently, I am finding it challenging to send out any message to my colleagues at CCD that does not call us to urgent action in these spaces. I have asked our faculty chairs and academic deans to review the content of the courses within their departments to ensure the elements of interpersonal and intercultural awareness, competence, respect, and appreciation move from elective to essential in the learning environments at CCD.
For our leaders in the student services spaces, I am asking that they work with their teams to consider what changes in professional development and in our operating procedures are needed so that we can better instill these same elements of interpersonal and intercultural awareness, competence, respect, and appreciation into every interaction with students and with one another.
We have so much work to do as a country, and as a college, to take better care of one another and to do the hard work to bring about equity and to fight for social justice. Please know that, while this is the work of every one of us at the college, the Inclusive Excellence Leadership Team is committed to moving our CCD equity and inclusion agenda forward and to bring about real change both in the creation of a more inclusive CCD culture and also in erasing the equity gaps that exist for our students of color.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions, concerns or ideas.
Ruthanne K. Orihuela
Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs
Interim Vice President for Enrollment Administration & Student Success
Community College of Denver