CCS Equity Statement
CCS believes that access to high-quality education in a safe and inclusive environment is the right of all individuals and imperative for the continued advancement of a strong democracy and workforce. We also believe higher education institutions have an obligation to work toward and demonstrate progress in ensuring equity amongst their students, faculty and staff. Equity is grounded in the principle of fairness. In higher education, equity refers to ensuring that each student receives what they need to be successful through the intentional design of the college experience.
CCS Native Land Acknowledgement
We are honored to acknowledge that the Community Colleges of Spokane, and our main campuses for Spokane Falls and Spokane Community College, are located on the traditional and sacred homelands of the Spokane Tribe. We also provide services in a region that includes the traditional and sacred homelands of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Kalispel Tribe and Nez Perce Tribe.
We pay our respect to Tribal elders both past and present as well as to all Indigenous people today. This land holds their cultural DNA and we are honored and grateful to be here on their traditional lands. We give thanks to the legacy of the original people and their descendants and pledge to honor their stewardship and values.
SFCC Administrative Council Black Lives Matter Statement
The SFCC Administrative Council wants to acknowledge and address the current and historical racebased tragedies that have been occurring across our nation. To our Black students, employees, and community members, we recognize your pain and fatigue over the injustices you have faced and continue to face every day. We would like to express our grief, sorrow, and outrage as we stand in solidarity with you.
We know that these tragedies reflect a long history of structural and systemic injustice that is deeply rooted in our society, including our academic institutions. As members of this dominant culture, we have individually and collectively maintained institutional racism in many ways, thereby failing our minoritized students and employees. SFCC is committed to addressing anti-Blackness and other forms of systemic oppression, racism, and discrimination. The acts of injustice against Blacks – including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Christian Cooper, and countless others – have created a call to action for every one of us to do better and to be part of the solution.
While we recognize the groups on our campus that have been working to promote equity, we acknowledge that our college is not yet fully delivering our stated mission and values. Our Black students do not yet succeed equitably. The completion rate for Black students has been becoming increasingly inequitable; the course success rate of 67% for Black students is 12% below the average for all students and 8% below that for students of color. While we have increased our diversity, we do not yet have fully equitable results from our hiring practices. Our Black students, faculty, and staff do not yet consistently experience our campus to be welcoming and inclusive.
While we acknowledge prior Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work by multiple individuals and groups, our work as administrators is incomplete. We must newly examine our thinking, our policies, our priorities. We must newly challenge ourselves to change detrimental practices and transform our college to be truly antiracist. We need to increase our efforts and resources to address this systemic problem. This includes having clear equity goals with tightly aligned interventions, reviewing policies and procedures for unintended bias and inequitable outcomes. As a college, we have begun this work by defining for ourselves the terms diversity, equity, and inclusion. As SFCC’s Administrative Council, we commit to these concepts as the guiding principles that must shape every aspect of our work as administrators.
Furthermore, we commit to supporting faculty in reviewing our college curriculum and processes to affirm a representation of multiple voices. We commit to reviewing our hiring process to interrupt systemic bias. We commit to cultural responsiveness training embedded in professional development. We commit to engaging and improving outcomes for minoritized groups. The legacy of Spokane Falls Community College must be antiracist.
Anti-Racism Syllabus Statement
At SFCC we are committed to being actively anti-racist. Many of our instructors include the following statement in their syllabus (or a variation of it):
“As SFCC strives toward equity for all students, I stand in solidarity with and support SFCC’s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). I commit to anti-racism as a core value that informs my teaching practices, curriculum, and my identity as an educator. I invite you to hold me accountable to this commitment. If you notice aspects of this class’s instruction or design that bar you from feeling included or from achieving your goals, please contact me so that we can discuss it further. I say this not to place the responsibility of my learning on you but to hold me accountable to actionable change towards inclusion.
As I aim to lead with racial equity, I recognize that anti-racist work is a process; it is a life-long journey of unlearning anti-blackness and white supremacy. This process involves recognizing and dismantling prejudice, bigotry, and biases to ensure that the dignity and value of every individual is honored.
Some of the specific strategies that I use in this class are […inclusive curriculum, TILTed assignment instructions (TILT=Transparency in Learning and Teaching), self-reflection, strategies learned from Safe Campus Advocates (SCA) sessions, culturally responsive assignments, contract grading, comprehensive definition of “participation,” lifting the voices and accomplishments of BIPOC, valuing decolonized linguistic diversity…].”