Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence

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About Us

San Antonio College’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence is housed in the Office of the President. We carry out the college’s mission to create an environment that places equity at the forefront of student success. Our office is supported by a committee comprised of students, staff, and faculty.

Guiding Principles

At San Antonio College, a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), we believe all students have a right to access education. We believe students, staff and faculty have a right to a safe and inclusive academic environment. We believe that our college thrives because our diverse faculty, staff and students motivate our community’s daily efforts to learn, educate and serve. 

Because of these beliefs, we resolve to eradicate educational obstacles based on differences of race, ethnicity, language, culture, social class, age, sex, place of origin, religious belief, political view, physical and/or mental ability, gender identity/expression or sexual orientation. 

We at San Antonio College are committed to dismantling structural barriers that create and perpetuate inequity. We are dedicated to cultivating and sustaining a safe campus climate that upholds human dignity, civility and mutual respect. 

Land Acknowledgement

ABOUT LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

Land acknowledgments honor historical links between Indigenous Peoples/Nations and the territories. This traditional custom dates back centuries for many Native communities and nations. For the last several years, many institutions of higher education and organizations commonly begin meetings and events with formal statements of land acknowledgments.  

In these public statements, institutions acknowledge history, and express a commitment to current reality and future relationship between the institution, Indigenous Peoples/Nations and the land. For non-indigenous communities, this signifies respect and recognition and honors the traditional caretakers of the land on which we work, live and play. Knowing the unceded land we live on is important because Indigenous history is American history. By learning about the cultures and history of our original inhabitants, we honor their history and counter the narratives of discovery and colonization.   

Land acknowledgments alone are but a small gesture and are made more meaningful by authentic and informed actions of support and solidarity with our Native Urban Communities. This is a first step in creating an ongoing intentional practice of amplifying Indigenous voices and moving toward truth and reconciliation. San Antonio College is inspired to action by learning a more truthful existence of our Native Urban community through our alliance with the American Indians of Texas of the Spanish Colonial Missions (AITSCM).   

Opportunities to support our Native Urban Communities: 

Yanawana Herbolarios

Urban Indian SA: Making the invisible Visible 

An excerpt of San Antonio College’s Land Acknowledgment by AITSCM 

We acknowledge the San Antonio River as Yanaguana, (Spirit Waters in Pajalate) as the source of life for this city and commit to protecting her, all her tributaries and connected waters and this land called Texas as Somi Sek to the Esto’k Gna people who are called Carrizo-Comecrudo by the Spanish, today and for future generations. 

We acknowledge this place known as San Antonio as the traditional homeland of many Native American peoples who are called Coahuiltecan by Spanish records. 200 tribes/bands/clans were documented in historical records and include the Payaya, Auteca Paguame, Jarame, Pompopa, and Borrado, as well as other aboriginal peoples such as the Carrizo-Comecrudo who continue to carry their traditional lifeways. 

We acknowledge these Indigenous various communities as the traditional people of this land now called San Antonio, Texas. 

We acknowledge this homeland that would later include Comanches and Lipan Apaches in the 1700's, as a place that is now home to nearly 30,000 Urban Indians spanning from tribes across the North, Central, and South America who continue to sustain their traditional languages and customs. 

Learn more about Land Acknowledgments 

Recognizing Place and People: Bulding Inclusion with Land Acknowledgments, November 10, 2021 event recording

Digital online resources: Whose land do I live on?   

https://land.codeforanchorage.org/  

https://native-land.ca/resources/territory-acknowledgement/ 

A Guide to Indigenous Land Acknowledgment 

https://nativegov.org/news/a-guide-to-indigenous-land-acknowledgment/  

Honor Native Land (blog) 

https://embracingequity.org/blog/2019/5/1/honor-native-land  

Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation

Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation

San Antonio College has been at the forefront of a local effort to establish a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Center in our city. In 2021, the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) selected San Antonio College as one of fifty-five institutions throughout the US to estabish a center for TRHT. The center will acknowledge, honor and celebrate the unique cultures, challenges and advantages of each institution, to establish equity-minded practices that advance our students and communities by dismantling belief in the hierarchy of human value and confronting racism in our society. This work made possible with funding from the Trellis Foundation

For more information on TRHT visit the AAC&U website.

VISION

San Antonio College envisions inclusive and welcoming spaces advancing equity-consciousness through conversation and connection to build a culture centered in the principles of dignity and mutual respect. Our long-term commitment to transformation necessitates engagement with our community so that we see ourselves in each other, focus on healing, and co-create a just, equitable present and future so all thrive.   

