Dear Faculty,

Black & Brown lives matter.

Watching Black and Brown lives taken disproportionately by police officers has sparked a movement that highlights systemic racism in our country, our neighborhoods, and our schools. As a part of these systems, we, Pierce College, acknowledge that we have been complicit in advancing the racism that is so firmly woven into the fabric of our institutions. With this deeper awareness comes contrition, which moves us to action. Pierce College has been and reaffirms that it is committed to actions that disrupt racist systems, dismantle barriers to the success of Black & Brown students, build strong structures to support the centering and advancement of Black & Brown faculty and staff, and eliminate racial equity gaps. In the past we have considered our actions to be ‘not racist’ which is not enough... we must be antiracist. Fundamentally, we are committed to dismantling oppressive systems in order to build an anti-racist institution, and we affirm that this is unconditionally necessary in order to truly achieve the mission of Pierce College.

Recognizing the weight and power of this moment and our shared commitment to these ends, the PCFT Executive Board and members of the Executive Team met to discuss how we can advance this work together in a meaningful and intentional way. We identified four shared interests:

  • Build and implement anti-racist curricula (including pedagogy and content);
  • Diversify the faculty (which includes interrogating and adjusting the full process, from recruitment through tenure committee design and support);
  • Advance equitable and equity-centered professional development (particularly related to anti-racism and equity within the tenure/post-tenure processes and broad support for adjunct development and engagement); and
  • Ensure Accountability (particularly with regard to how faculty and administrators center and support brave, anti-racist actions and challenge racist ideas, policies, and practices).

Doing this requires that everyone is an active participant. There is no option to engage in our work that does not include this as a central focus. Indeed, anti-racism in higher education is our work.

We also acknowledge that we will be undertaking actions that will make us uncomfortable. As educators, we recognize that this is a symptom of learning; and no matter where we find ourselves with regard to our knowledge, skills, and/or abilities to undertake the work of anti-racism, we maintain a collaborative commitment to grace, support, and accountability.

Action towards these four shared goals starts now, and we are honored to engage in this work together to dismantle centuries of institutionalized white supremacy, to lead with cultural humility and vulnerability, and to intentionally support and advance the historically marginalized and minoritized members of our community.

This is what equity looks like in action.

In solidarity,
The PCFT EBoard & The Pierce College Executive Team
with Melonie Rasmussen, Davida Sharpe-Haygood, and Arturo Laris