Skip to main content

Dismantling Anti-Blackness: Typology and Commitments for Student Success Programs

protest-erik-jepsen

 

In June 2020, Student Success Programs team members collaboratively developed a set of commitments to combat anti-blackness. Informed by CORA learning's Addressing Anti-Blackness on Campus: Implications for Educators and Instititutions, we expanded our understanding of the section titled "Developing an Anti Blackness Framework." These domains were informed by Daryl G. Smith's "Diversity's Promise to Higher Education: Making it Work." Dr. Smith writes,

"Institutional capacity-building requires the creation of structures that serve institutional purposes and that connect the institution’score purposes with the needs of society. It involves allocating financial and other resources, as well as strengthening human capital, expertise, and culture. An institution’s capacity for diversity is measured in the way decisions are made, in how power is distributed, and in the characteristics of institutional culture. Though there may be a substantial cost in building capacity for diversity, there is also a substantial cost for neglecting it." (Smith, 2009, p.18)

We developed a typology to analyze and understand how our commitments fit into the varying domains. Our personal and professional commitments to be educators who are anti-racist and actively combatting anti-blackness will be ongoing. This landing page will provide insights to our collaborative and unit specific progress.

Programs

Student Success Coaching Program

Communication Climate/Culture Curriculum

Collaborate with BRC to provide coaching suports to students within their center on a regular basis.

Incorporate social justice/diversity workshop requirements into the milestones

Develop and deliver a workshop on educational inequity in the US- with a focus on access to higher education for first gen students. Deliver workshop each quarter.

Privilege and Preference Systems - Hiring

Policies/Practices
/Procedures

Professional Development
Ensure we have a diverse student employee staff

 

Identify training and developmental opportunities for staff on matters related to anti racism, anti blackness and intersectionality.

Incorporate anti-racism, anti-blackness readings and ally trainings within peer coach training.

Student Veterans Resource Center

Communication Climate/Culture Curriculum

Implement strategies to support and challenge student growth & development around racial justice in informal (e.g. in daily conversations) and formal (e.g. training) ways

Intentional use EDI PLO/SLO in our planning and implementation for each quarter.

Create and incorporate learning activities re: social justice and racial equity during our Welcome Aboard/kick-off event.

Review current materials and programs for opportunities to incorporate more specific info regarding our communities of color (e.g. during our ally training, include information on our communities of color and how our experiences after the military differ in some profound ways - access to benefits, resources, housing, etc.).

Privilege and Preference Systems - Hiring

Policies/Practices
/Procedures

Professional Development
Ensure we have a diverse student employee staff

Incorporate social justice, anti-racism, anti-blackness, and advocacy training into onboarding.

Create opportunities for accountability pairing/mentorship.

When setting up programming with community partners/employers, ensure there’s a diverse representation of people, to include representation of our Black community.

Finalize and post Community Guidelines and emphasize inclusion and intolerance of racist acts and remarks. Incorporate understanding of Community Guidelines into door code access form, thereby making it a quarterly requirement for students to review and abide by.

Create and incorporate EDI learning activities/training into our student staff yearly and quarterly training.

Triton Transfers

Communication Climate/Culture Curriculum
Celebration of transfer student intersectionality through a "Transfer and..." campaign.

Team up with the CCC or BRC to host an event focused on intersectionality of transfer and other under-served identities (Implementation timeline: next academic year)

Adapt Triton Transfer Hub guidelines (for physical and digital spaces) to create stronger “house rules,” promoting a zero tolerance policy for racism, sexism, and prejudice. Incorporate this within our newsletter once per month as a reminder.

Create advocacy training for peer coaches
Privilege and Preference Systems - Hiring

Policies/Practices
/Procedures

Professional Development
Ensure we have a diverse student employee staff

Adapt Triton Transfer Hub guidelines (for physical and digital spaces) to create stronger “house rules,” promoting a zero tolerance policy for racism, sexism, and prejudice. Incorporate this within our newsletter once per month as a reminder.

Team up with Admissions on Umoja projects throughout the year.

Create advocacy training for peer coaches

Undocumented Student Services

Communication Climate/Culture Curriculum
Actively and purposefully invite Black student community to engage in USS community events.

Adapt USS Community Guidelines (for physical and digital spaces) to create stronger “house rules,” promoting a zero-tolerance policy for racism, sexism, and prejudice. Incorporate this within our newsletter once per month as a reminder.

