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Reflecting to Serve: What We Gain in our DEI Journey

DEI Awareness Month

There is a silver lining to the challenges we faced in 2020. Our response clearly affirmed that our system is full of bold and compassionate leaders who do whatever it takes to put students first. In the wake of a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic and a national uprising for racial justice, we took action commensurate with the urgency of the moment. Our faculty and staff helped lead the COVID-19 recovery and responded to the needs of our surrounding communities during an unimaginable crisis.

We further crystallized our commitment to end racial disparities in our colleges and instituted a Call to Action to revamp efforts to dismantle systemic racism and address barriers to student success. We recommitted ourselves to creating a culture that values every single individual who steps foot on our campuses, but there is still work to be done.

Faculty and staff are the heart of our system. You are in the classrooms, advising students, building and maintaining the systems that have allowed us to make the monumental shift to all-remote learning in less than a year. California Community Colleges can only truly reflect and represent the communities and students we serve when our faculty and staff do, too.

As the largest and most diverse system of higher education in the country, we have a tremendous opportunity to improve the lives of millions by breaking down existing barriers to equity. Through diversifying our faculty and sta , and continuing to integrate DEI priorities into our work, we can — and will — become the best possible version of our system for current and future generations of students.

  • Research shows that students who benefit from a diverse faculty are better-educated and better-prepared for leadership and professional competitiveness. By committing to building a diverse sta , we can leverage this fact to remove barriers our students of color face, foster a more culturally responsive environment and improve overall student outcomes.
  • Diversification also improves retention rates for faculty and sta by making our system more inclusive for faculty of all backgrounds.
  • The makeup of our faculty and staff are not keeping pace with the diversity of the students and communities we serve. The biggest disparity between faculty and staff and students is among self-identifying Black and African American Students and Hispanic demographics. And this disparity is growing.

How we measure progress:
We measure progress on our DEI journey in three core outcomes: cultural diversity, promoting equity and fostering inclusion.


  • Cultural diversity: Commitment to culture and policies that support people in all the ways their lives differ.
  • Promoting equity: Removing advantages and barriers to provide everyone the same access to opportunities.
  • Fostering inclusion: Students and employees feel supported and valued and are able to be their authentic selves.

Tangible steps to strengthen our system
Every person within the California Community College’s system has a crucial role to play in creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce — from unions to the Academic Senates, Board of Governors and the Chancellor’s Office. From the Vision for Success to Guided Pathways, we are continuing to build a better, more inclusive learning environment for students from all backgrounds through actions both big and small.

We have adopted cultural competency policies, fostered faculty and student mentoring and developed other programs that reflect inclusive values for our sta and students. We remain focused on improving teaching and learning structures, policies and practices that reflect our commitment to student equity.

Last summer, we looked inward to implement the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Integration Plan on an accelerated timeline, and sought out innovative strategies to advance our Vision for Success and diversify faculty and staff. This work is happening all the time and impacting the entire California Community College’s system for the better.

As we continue to make progress and pursue DEI and anti-racism work, real change with lasting impact is possible. This kind of transformation will require a redistribution of power and money, but faculty and sta diversification will help us achieve systemic change and build a more culturally competent and campus culture for our students long-term.

If we commit fully to putting diversity, equity and inclusion at the heart of our work from this point onward, California Community Colleges can take a giant leap toward being a system that truly works for all our students.

– From the California Community College Chancellor’s Office

Share, retweet and/or like the DEI Awareness Month video message highlighting our system’s commitment to DEI and anti-racism and welcoming new voices and leaders to join in the work ahead. Watch the video.

Download DEI Awareness Month Zoom backgrounds.

Download California Community Colleges DEI Awareness Month Graphics


Visit the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office DEI Website

Read the resolution passed by Associated Students Napa Valley College (ASNVC) supporting the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges.