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CEAP Diversity Committee

The College of Education and Allied Profession’s Diversity Committee is the longest standing diversity initiative at Western Carolina University. We are pleased to carry on a long legacy of intentionally educating our students in the concepts of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Along with this, we have and continue to not only serve the college as an advocate for justice-oriented practices but offer opportunities for learning and advocacy to the larger campus community. Today, we do so through powerful partnerships with other colleges, programs, offices, and departments in both academic and student affairs at Western Carolina University. We believe that by focusing on diversity, we not only make progress toward the creation of positive environments on campus but in the communities we serve as our graduates enter the workforce and our faculty and staff engage in community and professional service. Our purpose and intention clearly align with the strategic plans of the college, as well as the university.

We strive toward these ideals by creating opportunities for dialogue, challenge, engagement, and education around topics related to diversity. In order to accomplish this we offer a variety of activities, including: sponsoring speakers, offering diversity dialogues, engaging in hiring processes, advising campus and community partners, and collaborating with other campus efforts aimed at increasing justice and inclusion.

Vision

The CEAP Diversity Committee strives to cultivate and sustain an inclusive community that values open dialogue, cooperation, shared responsibility, mutual respect, and cultural competence – the driving forces that enhance teaching, scholarship, and service in education and related professions.

Mission

The mission of the CEAP Diversity Committee is to foster and maintain a diverse, welcoming community that supports the development of culturally competent and globally minded professionals who engage with the western North Carolina region, state, and world.

For more information, see our Mission and Goals document.

Programming

The Diversity Committee works to support the mission of the College by providing leadership in a variety of areas. Some of the services we offer are:

Those interested in the work of the Diversity Committee might also be interested in the Teacher Education Diversity Portfolio. 

Committee Members

The CEAP Diversity Committee is made up of representatives from across the College as well as several strategic partners representative of various other equity, diversity, and inclusion focused units on campus. A full list of members along with links to their bios (as appropriate) can be viewed online. 

Statements & Resources

Statement and Resources for Anti-racist Work – June 4, 2020.

Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter.

This is certainly a time when many of us are angry, hurt, exhausted, scared, and much more. We know that our students are feeling these things as well. From the continued impact of COVID-19 to the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery (and countless others) to the politicized and militarized response to racial injustice. This is a hard time! For some more than others. We hope that you are taking care of yourselves and those you love while doing what you can to make a better world. We recognize our Black students, staff, and faculty and we send love and offer support.

When we examine what is happening across the country, we must understand that these incidents are not isolated events.  On the contrary, what we see is an indication of the broader societal consciousness as it relates to race and the systems that have been constructed as a result of this consciousness.  What happens within our schools (ie: exclusionary discipline practices, overidentification in SPED, under-identification in gifted, disparities in achievement, etc.) and what happens within our streets (mass incarceration, hyper surveillance, and police brutality) are all the fruit from the same ideologies that see people of color, generally, and Black people, specifically, as less human.  Furthermore, as scholars, we must examine the history of our academic disciplines and to come to terms with the fact our scholarship (or the scholarship of our fore parents) has often reified notions of difference and been used as justification for oppression. It now is upon us to dismantle these systems and challenge these ideologies. 

There are many ways to work for racial justice and each individual starts at a different place in doing so. We recognize that the work of racial justice and antiracist work is often left to the Black members of our community. The work of allies is an important component of any movement. Further, doing the work of an ally takes effort and intentionality and all activism should be rooted in self-work. To this end, the College of Education & Allied Profession’s Diversity Committee has put together resources that we hope are helpful for the growth, reflection, and development of all members of the College while also being useful in the work of educating our students and colleagues around racial injustice. We hope that these are useful as we currently center Black Lives in our work (both individual and collective). The document includes, articles, books, recordings, podcasts, and more. Linked below, the document includes general resources and also includes sections specific to the many different professional groupings that are part of our CEAP Community.  What we have assembled is by no means exhaustive. These resources are a starting point for us to begin to uncover, understand, and inform our discourse about what is happening in the world around us, and to direct our action moving forward.  This work is not something to do now and leave – we hope it will continue. As such, it is a living document. It cannot include everything but if you have a resource that you think is important to include, please send those to ceapdiversity@wcu.edu. A special thank you to members of our community who assisted us in putting this resource together Brandi Hinnant-Crawford, Yancey Gulley, Siham Lekchiri, Phyllis Robertson, Callie Shultz, and Brandy Tiernan.
Anti-Racism Resources – Update March 2021

