Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.59
Liaison Susan Dorward
Submission Date Aug. 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

Raritan Valley Community College
PA-5: Diversity and Equity Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.33 / 2.00 Windy Paz-Amor
Director of DEI
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a diversity and equity committee, office, and/or officer tasked by the administration or governing body to advise on and implement policies, programs, and trainings related to diversity, equity, inclusion and human rights?:

Does the committee, office and/or officer focus on students, employees, or both?:
Both students and employees

A brief description of the diversity and equity committee, office and/or officer, including purview and activities:

Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion - The Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) seeks to increase access and equity for historically underrepresented groups, improve campus climate by fostering an inclusive and civil community and cultivate diversity awareness and appreciation. In this role the Office sponsors educational training and programs that are responsive to the changing demographics and growing diversity; implements recruitment and retention strategies for employees and students and coordinates community outreach. The Director of DEI works collaboratively to develop effort, initiatives & programs that support an inclusive community among all students and employees and promote the academic mission and strategic plan of the College.

Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee
Purpose: to ensure an inclusive and welcoming climate for RVCC's multicultural community of students, faculty, and staff by providing leadership that develop strategies to improve campus diversity and equity. In addition, the committee will review and analyze diversity-related data to identify areas that are deficient in serving underrepresented populations and to recommend administrative and policy decisions. The committee will also identify resources to motivate faculty, administrators, and staff to develop and implement diversity-related initiatives.

In support of our students and employees, we’ve made several changes to continue creating a campus that is inclusive for all. These include:

Created a process for students to submit a preferred name
Streamlined the process for employees to submit a preferred name
Added 2 additional gender neutral bathrooms
Women’s Center was reconfigured to be the Center for Gender and Sex Equity
Disability Services Office was reconfigured to be the Center for Accessibility and Inclusive Education
The Center for Gender & Sex Equity hosted a program, “How to be Neutral” Presented by Dr. Rosemary Claire-Roden, Director of Adolescent Gender & Sexual Healthy Services. This program explored the shared medical decision making between providers, adolescents, and young adults navigating important questions about gender and sexuality.
College’s website now offers English translation in over 100 languages by Recite Me.
In FY22, we had our first RVCC Rainbow Pride Stoles available for Students, Staff, & Faculty. The Rainbow stoles honors the achievements of RVCC’s LGBTQIA+ identified students, staff & faculty. Stoles were free and were given out upon request.

Estimated proportion of students that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

Estimated proportion of academic staff that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

Estimated proportion of non-academic staff that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

A brief description of the institution’s cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

MAJOR ACTIVITIES AND PROGRAMS coordinated by the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (partial listing):

Trainings/ Workshops for DEI specific for Staff at RVCC
(1)Developing Community Standards for Safer more Inclusive Dialogue
(2)Everyone Has Cultural Identity; Learning about my own Social/Cultural Lens: (3)Building our Own Identity Development through Story
(4)Implicit Bias: Understanding Our Unconscious Attitudes and Stereotypes
(5)Communication Across Cultures: Building Mindfulness when working with Diverse Populations: “What if I say the Wrong Thing”/ (C)LARA Method of Communication
(6)Microaggressions and Racial Fatigue: The R.A.V.E.N Framework
(7) Leadership for Best Practices: An Introduction to Intersectionality & Applying an Intersectional Lens to Our Work
(8/9) A Supervisory Series though a DEI Lens: Part I & Part II
For Supervisors ONLY
Four Trainings for Faculty; Developed by the Director of DEI, developed with the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTLS) and the Provost \
(1)What do we mean by diversity in academia here at RVCC? What are the challenges and opportunities of Curricular integration? Methods and Techniques to make courses more diverse and inclusive.
(2)How to teach to diversity and how to address diversity issues when they arise in the classroom.
(3)Engaging in hard topics, and learning to hold the space
(4)Resource Share:
• Reflections and Take-aways
• Best Practices and Models
Trainings and Workshops: Human Resources Specific/ Developed/Offered by Director of Diversity and Inclusion
 Recruiting & Retaining Diverse Candidates
 Unconscious & Implicit Bias & Hiring
 Inclusive Interviewing Practices
 Onboarding for Success with a DEI Lens
 Review of HR Hiring Procedures/Processes and Mandates for ensuring a fair and equitable hiring practice(s)
 Developing a BIPOC new employee Mentorship program
Trainings, Workshops, Support Groups for DEI (Ongoing)

Sister to Sister: Intergenerational mentorship and community building for Women of Color at RVCC

Cocoa Chats: Support group intended for students of color (open to all RVCC students) to address opportunity gap students. Monthly topic sessions.

