From the Interim President
Some Initial Steps for Our Black Students at De Anza
June 8, 2020
It has been a wrenching time for our Black students, faculty and staff, and for all Black Americans.
I know you join me in in feeling relentless sadness and anger about the death of George Floyd, and every other horrific act of racism and violence perpetrated against those who are Black. I know you also join me in supporting those who are turning that pain and grief into action, including through the Black Lives Matter movement. We have all been witness to -- with many of us participating in -- peaceful protests across the Bay Area, while watching similar efforts unfold across the country.
Last week was a time of deep listening and learning for college senior staff in large- and small-group meetings and individual conversations. We have been hearing from students, program representatives and community members in various venues, as well. Last week, we asked to meet with the Black Faculty, Staff and Administrators (BFSA) Network, making clear we were there to listen. We met with BFSA again this morning -- to listen further, as well as to let them know about an initial action we are taking in response to what we heard.
As announced at the Senior Staff Q&A today, we will establish a full-time, tenure-track counselor/coordinator for the Umoja program to serve our Black students, paid for through the college's general operating fund. It will no longer be non-tenure track, or paid for through categorical funds. The hiring process will begin immediately.
We also will fund -- through donations to the President's Fund -- a scholarship that BFSA will name and award, based on criteria they will develop.
We know these are small steps, and simply a beginning. Our listening will continue, as will our follow-up. This cannot be said too many times: We stand with -- and for -- our Black students and community. We are proud that at today's Academic Senate meeting, at which we presented the agenda item on the full-time counselor, members of the Asian Pacific American Staff Association (APASA), De Anza Latinx Association (DALA), Instructional Planning and Budget Team (IPBT), and deans and directors attended in a united show of support.
This week, BFSA is developing an event for our Black students, which will be held on Wednesday. Details and more resources are compiled on the new "Standing Against Racism" webpage, linked from the homepage and residing with other Office of Equity resources.
During this time of extraordinary stress, we want to make sure that students are aware of the counseling resources available to them, including a series of events this week and next through Psychological Services. Faculty and staff can obtain support through the Employee Assistance Program. This information is included on the "Standing Against Racism" webpage, which we will continue to update with information and resources. Please see deanza.edu/equityoffice/against-racism.
Thank you for your care for our students and each other. Please do take care of yourself.
Christina G. Espinosa-Pieb
[The above message was sent via email to all De Anza faculty and classified professional staff members. A similar message was sent to all students and can be read on the Standing Against Racism webpage.]