GOALS

    Goal 1 – Create a positive narrative about race in the community

    Goal 2 – Promote racial healing activities on campus and in the community

    Goal 3 – Erase institutional barriers to equal treatment

    Goal 4 – Prepare and support the next generation of leaders in building just and equitable communities

 

Calendar of Events

Click on links in the calendar to register. See below for course descriptions.

Common Read

As we work toward establishing a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center, we invite faculty, staff and students to participate in a common read experience. Sign up to receive notice on meeting times and reserve a copy of The Little Book of Racial Healing by Norman DeWolf and Jodie Geddes. Participants discuss the book and increase their understanding of social justice and begin peace building. Books are available in the Office of DEI, Chance Academic Center, Room . Sign up here: https://bit.ly/CommonRead2021

Intro to Equity

Begin building a foundational equity mindset through constructivist listening practices and developing inclusive language. Using an asset-based approach, participants interrogate their experiences and their relationship to others to foster equity consciousness.

Unconscious and Implicit Bias

This session introduces participants to the concepts of implicit bias and microaggressions. Participants will complete the Harvard Implicit Association Test (IAT) during this session and discuss actionable steps to combat biases that impact Black, Indigenous and people of color.

Identifying and Addressing Microaggressions

This is a continuation of the session on “Unconscious and Implicit Bias” where participants will learn how to identify and address this form of oppression to improve our campus culture. This in-depth discussion provides examples of microaggressions that students encounter on-campus and in the community.

Validating and Affirming Using Pronouns

What’s all this talk about using proper pronouns to create an inclusive environment for everyone?  Come find out in this interactive session. Participants learn the importance of pronouns, and how to create a welcoming environment for all. A few lucky participants win prizes!

Sharing What Works: Using Pronouns

This is a follow-up for participants who have attended “Validating and Affirming Using Pronouns.” In this session, participants share promising practices of the use of pronouns. Join in to hear and share what is working, and to connect with faculty and staff to advance equity practices.

Racial Healing Circles

The Rx Racial Healing Circle®️ methodology stresses active listening, and being open to the perspectives and experiences of others. Participants will be invited to begin with an introductory exercise and to share their story in response to a deep discussion prompt to help begin the process of transforming hearts and minds.

Equity in Hiring-Training for hiring committees

Available for faculty and staff serving on hiring committees. This session reviews the role bias, merit and fit play in hiring practices. Participants will examine SAC and DSO data to learn how to apply equity-minded competencies to hiring rubrics and interviews.

News and Announcements

February 14, 2022 SAC Newsletter Announcement of TRHT Center

January 28, 2022 The Alamo Colleges District formally announced the beginning of a district-wide initiative to bring Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Centers to all five of the colleges and the District Office. San Antonio College will serve as the pilot campus. The far-reaching effort will be made possible with funding from the American Association of Colleges and Universities.

 

Equity Committee

A shared governance body advances equity through the participation of the following students, staff and faculty:

Mona Aldana-Ramirez, Director of Student Success for Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence

Dr. Marianne M. Bueno, Associate Professor of History

Phillip Casarez, Senior Coordinator, Graduation

Fidel Bém, Director of Advising

Kyle DeStefano, Certified Advisor, TRiO Veterans

Sabrina Macal-Polasek, Coordinator, Transfer and Career Center

Dr. Aisha Laiene-Woods, PsyD, LPC-S, Counselor, Student Advocacy Center

Dr. Savithra Eratne, Director of Institutional Research

Rolando Barrientez, Coordinator of Law Enforcement Training Academy

Yon Hui Bell, INRW Center Coord/English Faculty

Nerissa Wiggins, Student

Marissa Constante, Student

Equity Award Nomination Form

No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.

-Max Lucado

Dr. Said Fariabi received the 2020 Spring Equity Award
Dr. Said Fariabi (R) recieves the Equity Award from Dr. Robert Vela (L), President of the College, during 2020 Spring Convocation. 

 

The Equity Committee recognizes the work of Equity Leaders, Warriors and Champions and spotlights promising practices helping SAC transform into an inclusive and equitable college.