Privilege and Preference Systems - Hiring

Policies/Practices
/Procedures

Professional Development

 

Identify training and developmental opportunities for staff on matters related to anti-racism, anti- Blackness, and intersectionality.

Engage in recurring conversations with student staff on social justice issues impacting the Black, undoc, LGBTQ+ community; assign/encourage readings or documentaries that promote discussion and critical thinking

International Peer Coaching Pilot

Communication Climate/Culture Curriculum
Celebration of Black international student intersectionality through a “I am (Their Nationality) and I am Black” campaign.

 

Collaborate with ISPO to develop a session on racism, xenophobia, micro-aggression during International Orientation

Develop an ongoing anti-blackness series (i..e. colorism, colonialism, apartheid, etc.)

Privilege and Preference Systems - Hiring

Policies/Practices
/Procedures

Professional Development
Ensure we have a diverse student employee staff

Create community guidelines. Having a zero-tolerance policy for racism, sexism, and prejudice.

Incorporate social justice, anti-racism, anti-blackness, and advocacy training into onboarding of new peer coach training.

Engage in recurring conversations with student staff on social justice issues impacting the Black, undoc, LGBTQ+ community; assign/encourage readings or documentaries that promote discussion and critical thinking

Identify training and developmental opportunities for student staff on matters related to anti-racism, anti- Blackness, and intersectionality (especially as international students)

Quarter Updates

Spring 2021

In Spring 2021, Student Success Programs came together to receive a Train the Trainer workshop opportunity from Juan Carlos Carranza, Senior Success Coach and Tori Bussey-Neal, Success Coach on Digital Blackface. Colleagues reviewed these three articles and responded to the following guiding questions:
a. “We Need to Talk About Digital Blackface in Reaction GIFs” - Teen Vogue 
b. “TikTok and the Evolution of Digital Blackface” - Wired 
c. “What is Digital Blackface? Experts Explain Why the Social Media Practice is Problematic” - Women’s Health Magazine

Guiding Questions:
a. Define the following terms based on your best understanding of them:
 i. Digital Blackface
ii. Anti-Blackness
iii. Racism
iv. Minstrelsy
b. What are the connections between Minstrelsy/Minstrel Performances and Digital Blackface?
c. What negative stereotypes are commonly perpetuated by the circulation of graphics that include Black individuals?

Winter 2021

In Winter 2021, Student Success Programs came together to provide progress to date on our commitments and to reflect on the personal development actions they plan to take as a result of reflecting on one of the articles or videos listed below. How to call out racial injustice at work 

Is inclusion even possible? A conversation about race, class, and higher education. 

Leveraging the Neuroscience of Now : Seven ways professionals can help students thrive in class in times of trauma 

What has higher education promised on anti-racism in 2020 and is it enough? 

Insurrection and the Capitol: Justice and Reconciliation on our Campuses and in our Nation 

Creating a More Racially Just Campus Environment at UC San Diego


The reflection and action prompts were:
What is one action you will take towards your personal development?
What are 1 - 2 actions you would like to bring into your work environment? What, if any, resources would you need to bring it to fruition?
Please see our responses here.

Fall 2020

In Fall 2020, Student Success Programs team members invited Dr. Makeba Jones, Associate Teaching Professor, Department of Education Studies and Co-Chair of the Black Academic Excellence Initiative as a guest speaker for our fall professional development event. Dr. Jones provided insights on the work of the Black Academic Excellence Initiative. The SSP team was joined by AVC SRS Maruth Figueroa and the Chancellors Associate Scholars Program team. We followed this event with a discussion and dialogue read on the article ""It creates fear and divides us: minority college students' experiences of stress from racism, coping responses, and recommendations for colleges (Ingram and Wallace, 2019)."" Discussion prompts included: o What are 2-3 new concepts, theoretical frameworks, or recommendations you learned from reading this article?
  • Are there strategic partnerships that can be enhanced, strengthened or formed based on the article?
  • Of the themes which emerged under Ways Colleges Can Assist Students (Table 6), what are some ways UC San Diego is excelling? Where is there one opportunity for growth, and in what way (if at all) could our offices support in this area?
  • One of the themes presented by the students for support from their college was to ""take a stand against racism and oppression"". Why is ""taking a stand"" important and what does this look like in the context of our roles in supporting students? Have we taken a stand yet, if so, how? If not, how do we?
  • Top coping strategies included, ""distractions, social support, and talking."" How might our remote environment impact students from exercising these common strategies? Based on how our students have been interacting with remote learning thus far, how might we ensure students have the space and support to utilize these coping strategies?