Sonoma State faculty have identified and acted on the intention to support diversity, equity and inclusion in curriculum and programs on campus, in part with the creation of the Senate Diversity Subcommittee (SDS) in 2008. In recent years we have worked to collaborate with programs and individuals across campus to identify equity gaps, systems that support and maintain bias and unintended racist agendas, and to provide recommendations, education, and support to address these issues.
This year, our Academic Senate formally published the Response to Systemic, Persistent Anti-Black Violence, which included acknowledgement of Sonoma State University’s complicity in perpetuating a racist and unjust world. Our SDS committee has partnered with the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to complete assessments and inventories of resources, strengths, and opportunities for growth on our campus. We have further supported recommendations for increased University awareness regarding funding sources to ensure alignment with University values; reported on campus endeavors to decrease textbook and course materials costs for students with clear action-based recommendations; supported scholarship process review with the aims to both mitigate unintentional bias, and to redefine merit with an equity-minded lens. SDS has been engaged in the process for implementing AB 1460, the 2020 legislation that speaks to the requirements of Ethnic Studies in the baccalaureate curriculum, to support and guide integration into our already robust Critical Race Studies criteria. Acknowledgements to our colleagues doing this work since 2008, and welcoming those who will continue this work into the future.
It is truly an honor to be part of this courageous and passionate team of leaders, activists, and educators to influence and support shifts in culture and policies, and to co-create the environment we envision to be not only diverse and inclusive, but actively opposed to racism and violence against Black, Indigenous, People of Color and any other marginalized groups on our campus and in our communities. We recognize the intersection of ability, gender, gender identity, sexuality, race, and class, and their impact on both the access to higher education and the experience of college and their sense of belonging at institutions of higher education. We are committed to the delivery of quality education that builds a stronger, more conscientious, better equipped generation of college graduates to lead us into a brighter future. We operate from the knowledge that the contributions and celebration of diverse and unique backgrounds, perspectives, resources, and experiences create a richer and more valuable climate on our campus.
Hope is the word that continues to persist in my visions, and I look forward to experiencing the changes we are striving to manifest.
Dr. Krista Altaker
Associate Professor of Nursing
Senate Diversity Subcommittee, Chair 2019-2021