CEAP Diversity Committee
LGBTQ Statement
March 16, 2021

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) folx are vital members of our world, country, and campus community. While there has been much progress in the social acceptance and legal rights of LGBTQ persons in this county, we have a long way to go in relation to cultural nurturance and legal equality for this population. The CEAP Diversity Committee is committed to supporting all LGBTQ people, actively educating our community regarding gender and sexuality, advocating for institutional policies which affirm LGBTQ persons, and continuing to challenge ourselves personally and professionally to push against our growth edges in relation to these topics. We acknowledge that homophobia and transphobia are all too real in our world, including the context of Western Carolina University. We further acknowledge that cisgenderism and heterosexism are fundamentally engrained into educational pedagogies, policies, procedures, and individual educator practices which undermine the existence of queer and trans lives in our spaces of control. We will do our part to educate ourselves and others about the gifts that LGBTQ persons bring to our institution while also trying to expand not just protections for LGBTQ individuals and communities but in creating a culture where LGBTQ persons are respected and valued.

Linked below, is a resource document that includes general educational resources regarding topics related to gender and sexual orientation, specifically related to highlighting the LGBTQ community. Resources are categorized in general materials and by academic disciplines within the College of Education & Allied Professions. These resources are a starting point for us to begin to uncover, understand, and inform our discourse about what is happening in the world around us, and to direct our action moving forward. As such, it is a living document. It cannot include everything but if you have a resource that you think is important to include, please send those to ceapdiversity@wcu.edu
LGBTQ Resources – March 2021

 

CEAP Diversity Committee
Statement re. anti-Asian hate
March 17, 2021

On Tuesday night 8 people in Atlanta were murdered in Atlanta, GA, 6 of who were Asian women along with two White people. While the full motivations of these murders is still under investigation, the suspect is in custody and remarks he has made are rooted in misogyny and stereotypes that are frequently aimed at and suffered by Asian and Asian American women. A recent study released from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino indicates that anti-Asian hate crimes have surged in 2020 by 149% while overall hate crimes have dropped by 7%. Further, Stop AAPA Hate states that between March 19, 2020 and February 28, 2021 there were 3,795 hate incidents reported to their organization, further qualifying that these are only a fraction of the actual occurrences which might go unreported to the organization. Such actions might be currently on the rise in the United States but as noted in a recent edition of the PBS News Hour there is a Long History of Racism Against Asian Americans in the U.S.

College campuses are not immune to incidents of hate against Asian and Asian American folx. Over the past year many colleges have noted that Asian and Asian American students have experienced increased harassment and decreased attendance and engagement. As the College of Education & Allied Profession’s Diversity Committee, we want to unequivocally state that discrimination, hate crimes, and violence against the Asian and Asian American community is abhorrent and wrong in every possible way. We want to offer our support to members of the WCU family who are hurting and directly (and indirectly) negatively impacted by anti-Asian hate. We recognize that such hate takes many forms, both explicit and systemic. We will certainly come together as a team to work on actionable endeavors to support Asian and Asian American members of our community while offering education for ourselves and others on these endeavors. In the short-term, we offer the following recommendations for action as shared today by the Dr. Dian Squire, Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology (Counseling-Student Affairs) at Northern Arizona University and Asian American scholar, who recommends:

  • Expand your racial literacy by learning more about AAPI people, their experiences, and how an intersectional understanding of gendered racism impacts this community and is deeply connected to the continued marginalization of other groups.
  • Reach out to your students, friends, colleagues, and neighbors who identify with this group to check in with them.
  • Reassess how you discuss issues of race and racism in your courses and campus programming to [be sure they are inclusive of topics which hold up Asian and Asian American people].
  • To take more intersectional analyses of major societal issues to think about how oppression such as sexism, genderism, xenophobia, etc impact groups.
  • Use the readings attached to have discussions on whiteness and racism during your lunch hour or weekly pro dev meetings. I particularly implore you to check out the Poon piece titled “Ending white innocence in student affairs and higher education”.

In community.

Yancey and Brandi

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