What Can I Do as an Administrator

  Commencement ceremony.

There’s a saying that you can determine a person’s values through the decisions they make on where to spend their money. We challenge the administrators at Mission College to put on equity lenses in their highly influential roles. 

Put on equity lenses during budgetary discussions and prioritization – the questions to ask:

  1. Does this action/decision/strategy promote equitable chances for all students to be successful or are is there potential for unintended consequences that benefit/hurt some students more than others? 
  2.  Does this action/decision/strategy require students to have access to resources that they don’t have?
  3. Does what we’re doing accurately respond to students’ real, lived needs or are we making assumptions about what we think they need?  How do we know?
  4. How can we ensure that we’re considering a variety of potential cultural interpretations?  Do we know what we need to know in order to be culturally affirmative to students from a range of diverse populations in our approach?
  5.  If not, how will we develop our knowledge?
  6. What is my own responsibility to promote equity in this situation? 

Actively seek training and skill building. Building your knowledge and skill sets is also incredibly important.  Understanding that there is a framework of history and understanding of current oppression/power/privilege dynamics is an important movement from "Why can’t we all just get along?" to understanding systemic and operational ways to enact equity.  And it’s the operational piece that will generate transformation.

Really understand what is happening and develop tools for analysis.  Even questions like, "What do we know about potential unintended consequences for students from traditionally underserved populations if we implement this policy?  This practice?  What do we need to know more about?" 

Seek exposure to the issues and take a stand.  Once they have developed a deeper understanding of the multiplicity of perspectives, interrupting and naming what is happening and drawing the will to say, "Nope, we’re not supporting this policy/practice because it will result in disparate and unjust outcomes" is so necessary. 

Call out injustices.  Develop a culture in your organization where you can normalize addressing microaggressions, for example, as something useful to support growth and even as affirmation of commitment to equity.

Question business as usual, assumptions, definitions, examining the structure and ways of doing the work.  Reviewing policies and practices and having the courage to discard the policies and practices that do not serve students in the ways we know they must if students are to have meaningful opportunities for success and develop systems and structures that are inclusive and have equity strategies.

Understanding one’s own power and privilege in any given meeting, forum, conversation, etc. and understanding how to use that privilege in service to equity.