Here we go again! Diversity, diversity, diversity! The most recent was the announcement in The Signal on May 13, “COC receives 2022 institutional DEIA Champion Award.” DEIA, or diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility: all great-sounding things. Or are they?
“The award is given to an educational institution within the California Community College system that has demonstrated efforts towards an organizational culture that maximizes every opportunity to be intentional and innovative in creating and advancing DEIA within the community,” The Signal article said. The award is given by the Association of Chief Human Resource Officers Equal Employment Officers.
In writing this I am not in any way meaning to impugn the integrity or reputation of COC, the ACHRO/EEO or its staff or members. I am questioning the whole idea of the number of groups, people, time and effort put into trying to achieve DEIA within the collegiate community when it seems like those same goals could be met by people coming together, not separating them. There are nine different groups working on the IDEAA initiatives. These groups are listed in the May 13 article. One of these is the anti-racism speaker series group. You remember, the one that brought Angela Davis to speak at the college!
Along with these nine groups there are an additional nine student alliances. The Adult Reentry Alliance; African American/Black Student Alliance; Autism Social Alliance; GenderSexualityAlliance; Latin X Alliance; Native American & Indigenous Alliance; STEM Equity Alliance; Trans Alliance; and Veterans’ Alliance.
But wait, where is the Asian Student Alliance; the Caucasian/White Student Alliance; the Heterosexual Alliance; the Conservative Student Protection Alliance? Why are these issues always left out when educators are addressing problems these days? Don’t these students also have rights?
If it were up to me I would have four alliances to help students. The Interracial Understanding/STEM Equity Alliance; the The Adult/Veterans Reentry Alliance; the Students with Disabilities/Learning Alliance and the Understanding Mental Health Alliance.
All of this takes staff in oversight positions and time to write procedures, rules, etc.
I could go on about the number of people and amount of time it takes to do all of this extracurricular stuff, but this writing is getting too long.
So I will end by saying: Diversity is important, but not when it is used to separate us. We need more unity among all peoples, not separatism.