LWTech Stands in
Solidarity with the Black Community
Sent on May 25, 2021
Today marks a day of remembrance and solidarity for 569 seconds that changed history. This event has shifted our focus as a nation, and we are committed at LWTech to do our part.
The murder of George Floyd prompted global protests, outcries for restorative justice, and meaningful conversations that shaped how we see our common humanity. We cannot underscore the importance of this moment, and we can’t let up on our pursuit of systemic change in our country, in our community, and at our college.
Our country is experiencing a racial awakening and calls for social justice we haven’t seen in decades. Since George Floyd’s murder, unfortunately, there have been additional incidences of Black people being killed by law enforcement. The racism and violence our Black, Indigenous, Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, and People of Color communities experience throughout our country has not lessened. There is still so much work to do to eliminate structural racism in this country and at the college.
As our Executive Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Robert Britten shared, “George Floyd and countless others have paid the ultimate price in this struggle for equality and we cannot allow doubt, fear or hate to undermine our collective desire for unity within our nation and among our fellow human beings.”
We honor George Floyd’s life, and we continue to support our Black, Indigenous, Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, and People of Color students, faculty, staff, and neighbors who experience racism, hate and violence. I, along with the Board of Trustees and Executive Cabinet, are more committed than ever to continue our work to eliminate structural racism at the college, steeped in empathy for those who are living each day with the trauma and fatigue of experiencing racism.
There are anniversaries you celebrate and there are anniversaries you honor. Today, we take this time to pause, reflect upon George Floyd’s life and those 569 seconds that changed our world. We forge ahead and do the work to dismantle structural racism at the college, as we continue to heal and grow as a country and as a community.
June 5, 2020
The murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer, has ignited in all of us new level of sadness, frustration, anger, and disappointment in the systemic racism, oppression and violence that people of color, specifically black people, experience in our country every day.
In addition to the alarming number of unarmed black men and women killed while in police custody, the country has been saddened and horrified by the systemic racism that plagues our health care system, and how that has directly manifested in the disproportionate deaths of black and brown Americans from COVID-19. The common denominator is systemic racism and anti-blackness that runs generations deep in our country. Now is our time to dismantle those systems on our campus, in our community, and in our country.
This past Tuesday, June 2, members of Executive Cabinet and I met with our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council (EDIC) leadership team, and members of the Associated Student Government (ASG) leadership team, to discuss ways that we as a college community can take action, and how we can best support our black students and colleagues.
Directly following that meeting, Executive Cabinet and I met to discuss next steps and our action plan.
I want to convey to you that it is a priority for me, and Executive Cabinet, to provide the necessary resources for our college community to do this important and necessary work.
I also want to acknowledge that this is a very painful time for our black students and colleagues. Oftentimes, the burden to lead conversations about race, racism, injustice, inclusion, and inequities falls disproportionally on colleagues of color. I do not want this burden to fall on them again this time.
Now is the time for all of us to stand together and support our black students and colleagues.
College leadership is working in partnership with the EDIC and ASG to create a short-term and long-term plan for how the college will work to end systemic racism and violence against black people in this country.
Yesterday, I presented the draft plan to the members of the EDIC for input and discussion. The plan will be shared on this page in the coming days.
There is no end date for this work. It is my commitment and promise to you, to keep this work to end systematic racism and oppression, at the forefront of how we, as a college, move forward. It is our responsibility as educators to teach inclusion and acceptance, and to weave this into our coursework and operations. It is our responsibility as human beings to stand up to racism and oppression of black people.
I encourage you to check back to this page often, as we will be providing regular updates on resources and plans.
Together, we stand in solidarity with the black community.
Dr. Amy Morrison, President
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
For more than seven years, the faculty and staff of LWTech have engaged in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion work, which led to the creation of an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Plan, which incorporated two years of feedback from the college community. The college then formed an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which later was moved to Council status. It also led to standing up the RISE Center (Resources for Inclusion, Support and Empowerment) with a full-time coordinator, in collaboration with the Associated Student Government. The college opened the Center for Veteran Student Success with a full-time coordinator in 2016, and began its Community of Belonging initiative in 2017.
The following timeline is comprised of action steps that were made in response to the senseless murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by white Minneapolis police officers on May 25, 2020.
May 31, 2020: Dr. Morrison, President, LWTech emailed a message to the college community denouncing the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by white Minneapolis police officers on May 25, 2020.
June 2, 2020: President Morrison and the members of Executive Cabinet met with EDIC and ASG Leadership.
June 2-3, 2020: Dr. Morrison, with input from EDIC and ASG leadership drafted an Action Plan of short-term and long-term actions the college would take to end systemic racism at the college and in the community.
June 4, 2020: The draft Action Plan was brought to the EDIC for input.
June 5, 2020: A website splash page (homepage takeover), slider, and landing page were created on the college website that said the college stands in solidarity with the black community. The landing page includes statements from the president, college leaders, and departments.
June 9, 2020: Dr. Morrison and members of Executive Cabinet met with EDI and ASG Leadership.
June 12, 2020: The college Action Plan was shared with college community.
June 16, 2020: Dr. Morrison hosted an Employee Roundtable to discuss the Action Plan.
June 19, 2020: The college held three facilitated Courageous Conversations: Race Based Caucuses for faculty and staff.
June 23, 2020: Dr. Morrison and members of Executive Cabinet met with EDI and ASG Leadership.
July 7, 2020: President Morrison participated in the Bias Response Team meeting.
July 7, 2020: President Morrison sent a letter to the Kirkland City Council who were holding a public hearing that evening to hear a draft Resolution R-5434, affirming that Black Lives Matter, in addition to establishing a framework to becoming a safe, inclusive and welcoming community. Her letter outlined LWTech’s efforts to dismantle systemic racism and our support of this work. She reiterated the College’s work and commitment to working with the City to making the College community more inclusive while supporting and listening to our Black neighbors.
July 10, 2020: Dr. Morrison appointed the Executive Director of HR and the Vice President of Student Services to co-chair the Antiracism Training and Professional Development Task Force.
July 16, 2020: Dr. Morrison scheduled a roundtable discussion with Black/African American colleagues.
July 22, 2020: Dr. Morrison scheduled an all employee roundtable to discuss college efforts around dismantling systemic racism at the college, along with discussions on the budget, and COVID-19 preparations on campus this summer and fall.
July 30, 2020: LWTech employees had the opportunity to participate in Courageous Conversations, as part of the professional development training sessions related to antiracism. This training format was structured as race-based caucuses.
August 19, 2020: LWTech's Leadership Team participated in a Dismantling Systemic Racism meeting and worked on drafting their official Commitment statement to Dismantling System Racism.
August 26, 2020: LWTech's Leadership Team participated in the Antiracism Training Opportunity as part of the ongoing professional development series. This event will was formatted as a Courageous Conversation with the entire college community being together.
September 21, 2020: All staff had the opportunity to participate in antiracism training with an external speaker, Natalie Gillard, who guided the staff through an educational “game” called Factuality.
September 22, 2020: All staff came together for antiracism training related to microaggressions from Dr. Yoshiko Harden, Vice President of Student Services at Seattle Central College.
September 22-23, 2020: LWTech staff had the opportunity to participate in open forums for presentations by finalists for the Executive Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion position.
September 30, 2020: LWTech hired Executive Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
December 14, 2020: LWTech staff spent part of their In-Service day participating in a presentation by Melia LaCour on Understanding and Responding to Microagressions.
January 5-6, 2021: LWTech staff will be two engaging and interactive professional development days to discuss Why EDI, Why now! The topics will span our collective learning around our institutional approach to dismantling systemic racism and how we see ourselves. There will be a Q&A with one of the EDI liaisons from SBCTC to answer questions about SBCTC's involvement in supporting this work.
To the Community of LWTech:
As ASG Officers, it is our responsibility to advocate and speak on behalf of students for what is right. Lake Washington Institute of Technology is a diverse institution, and we strive to create a community of belonging. We cannot begin to imagine the feelings our Black students are facing. As much as it saddens us to see such racial injustice, it doesn't surprise us. Systemic racism is something that has persisted for centuries and remains heavily institutionalized in this country.
George Floyd, an innocent unarmed Black man, was murdered by White Police Officer, Derek Chauvin, on May 25, 2020. Breonna Taylor, an honest Black woman, was shot by a white police officer in her neighborhood on March 13, 2020. Ahmaud Arbery, an innocent Black man, was killed and recorded by a White man, Gregor McMichael, and his son, Travis McMichael, while jogging on February 23, 2020. Philando Castile, an innocent Black man, got pulled over and shot by a police officer, Jeronimo Yanez, seven times in front of his wife and daughter on July 6, 2016. We want to recognize that these are not the only innocent Black lives that have been taken by the fault of racism still apparent in this country. It is unacceptable that a system meant to protect the people continues to create injustice for the Black community. We want to make it clear to our college community that we support the Black Lives Matter movement. We stand on the side of justice, and we will continue to do so. Now is the time we participate in making long-lasting active change. This is history in the making. To better understand how to be an ally and support, we have compiled a list of resources. It is essential to educate yourself, speak up, and stand with each other against prejudice in this country.
As student leaders, it is our mission to achieve true allyship:an active, consistent, and arduous practice of unlearning and re-evaluating, in which a person in a position of privilege and power seeks to operate in solidarity with a marginalized group.
We encourage our community to:
There are resources available from college for our students. There are counseling services available by appointment through Zoom meeting, and phone; Tuesday through Friday, and each session is 50 minutes. You can find more information on the Counseling page (LWTech.edu/counseling).
LWTech's RISE Center will be holding spaces for students to talk about the protests and the lives lost.
Right now, we have the chance to make a difference.
Start a difficult conversation now with your family and friends.
Donate if you can.
We must work together to change the system.
Black lives matter.
Your Associated Student Government Executive Board Officers:
June 11, 2020
The Board of Trustees of Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) stands in solidarity with the black students and employees of LWTech, and the black community.
We are committed to supporting the work of the college to support our black students and employees, and community.
Dr. Morrison and the college leadership has our full support as they work with the college community to end systemic racism, violence and oppression of black people.
The Board of Trustees of Lake Washington Institute of Technology
Laura Wildfong, Chair
Anne Hamilton, Vice Chair
Dr. Lynette D. Jones
Darrell S. Mitsunaga
June 2, 2020
Sent to LWTech Office of Instruction staff
Dear Faculty, (I-Team and ISTs cc’d)
There are no words to describe the hate, fear, sadness and dismay that arises every time a black person is targeted for the color of their skin. It has happened, again, in the most destructive way with the murder of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of a white police officer, while three other officers either joined in or stood by.
I am so proud of LWTech’s Community of Belonging. Yet, despite our strength, we must also do better to assure the work we do in and out of the classroom helps to eliminate violent acts like these in the future – through awareness and action.
There will be college-wide actions and efforts coming our way. I also look forward to working with you to find ways we can do more to live our Community of Belonging, specifically in the classroom.
In the short-term, please be aware of your students who may be hurting right now. It might be hard to tell, through zoom. Please reach out to your black students and offer to be a support; help see them through to the end of the quarter. I know our team of faculty are caring, compassionate and supportive for all students. Our black students need to hear that from you, their teachers.
Please let me know if you or your students need anything. I will help.
Suzanne Ames, Ed.D.
Vice President of Instruction
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
June 3, 2020
Sent to LWTech Student Services staff
Good Morning Folks,
I’m grateful to those of you who joined me at our division meeting on Monday. I’ve attached the PowerPoint I used that day.
If you were not able to attend, I spent 8 minutes and 46 seconds reading the names of unarmed Black and African American people who were killed by police over the past several years; the names are slides 3 - 34. This is not an exhaustive list. I am grateful to Code Switch from NPR for this information.
The presentation includes my synopsis of the excellent How to Fight Hate toolkit provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center, you can access the full toolkit here.
Since this time I have also learned more about local ways to specifically combat police violence at the local level. The suggestions provided by President Obama and available on the Obama Foundation website were particularly actionable and meaningful to me. Specifically, voting in local elections is a key step as police oversight boards, police chief elections or appointments, and the leaders with authority over local police are all determined by local elections. If you are not registered to vote and would like to be go here. Please hold in your mind that voting as a right has been systemically undermined especially for folks who have gone through our criminal justice system (which means it disproportionately impacts black and brown people). If you have the privilege to vote, you have the opportunity to use that power to help end systems of oppression. You can find the President and Mrs. Obama’s statements and other actionable steps to take here.
Some of you have asked for reading recommendations, here are a few and I’ll include more in my next weekly update:
Wishing all of you strength and determination.
Ruby Hayden, Ph.D.
Vice President of Student Services
My pronouns: she/her
June 1, 2020
Sent to LWTech Student Services staff
Dear Student Services,
I know many of you are experiencing different stages of shock, grief, and anger. I am too. I’m not ready to talk about it. I can’t be eloquent. I don’t know how to be professional in the face of murder. I’ve tried and failed to write this email for days. I’m going to push forward anyways; silence or avoidance in the face of oppression is one more manifestation of white privilege.
Again (again!), an unarmed black man was murdered by police officers. Eight minutes and 46 seconds with a knee on his neck. George Floyd begged for his life and Officer Derek Chauvin killed him. The other officers on the scene did not protect George Floyd but participated in his murder. If you have not yet learned about this heinous act, I found the NY Times compilation to be the most helpful in understanding the details of what happened (please note the video footage is graphic): https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/31/us/george-floyd-investigation.html
This incident was not isolated. This incident was not unusual. This incident was not just because of the individual bad choices of some officers, but also due to systemic racial inequality in our nation and the way racism is fundamentally built into our law enforcement systems.
Executive Cabinet will be meeting tomorrow to discuss additional ways the college can take action. If you have suggestions you are willing to share with me to take forward, please do so. You can email me privately or, if you feel more comfortable, we have a division meeting later today and I’ll make time for folks to share suggestions anonymously in the usual way. Thank you to those of you who have already emailed me.
I have shared this with you before, but it is always the right time to share it again. I believe that our student and staff lives matter. Black and brown lives matter. GLBTQIA lives matter. Poor lives matter. Disabled lives matter. Veteran lives matter. Immigrant and refugee lives matter. Marginalized. Lives. Matter. So many of our students (and staff) come to us with histories where they have been told they don’t matter; both explicitly and in daily covert ways. Right now the very response of law enforcement agencies to most protests across the US, including here is Seattle, reinforce to people that black lives don’t matter.
We have an opportunity to make people feel welcome. To make people feel like they are a person and not a number. To show people how they matter to us and this community. Take that opportunity, please.
Ruby Hayden, Ph.D.
Vice President of Student Services
My pronouns: she/her
June 3, 2020
Send to All LWTech Staff
As you know the college maintains an active social media presence. Currently, there are Facebook profiles circulating throughout social media that are racist and graphic, and include Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) in their profiles. For those of you who aren’t familiar with social media, a person’s profile is a way for folks to share information about themselves, and typically includes an image they choose, and information about themselves which may include where they currently go, or went to, school or work. Last night and this morning, some of those profiles were shared on our Facebook page.
LWTech is not the only college that is listed in those profiles.
In the case of the profiles that were shared with us last night and this morning, the people who posted them were not posting racist comments, they were sharing racist and graphic images they saw on social media that mentioned the college, and reported them to us, publicly though our page, and in private messages. I am incredibly thankful they took the time to do that.
I want to take this opportunity to state very clearly that LWTech does not condone any racist messages or messages of hate on our social media accounts. I believe we will see an increase in this type of activity due to the worldwide response to systemic racism and violence against black people.
I would like to share with you the steps the Communications and Marketing team took last night and today, and what actions we’re taking, moving forward:
Evening of June 2nd:
Last night a community member notified us of a profile on social media, with racist and graphic images that listed LWTech in their profile. The person who brought it to our attention asked how we could employ a racist at the college.
We immediately investigated to determine if they are a current student or employee; they are neither. We responded to the person who shared the information to assure them the individual of concern was neither an employee nor a student, the profiles were not in line with our college values or our Community of Belonging, and thanked them for bringing this to our attention. Because the images were threatening in nature, we suggested they bring it to the attention of local law enforcement and we would do the same. I notified Anthony Bowers and asked for his help sharing the information with the Kirkland Police Department, for their review and potential action.
Morning of June 3rd:
This morning, more people private messaged us with the same profile from last night, and another one, both with racist and graphic images. The new profile also listed LWTech. We again investigated and determined they are not a current student nor employee. As with our response last night, we immediately responded to the people who shared the information with us to assure them the individuals of concern were neither employees nor students, the profiles were not in line with our college values or our Community of Belonging, and we thanked them for bringing this to our attention. I once again reached out to Anthony Bowers to share the information with the Kirkland Police Department.
We responded publicly and privately to everyone who inquired about the racist and graphic profiles. I can’t know how many of you, our employees and students, or community members, saw these posts.
