SOLES Takes Action on Anti-Racism

Dr. Spencer, Dr. Cameron, Dr. Quesada, Dr. Hubbard

The killing of George Floyd over the summer was a tragic and pivotal moment that placed a renewed spotlight on racial injustices in this country. This exposure led institutions nationwide to take a deep look at themselves, to uncover racial biases and to begin the journey to repair. At the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) we have been taking a reflective, systematic approach; beginning with an examination of the practices, policies and procedures across our departments, centers and institutions. SOLES is dedicated to equity, inclusion and social justice and it is this dedication that keeps us striving to do better for our students and the communities that we serve.

Under the new leadership of Interim Dean Joi Spencer, PhD and alongside dedicated faculty, staff and students; SOLES has taken anti-racism initiatives seriously. Via numerous training opportunities, systemic analysis of programs and departments and the implementation of accountability measures; we are taking the steps to make necessary and important changes. We want to take a moment to provide you with an update on the actions that have been taken within SOLES. Our progress is ongoing and we know there is more work to be done. We will continue to provide updates and welcome your feedback.

Watch the Video: 

SOLES Wide Initiatives:

  • Over 80 members of the SOLES community (faculty, administrators and staff) attended the 3-hour Groundwater Training with the Racial Equity Institute this November. Groundwater Training provides foundational understanding of US-based racism, and analysis of raced-based outcomes across systems of health and education.
  • Faculty attended the SOLES Fall Faculty Open House- Decolonizing Pedagogies and Practices Featuring Dr. Antonio Jimenez-Luque and Dr. Sarina Molina.
  • SOLES initiated a four-part faculty workshop series designed to improve and sharpen instructional practices related to race, equity and diversity.
  • SOLES faculty are actively engaged in reviews of their syllabi through the lens of equity and issues impacting BIPOC communities.
  • Admissions processes are under review, implementing actions removing barriers to apply such as the GRE.
  • SOLES continues to conduct Conversations of Color Events which provide support structures and resources for students of color across the SOLES community.
  • A new program called S.T.A.R.S. (SOLES Takes Anti-Racism Seriously) was created with the specific intent of supporting those who are victims of racist language and behavior.
  • A SOLES Social Justice webpage was created to provide resources and updates.

Counseling & Marital and Family Therapy:

  • The CMFT department has created a JEDI Plan.
  • CMFT Department meetings now hold dedicated time to discuss and examine department goals, policies and procedures at every meeting.
  • MFT Program is no longer requiring the GRE for admission into the program.
  • MFT Program has started their four facilitated conversations and workshops for students and faculty on race and racism. 
  • MFT Program has created and provided a list of resources on race and racism for students and faculty. 
  • Counseling Program has created and adopted an anti-racism statement that is now included in their student handbook. 
  • Counseling Program faculty have formed a committee to review course sequence and curriculum.

Department of Learning and Teaching:

Faculty and Program Plans and Actions

  • Department Chair Black Lives Matter Statement Issued
  • All courses include curriculum components of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 
  • Faculty Discussion and Action Plan to recruit more diverse faculty, adjuncts, supervisors, students of color (Black, Latino/a and South East Asian)
  • Planning an Anti-Racism speaker events for the Teacher Preparation Program in Spring 2021
  • Department Chair participation in the CAPE listening session
  • Faculty, Staff and Administration participation in the SOLES DEI Training
  • Faculty will conduct a course audit to embed Anti-Racist/ism topics, books, curriculum, and assignments in all course syllabi

PhD in Education Black Lives Matter Programing 

  • Summer 2020 
    • Black Lives Matter Solidarity Statement and Call to Action Issued
    • Artistic Expression Salon and Gallery
    • Juneteenth Town Meeting
    • Reading Club - White Fragility, Anti-Racism
  • #BLM Event Planning Survey for Fall 2020
    • Reading Club - Anti-Racism Discussion
    • Community Activism - Let's Talk About Healing
    • PhD Listening Session

Department of Leadership Studies:

  • 100% of DLS Faculty and Staff attended DEI training
    • STARS, Groundwater Workshop by REI, How to Have Conversations about Racism, Black Minds Matter
  • 100% of DLS Faculty audited their syllabi for critical perspectives
  • DLS Faculty Actions: 
    • Community Forum - moderator: Dr. Kecia Brown
    • Small group conversations with DLS students 
    • DLS Faculty Retreat- Focus DEI
    • Co-created the Plan to Action Committee with DLS students 
    • Co-hosted Fall Faculty Open House- Decolonizing Pedagogies and Practices 
    • Leadership in Action events

One faculty member noted that “With the inclusion of a greater number of BIPOC authors and increased attention to issues related to DEI, our discussions have been more meaningful and student engagement has improved."


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