August 1, 2017
Happy August NVC Community,
I hope that you all are enjoying the last moments of the Summer as we get ready for the new academic year!
In February, I sent an email to our community that contained an affirmation of an Inclusive Environment for Transgender Community Members. This message and associated web page affirmed the values we hold at the college, and provided additional information on policy guidance offered by the U.S. Department of Justice/Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the U.S. Department of Education/Office for Civil Rights (OCR). On February 22, 2017 these offices withdrew policy guidance that assisted campuses in creating inclusive learning environments, and specifically for Transgender individuals because "the guidance was 'legislative and substantive' and thus formal rulemaking should have occurred prior to the adoption of any such policy." On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, Donald Trump, announced via twitter.com (tweets 1, 2, 3) that "the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military."
Our Transgender students find themselves frightened and uncertain. Our students look to faculty and staff to insure this is a welcoming and safe place to learn.
Our values at Napa Valley College are clear: we value, model and encourage inclusivity, respect for others, and health and wellness for all of our community. We wish to maintain a positive campus environment where we can learn and work without apprehension or distraction in pursuit to our individual and collective goals. Current and former Patriots who serve in the Armed Forces and Transgender community members are as deserving of everything NVC has to offer as anyone.
The Napa Valley College Safe Space Program is an ideal way for faculty and staff to participate in helping create a safe environment for all students. The training provided by Safe Space includes content on gender identity, the diversity of the Transgender community, and concrete strategies on how you can create inclusive spaces in your work. I urge you to consider attending one of the two offerings of the Safe Space training during this upcoming Institutional Excellence (Flex) Day. More information about the Safe Space Program can be found here.
The Bias Incident Response Team is comprised of a group of campus community members specially trained in the prevention of and response to bias incidents and hate crimes. More information about the Team and how to report bias incidents can be found here.
Lastly: For Faculty resources on Creating Inclusive Classrooms, click here.
It is my hope that everyone in our NVC community is committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for everyone.
You are welcome here and you are loved.