The following is a list of immediate action steps:
I’m very thankful for the folks who shared these profiles with us. I thank them from the bottom of my heart for asking the questions, and sharing the information, so we can make change, and do our part to work to end systemic racism and violence against black people in our country.
If you see something that is racist or graphic on social media, please report it to us. Reporting hateful imagery in general, as opposed to staying silent, is one small way to combat systemic racism.
Thank you for looking out for each other.
Please take care,
Executive Director/Executive Communications Officer, Marketing and Communications
June 2, 2020
Sent to Student Development Staff
Student Development Team,
I have spent a lot of time over the last few days reflecting on what has been happening in our country, specifically the murder of Black people at the hands of the police. I have been thinking about the life I lead and the privilege I have to be able to step in and out of those reflections (the ability to do that is called ‘white privilege’) and finding ways to hold myself and others in my community accountable to make change. It’s hard to know what to say or do when this just keeps happening. But, that cannot hold us back from engaging with our friends, family, colleagues, and legislators. It cannot stop us from taking tangible actions to address these issues. We cannot become complacent. The lives of our Black community members literally depends on us not to be.
As I continue to read and learn about those who have been murdered, I can’t help but to think about our community at LWTech.
George Floyd was murdered when a police officer put his knee on his neck even after he stated multiple times that he couldn’t breathe. George was a 46 year old father to a 6 year old child. George attended South Florida Community College (now South Florida State College) from 1993-1995 and played on the school’s basketball team. I find myself thinking of all of our students and where they go when they leave us. Never should they be murdered at the hands of the police.
Breona Taylor was killed in her home by stray bullets the police indiscriminately shot during an erroneous “no knock” drug search. Breona was a 26 year old ER Tech who was aspiring to become a nurse. I found myself thinking about all of the students we have at LWTech who could have been Breona.
I also think about how those that perpetrate these murders and the attitudes that lead to them who are also in our community.
Amy Cooper is a white woman who had her dog off leash in Central Park, despite signs requiring all dogs be leashed. An avid bird watcher in the park, Christian Cooper, who is Black, asked her to leash her dog. Rather than do so, she called the police, lied, and stated that an African American man was threatening her life. In that moment, Christian’s Harvard education didn’t matter. All Amy Cooper saw was a black person who she could weaponize her whiteness over by way of the police, who she knew would believe her. While I believe with my whole heart as an educator that education is vital in the fight for social justice, it is not the great equalizer. Christian’s Harvard education isn’t visible when he walks through the park, but his black skin is. As a white woman, I feel a particular responsibility for Amy Cooper and other women who center their own discomfort even if it puts their Black peers in harm’s way. I cannot separate myself from her and her actions. It’s this that drives me to continue to learn, take action, and educate fellow white people.
Glennon Doyle has a quote that resonates with me “we are mugs filled to the brim, and we keep getting bumped. If we are filled with coffee, coffee will spill out. Getting bumped is inevitable. If we want to change what spills out of us, we have to work to change what’s inside us.” Amy Cooper got bumped. Racism spilled out of her because she is filled with it. How can we change what spills out of us?
I urge you to reflect on what it is that you can do in your community, with your friends, with your family, at LWTech. What can you do to make this world a safer place for Black people? How are you standing up to injustice when you see it? How can you commit to being anti-racist?
Personally, I have been taking action by donating, protesting, and engaging in difficult conversations. If you have specific questions about the actions I’ll be taking or want guidance on ways you can help, please reach out. I am also here if you want to talk, share further reflection, or ask questions. It’s important to me that I educate others and do not put the burden of these conversations on our black colleagues. I encourage you to check out this resource for more information on how to get started. With that said, if your Black colleagues are sharing: Listen.
I encourage you to all take care of yourselves. As always, I am supportive of all leave requests and am here to cover for you if you need me to. Please do not hesitate to ask me for what you need. I am here for you, I am here with you.
Ijeoma Oluo tweeted that “the beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including yourself. And it’s the only way forward.” I agree with her and to that end, I have been listening to a lot of Sam Cooke this week and am hopeful that “a change is gonna come.” Will you join me in committing to work towards that change?
