I plan to continue education on cultural humility and inclusive language/practices as it is easy for us to shy away from this if it is not present in our conversations and education. In the past two years when the Board has failed in the realms of equity and inclusion, I have informed leadership of the harm and served as a resource in developing a solution. We cannot advance the student conduct profession without acknowledging and working to undo the homogeneity and exclusive nature of our history as a profession.
In my current role on the BOD, I have put equity and inclusion at the forefront of my comments and decision-making. I have had the opportunity to challenge my fellow Board members to think about how their language is exclusive, offer suggested language for inclusive application and selection processes, as well as start dialogue regarding inclusivity of folx of color and younger professionals within ASCA.
I believe this new emphasis on equity rather than diversity will push us to transition from discussing how to increase the number of X type of people or institutions, and instead lead us to discuss how we create equitable opportunities based on the individual identities, both personally and institutionally, for all ASCA members.
If elected, I promise to listen and do what is in the best interest of our membership while elevating the concerns and needs of our marginalized/underrepresented members and institutions.
The Director of Equity and Inclusion’s primary responsibility is having the tough conversations with all levels of ASCA leadership regarding equity, inclusivity, where we’re lacking, and how we need to be better. It is imperative the Director of Equity and Inclusion identify support gaps for our most marginalized members, as well as raise concerns regarding exclusive or inequitable practices within ASCA. This position should also offer support to the Central Office in identifying areas in which equity and inclusion practices are not being considered. As the Board member who has provided the leadership in redesigning our region structure, I believe this position will need to assess how members are being supported through the new model paying specific attention to our historically underrepresented institutions/members, institutions that offer none or little professional development funds, as well as our members on the west coast.
Ultimately, the Director of Equity and Inclusion should be assisting in creating practices that ensure we elect, appoint, and hire folx who care about and are committed to equity and inclusion. This position should be involved in the volunteer leadership application and selection process as we continue to create more inclusive processes. I also envision the Director of Equity and Inclusion being involved in conversations related to educational content and offerings.
The Strategic Plan was born out of a need to fix the foundational operations of the Association. I believe it is my duty to assist in continuing to advance these two goals.
As I embark upon the nomination process for the Director of Equity and Inclusion for the Board of Directors, my personal goal is in direct alignment with the core value for Diversity and Inclusion “…to develop the cultural competencies of our members and to ensure that the Association is reflective of and responsive to multiple individual and institutional needs”. As the Director, it would be my challenge for the Association to commence with a critical inquiry on the decolonization of our profession in order to create more inclusive spaces. Through this work, we as an Association will be able to create spaces for research and dialogue in order to establish best practices to assist institutional leaders with tools on how to engage around topics such as: first amendment and freedom of expression, creation of inclusive policies and procedure and, the liberation of students through creative sanctioning. In addition, through the work with the Diversity Committee, this position has the opportunity to focus on changing the dynamics of the field through the promotion of marginalized voices through mediums such as the webinar and podcast series, but more importantly to engage in the recruitment of underrepresented identities through the promotion of the Diversity Scholarship, which assists as a gateway for many graduate and new professionals.
After review of the strategic mission for the Association, I feel that it is important that Equity and Inclusion is utilized throughout both goals. Within the first goal, it is integral to ensure that the Association is appropriately providing effective training for volunteers on engaging across difference in spaces. This is important as volunteers may be the first individual a participant may meet upon their arrival at Annual conference. Therefore, imperative that we are discussing the expectations of what it means to be an Association volunteer. This can be accomplished through both a volunteer webinar and meeting upon arrival. The second goal that is discussed provides a much more in depth way to look at diversity and inclusion. For delivery of material, it is imperative that presenters are inclusive. Within the Association, all programming should have a component of diversity and inclusion. At Gehring there should be a section that discusses equity and inclusion within participants role on campus, in order to further challenge participants to think critically. At annual conference, presenters should be afforded the opportunity to submit their program for sponsorship consideration by the Diversity Committee. These programs would be designated within the program and provided the opportunity to be featured as a webinar throughout the academic year.