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. Established the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, Campus Climate, and Inclusion charged with promoting policies and practices that increase opportunities, advance social justice, and create equitable experiences for the campus community.
  2. Administered a campus-wide climate survey to assess student, staff, and faculty experiences related to diversity, equity, and inclusion and to assess additional needs during the current health pandemic.
  3. 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.
  4. Recommended Promising Practices to Scholarship Services to help achieve Equity-Mindedness for Academic Merit Scholarships.
  5. Completed a diversity programs and activity inventory that cataloged over 430 programs, activities and initiatives soon to be available on a searchable online database on our DEI website.

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.
  3. Participating in the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU), Virtual Institute on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers.

C. Programmatic Initiatives in Process

  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 semi-annual common campus 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. Creating a “9 Minutes and 29 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 9 minutes and 29 seconds.

D. Outreach and Training

  1. Collaborated with the School of Business to provide targeted scholarships for first year Black students.
  2. Strategically worked with the National Equity Project team to support our student, faculty, and staff to assist them in transforming our university systems into equitable, resilient and liberating environments.  
  3. Collaboratively challenging anti-Black racism with campus governance organizations like Associated Students, Academic Senate, and the Senate Diversity Subcommittee.
  4. Facilitated the Affinity Faculty Staff Association (AFSA) Community Gathering for professional development and fellowship experiences for our staff and faculty of color.
  5. 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.