Katie Peacock M.Ed. (formerly Katie Viola)
Director of Student Development
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
Dear Members of the LWTech Community,
The library team acknowledges the problem of racism and antiblackness pervasive within our society. The murder of George Floyd by the police in Minneapolis and countless other Black individuals for hundreds and hundreds of years reflects the reality of systemic racism and oppression in our country.
These racist systems and structures have harmed and continue to harm Black students, employees, and community members at LWTech, and the library is committed to responding. Today’s letter outlines our ongoing actions and provides a list of places where members of the community can start or continue their learning.
We intend to keep this letter in a visible location on our webpage, with an ever-expanding list of resources as our work develops. In addition to our research, we are learning from and continuing to curate library resources on equity topics, including race. We are open to your suggestions for valuable resources and how you feel this conversation should be shaped at the college.
In solidarity and support,
Your Librarians: Greg Bem, Katherine Kelley, Sue Wozniak
The LWTech library team is reviewing the actions it has taken and the new actions it will take in combatting racism.
As many of you have come to know, the library considers itself a center in the LWTech community for education, information, and knowledge sharing. Note: please email email@example.com if you need help finding these resources. Some may be available at the LWTech Library or the King County Library System.
The Instructional Administration Team is committed to leading and supporting instructional efforts with equity at the forefront to dismantle systemic racism, as outlined in the statements below. Our top priorities are: removing equity barriers to transfer, fully implementing Guided Pathways, and recruiting and supporting minoritized students, faculty and staff. We are each personally and professionally committed to this work on behalf of faculty, staff and students.
My equity work centers on assuring Instruction continues to close equity gaps and transforms from an open access institution to open success institution. This is demonstrated in:
I commit to:
My equity work centers on understanding the student. My work focuses on creating opportunity for and intrusively supporting students. My work helps guide students through multiple pathways to attain their career goals in a way that is individualized to their specific needs. My equity work centers on creating more flexible, forgiving systems in order to include all students, no matter their background or history.
I commit to being uncomfortable. I commit to sharing my experiences and learning from those of others. I recognize that my experiences are limited and I commit to listening to the experiences of others with authenticity, curiosity, and compassion. I commit to focusing on equity with intention rather than by reaction.
My work includes:
My equity work centers on three areas:
I commit to speaking against implicit bias expressed as doubts about the performance capabilities of current or prospective employees based on their name, race, accented English, country of origin, institution conferring their degree, and/or their work experience outside the U.S.
My equity work centers on:
I commit to improving my understanding of racial inequities, participating in ongoing courageous conversations, and advocating for institutional change.
My equity work centers on eliminating barriers, and providing individualized support, for F-1 international students to enable them to achieve their educational and career goals. This work includes personalized support:
I commit to think carefully about my words and actions, reflect on my own biases, and to communicate openly and honestly with students and my colleagues as I continue to learn and grow.
My equity work centers on ensuring all Funeral Service Education graduates have been exposed to a multicultural curriculum and are prepared to succeed in a diverse workforce.
I commit to practice being quick to listen and slow to speak and showing empathy for all. I commit to learning more about white privilege and the impact it has on society. I commit to engaging in activities and conversations that may be uncomfortable but are necessary to move forward.
My equity work focuses on implementing best and emerging practices for increasing the success of all students at LWTech, with emphasis on the success of minoritized students. I have the great honor of working with multiple teams on campus whose primary focus is on supporting equitable learning outcomes for students.
I commit to continuing this good work, while also challenging myself and others to more overtly address racial disparities that persist even with its implementation. In order to do so more effectively, I commit to:
My equity work centers around:
I am committed to:
My equity work centers around:
I am committed to ensuring we have diverse student population which resembles to communities and families we serve.
My equity work centers on increasing the number of minority students, faculty, and advisory committee members in our program. I commit to seek the support of the local chapter of Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), in this regard.
I commit to learning the culture, values, and norms of the black race in an historical context. I commit to respect their cultural norms while interacting with them in any setting.
My equity work centers on helping integrate knowledge of white privilege, racism, slavery in a historical context in our educational system. I commit to working with Doug Emory to start a new course in black history at our college.