Equity Award Criteria and Nomination

Nominate students, colleagues or community members who contribute to SAC’s equity ecosystem. This recognition highlights the multiple ways the college and community demonstrate commitment to our equity guiding principles. Individuals and teams nominated exemplify the spirit of equity and their actions help advance equity goals. Either by individual action or by teamwork, each person or team nominated meets one (or more) of the criteria below:

  • Promotes and encourages a deeper understanding of equity by sharing and advancing best practices in the classroom, office, program or throughout the college
  • Exhibits leadership qualities through collaboration, courageous conversations, promotes inclusion and fosters accountability
  • Prioritizes student needs and advocates for systemic and institutional change to address them and ensure equitable opportunities
  • Serves as a creative and equity-minded decision maker in the shared governance process
  • Fosters practices that help identify and narrow equity gaps
  • Implements effective solutions to increase equitable student access and success
  • Builds inclusion and diversity by creating opportunities, events, or programs and intentionally outreaches to underrepresented audiences.

Fill out the nomination form: https://bit.ly/SAC-DEI-Award

For questions, contact SAC-DEI@alamo.edu

 

SAC's Equity Journey

The Office of DEI and Equity Committee provide this timeline as a snapshot of events, activities, sessions and opportunities to grow our equity consciousness and transform our college into a just and equitable space for everyone to thrive. Much work is also being done by colleagues and departments at SAC adding to the collective impact to advance our equity ecosystem.

Fall 2021-Spring 2022

Collegewide Convening & Listening Forums

Data Focus Groups: Discussing Student Success Outcomes Using Data

From Equity Talk to Equity Walk: Sharing What Works

Knowledge & Capacity Building 

Using Land Acknowledgments

Allyship and More

Validating and Affirming Using Pronouns

Equity in Hiring Practices-Training for Hiring Committees

Uncovering Unconscious and Implicit Bias

Identifying and Addressing Microaggressions

Common Read: The Little Book of Racial Healing, Norman DeWolf and Jodie Geddes

Strategic Work

Revise action plan for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center

Implement Rx Racial Healing® Circles

Equity Retreat Planning

Fall 2020-Spring 2021

Collegewide Convening & Listening Forums

College Charrette: Envisioning Equity at SAC

College Charrette: Crafting and Equity Statement for SAC

Sharing What Works: Rigor vs. Empathy = yes/and

From Equity Talk to Equity Walk: Sharing What Works

Knowledge & Capacity Building 

Introduction to Equity Sessions

Equity in Hiring Practices-Training for Hiring Committees

Uncovering Unconscious and Implicit Bias

Identifying and Addressing Microaggressions

Common Read: How to Be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi

Common Read: Cult of Glory, Doug Swanson

Common Read: The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti Mexican Violence in Texas, Monica Muñoz Martinez

Common Read: Select Essays by bell hooks

Documentary Screening: Porvenir, Texas

Docuseries Screening: The Origin of Everything

Strategic Work

College Equity Statement with Guiding principles, Values and Actions

Expanded Landscape Analysis (Part 2 and 3)

Fostering Community Partnerships

Foster alliance with American Indians of Texas of the Spanish Colonial Missions

 Spring 2020-Summer 2020

Knowledge & Capacity Building 

Introduction to Equity Sessions

Equity in Hiring Practices-Training for Hiring Committees

Uncovering Unconscious and Implicit Bias

Identifying and Addressing Microaggressions

Creating a Student-centered Syllabus

Anti-Blackness in the Latinx Community

Intersection of Identities: How to inform practices in student educational experiences

So, You Want to Be an Ally? 

Common Read: Becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution, Gina Garcia

Common Read: Whistling Vivaldi, Claude Steele

Common Read: Down Girl, Kate Manne

Common Read: Teachin’ It: Breakout Moves that Break Down Barriers for Community College Students, Felicia Darling             

Collegewide Convening and Listening Forums

Black Lives Matter Forum with Dr. Joan Collier, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Strategic Work

Developed Action Plan for a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center

Spring 2019-Fall 2019

Strategic Work

Equity Goals included in college’s strategic plan

Establish the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Equity Committee

Development of Equity Action Plan 

Conduct Equity Landscape Analysis (Part 1)

Knowledge & Capacity Building 

Introduction to Equity Sessions

Finish Line Game, Achieving the Dream

Collegewide Convening and Listening Forums

Breakfast of Equity Champions

 

Suggestion Box

Do you have any ideas or comments on how to create just and equitable opportunities and spaces? Please send us an email with your suggestions at SAC-DEI@alamo.edu

or you can stay here and take a ride in the sky, on our ship, Fantasi!