Achieving Beloved Community

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. popularized the term “Beloved Community” as a part of the King Philosophy of non-violence. At Sonoma State, Beloved Community is the ultimate vision for making our campus equitable, inclusive, and just. It requires working collaboratively across differences to eradicate racism, all forms of discrimination, bigotry, and prejudice. The items listed below reflect some of the ongoing daily work we are committed to as a university.

A. Accountability and Assessment

  1. Developing a campus-wide climate survey for spring semester to assess student, staff, and faculty experiences related to diversity, equity, and inclusion and to assess additional needs during the current health pandemic.
  2. Commissioned a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Task Force to explore how to better serve our Latinx student, staff, and faculty populations with the aim of supporting and benefiting all underserved communities.
  3. Collaboratively challenging anti-Black racism with campus governance organizations like Associated Students, Academic Senate, and the Senate Diversity Subcommittee.

B. Structural Alignments

  1. Established the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Office of the President, which includes the Center for Community Engagement (CCE), the HUB Cultural Center, and the Affinity Faculty and Staff Associations.
  2. Developed a website and online tools to identify all Sonoma State diversity, equity, and inclusion policies, programs, training, and initiatives and provide resources on anti-racism education and diversity-related practices. 

C. Programmatic Initiatives

  1. Implementing a Restorative Justice Program on campus, ideally this year, with the goal of keeping our Sonoma State community both whole and actively engaged in learning how to correct and heal from harmful and traumatic behaviors.
  2. Developing a SSU-Wide Common Reading program on topics related to anti-Blackness, social justice, diversity, and inclusion, hopefully to launch in the spring.
  3. Providing a space for students of all backgrounds to engage with issues of difference and identity through a new two-unit class called “Critical Dialogues Across Difference,” which is currently in development.
  4. Organized “Brave Space” sessions for students, faculty, and staff to share their feelings about unrest related to anti-Blackness, and to hear from SSU Black faculty and staff.
  5. Building training sessions around diversity, equity, and inclusion for campus departments, with plans to expand across campus.
  6. Creating an “8 Minutes and 46 Seconds” TED Talk-style series that will feature Sonoma State faculty, staff, students, and community members engaging in dialogue about anti-Blackness, social justice, diversity, and inclusion for exactly 8 minutes and 46 seconds.