As a leader at LWTech it is vital that I acknowledge our organizational hierarchies, policies and procedures, and “norms” of daily interaction are rooted in a white supremacist society and therefore need to be examined and changed to support the dignity, autonomy, and safety of BIPOC individuals. As a white, cis-, queer woman with learning disabilities who grew up in poverty, exploring the intersections of my own identity is crucial to leading with empathy and vulnerability. In my professional work as well as my personal life I commit to:
The Enrollment Services and Assessment Team is frequently the first point of contact for questions, directions, and assistance for students, faculty, staff, and community members. We have all grown up under a different set of circumstances, and how we move through the world is impacted by our life experiences and our privileges. My everyday work is dedicated to the dismantling of processes and procedures that could be viewed as barriers to our goals of an educational institution of higher learning where respect, equity, diversity, inclusion, and connectedness are practiced, expected, experienced, observed, and valued every day.
I believe that education and employment is a pathway to racial, social, and economic justice. I believe that systemic racism and implicit bias prevents equitable access to education and employment. I believe that we have the power and obligation to change these inequities. I believe that as a white woman of privilege, I have much to learn from the lived experiences of others and I can use that knowledge, combined with my position, to impact change. I am committed to:
I commit to the work of equity and dismantling systemic racism at LWTech by treating each person I encounter with respect, dignity, and compassion. I will strive to be approachable and take the time to listen to another person’s story should they share it with me. Each decision I make will be made thoroughly, carefully, fairly, and without bias. If I were to recognize implicit bias or racism within myself or witness it in others, I will have the courage to call it out. I will be teachable as I learn more about how to serve others better.
I am dedicated to working to open the door to opportunity for those for whom the door is closed or heavy to move. I believe that knowledge, education, and training are important keys to opportunity fulfillment. We live in a society that regularly and systemically devalues those who are not white and wealthy. This devaluation acts as a firm lock on the door. I pledge to keep my mind and my heart open to learning how to best serve all students at LWTech in order to afford access to the keys and ability to use the keys to opportunity’s door. This includes participating in workshops, seminars, trainings and book clubs that the college offers and offerings in the community at large. As I listen to our students’ stories and recognize the honor and privilege of hearing them, I will strive to be the best support I can be to all our students. I am grateful to have my own opportunity to learn, to grow and to work at an institution that is striving to be equitable, diverse and inclusive.
My commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion work in both in my personal and professional life stems from my personal experiences as a gay, BIPOC, woman. First and foremost, as human beings, and secondly as employees of a state college, we have a moral obligation to create an inclusive and diverse environment for students, staff, and faculty that promotes equity in every sense of the word. I have first handedly experienced numerous incidents of racism, sexism, and discrimination based on sexual orientation throughout my personal and professional life and feel quite strongly about the ways in which our college approaches anti-racism work. With this in mind, my commitment to EDI work on our campus to promote anti-racism and dismantle and combat systemic racism, is an especially personal one for me, because I also live and breathe this every day as a BIPOC individual outside of the workplace. My bottom line on EDI work is that it is hard, yet vital. Uncomfortable, yet necessary. And lastly, infuriating, yet more urgent than ever.
My professional commitment to EDI work includes the following:
My work with Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion has spanned my college and educational career and has centered on working with students who have been historically marginalized in higher education institutions. The recent killings of innocent Black people at the hands of White police officers and resulting civil unrest has further highlighted the necessary work that must be done to disrupt systems of oppression. As a White woman who is benefited from working within those systems, I am compelled to continuously examine my own beliefs and actively work towards dismantling systemic racism both individually and by joining my colleagues as we work towards truly being a Community of Belonging. My commitment to equity will be demonstrated by the following:
My commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion work begins with my personal experience as a woman and person of color. I have firsthand knowledge of what it means to be first-generation and understand the challenges of growing up as a refugee and immigrant. I have faced racism and discrimination. I come from a low-income (socio-economic insecurity) family. Most of you did not know I experienced language barriers going into Kindergarten. There is a lot of work to do or myself and the communities in which I belong. And I belong to so many that it is hard to navigate them all. The work has not and will not be easy but it needs to be done. Going against the dominant culture is hard because it is like going against a fast flowing river. Even so, the work still needs to be done.
Over the course of the year and during the Administrators of Color Leadership Program, I learned that I have given up a lot of my ‘cultural abundance’ or minimized it because I was upholding white privilege/white supremacy ideas/norms because I was taught I have to adapt or be a certain way in order to be ‘successful’, to earn respect, and to advance in my career. I had to re-learn authenticity, learning to undo beliefs, and learning to see things how I saw before I adopted the norms and ideals of the systems that perpetuate oppression. It took me a long time to process what I was thinking and feeling. It is almost shocking and difficult to come to terms with that. I am going to make mistakes along the way and I do not have all the answers but I will work to help find them. Thus, my commitment to EDI comes in two forms that may overlap:
My equity work centers on creating accessible, antiracist entry points to the college by building a welcoming, supportive, and adaptive platform that assists every student as they embark on or return to their academic journey. I commit to:
As a Student Affairs professional, social justice is at the center of my work. As a practitioner, I seek to actively and purposefully enact social justice in daily practice. I am committed to LWTech’s goal of becoming an anti-racist college and am actively engaged in dismantling systemic racism.
The history and lived experiences of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) informs my personal and professional commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Through my undergraduate studies in American Ethnic Studies and Diversity, I had the immense privilege to study and research key aspects and issues of race and ethnicity from the perspective of BIPOC historians and communities. I feel an immense responsibility due to this knowledge and am committed to dismantling systemic racism through:
I am committed to earning the title of “ally” from systemically underrepresented communities through my daily words and behaviors. Earning the title of “ally” is not a passive process where one entitles themselves because of the care they feel for a community. It is a title we must work towards earning every single day by the communities we claim allyship towards. I commit to earning this title through:
I am passionate about the role that community and technical colleges play in increasing access to higher education and serving their local communities. As a first generation college student and community college graduate, I know first-hand the impact that community and technical colleges can have. I am committed to the pursuit of an educational system where every student who seeks higher education has equitable access, support, and resources to reach their goals.
Intersectionality is at the core of my commitment to social justice. I commit to holistic personal and professional practices that acknowledge and value the various unique identities our community represents. I am committed to the success of all LWTech students, including historically underrepresented student populations such as those who identify as: Black, Indigenous, people of color, disabled, LGBTQ+, undocumented, low-income, and first-generation.
I emphatically believe Black lives matter and stand with Black communities.
My equity work centers on improving the persistence, graduation, and transfer rates of first-generation to college, low-income students, and students with disabilities, many of which are students of color. This includes providing one-on-one academic and mentoring support to work to eliminate equity gaps for TRIO’s participants so they may find success in their chosen career fields and/or pursue a bachelor’s degree. My work in TRIO guides students in navigating on-campus processes and systems that prove barriers to their success.
My equity work centers on providing support services and eliminating barriers for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds such as first generation, low income, and/or students with disabilities.
I am committed to increase access and success for students from traditionally disadvantaged backgrounds to promote college readiness, program/course completion, persistence, graduation, and transfer.
Everyone’s journey with diversity, equity, and inclusion is individual but tempered by their socialization in a system stilted to reward Whiteness and privilege. As a White woman living within this system I am committed to dismantling these systems of oppression. Leading with anti-racism is the first step to ending racism and racist systems. My educational journey to learn how my identity impacts BIPOC students and colleagues is my responsibility but shared among people with the same desire to end systemic-racism, and therefore requires time, resources, and continuous commitment. With this societal backdrop and understanding I bring this into my LWTech work within the Office of Student Life. Committing to anti-racist, diversity, and inclusion work, I want to:
As the Director of the Early Learning center, my work with equity, diversity and inclusion centers around creating a positive social and emotional environment that supports each teacher, child and family’s culture, language, ethnicity and family structure. As a leader to my team, I will continue to support the anti-racist work being done at LWTech, participate in courageous conversations and identify implicit bias and racism. Should it occur within myself or others, I will have the courage to say something. When the children notice differences in race, gender, ethnicity and individual’s abilities, I will teach them to place a positive value on those differences and treat all people with respect.
I commit to the following:
At LWTech, we aspire to foster a Community of Belonging. As the Leadership team, we support the Black Lives Matter movement and are committed to doing the work needed to dismantle systemic racism. This includes addressing anti-Blackness, helping to break down barriers, and identifying discrimination at the college and in the community by:
Mon-Fri, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Mon-Thurs, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday, Closed to the public
Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) is committed to providing access to information for all, therefore we are taking the following measures to ensure accessibility of the college’s public facing website (LWTech.edu), and third-party platforms utilized by students, staff, and community members.
The college is currently conducting an audit to determine the extent to which its website and third-party platforms are compliant.