Center for Sex and Gender Equity: Programming, Education, Workshops; Scholarship driven programming, mentoring and support, awareness and advocacy.

Institute for Holocaust & Genocide Studies: Programming, Education, Workshops, support, and mentoring. Promotes tolerance, understanding, and compassion of the suffering of others.

Paul Robeson Institute: Programming, Education, Workshops, support, mentoring. Provides resources and programming that embodies the values, ethics, integrity, and vision of Paul Robeson.

Guided Pathways, Campus wide effort supporting all students to bridge the equity gap; an emphasis on vulnerable populations.

Resource Center (Food Pantry): Bringing together resources to empower under-resourced students.

Additional DEI Offerings at RVCC:
Cross Cultural Competency training (Campus Security staff - annual)
• To identify ways in which human diversity impacts communication and builds collaborative relationships.

• To overcome obstacles that hinders communication and collaboration.
• To become good facilitators for cross cultural communication.

Justice League: Inclusion, Advocacy and Leadership (students)
· To identify the college’s institutional core values.
· To combat intolerance and cultural assumptions such as bias, prejudices, and stereotypes.
· To increase understanding of cultural differences and campus resources.

Understanding Students of Color: Holders and Creators of Knowledge (Faculty and Staff)
· To understand how educational institutions are connected to the conditions under which students learn.
· To increase knowledge about RVCC’s students of color and the importance of cultural competence pedagogical practices.
From DNA to Diversity (series of two workshops – faculty, staff and students
· “Why Didn’t I learn This Before?: Unlearning Myths of Race and Racism” with Dr. Karen Gaffney
· “Conversations on Race, Privilege, Activism and Allies” with Dr. Anita Foeman
WEBINARS for faculty, staff, and students:

Inclusive Excellence: “The Cheetah & the Wolf: Crisis is Inevitable - Don't React... Respond!” Description:

Racist messages, homophobic tweets, Confederate monument challenges, controversial speakers, confrontations with campus law enforcement, conservative boards and political dynamics, the impact of hip-hop culture on white students who have lived racially homogenous lives, and a rising tide of student unrest, are all ingredients that are shaping the perfect storm dynamics of our campus communities. Dr. Damon A. Williams, Chief Catalyst, researcher, and scholar from the Center for Strategic Diversity Leadership & Social Innovation, and the University of Wisconsin's Equity & Inclusion (WEI) Laboratory, as he talks about the shifting energy on our campuses and the need for leaders to have a wolf, and not cheetah-like response to the inevitable crisis dynamics that you will face at your institution.

Some of the topics that will be covered during the webinar include:

• CRISIS ready framework
• Free Speech & Inclusive Community Planning meeting best practices
• Knowing who to put on your response teams
• Empowering allies and readying students & diversity champions
• Creating evidence based diversity and inclusion educational programs for students, faculty, and staff that create a more inclusive campus community.

Immigrants Student Success Workshops learning objectives:

Integrate immigration into curriculum and teaching practices.
Describe and manage immigrant trauma, inform teaching strategies with best practices.
Confront and construct the role of the teacher in the learning and development of foreign-born students.
Learn how to foster relationships with immigrant students, families and communities in a hostile, anxious environment toward academic success, community empowerment, individual leadership and wide-ranging advocacy.

Workshop #1: Taking Back the Immigration Narrative
Federico Salas-Isnardi, Literacy Texas
Denzil Mohammed, The ILC Public Education Institute
Learn how to retake the immigration narrative to better empower and advocate for immigrants in your classrooms and communities using research-based messaging and framing strategies.

Workshop #2: Immigrant Student Trauma
Claire Tesh, LMNO Educational Consulting
Federico Salas-Isnardi, Literacy Texas
Denzil Mohammed, The ILC Public Education Institute (moderator)
A discussion on what immigrants nationwide are currently experiencing, how that stress, anxiety and trauma manifest themselves and affect learning and development, and how to make classrooms safe spaces for all students.

Workshop #3: Escaping War and Conflict: Sharing, Learning and Healing
Claire Tesh, LMNO Educational Consulting
Telling stories, healing through art integration, and learning about cultures and histories through story cloths with both historical and contemporary/personal views.

Workshop #4: Critical Consciousness: Five Things Teachers Can Do
Lisa Dorner, University of Missouri/Missouri Dual Language Network
Centering critical consciousness – or fostering among teachers, parents and children an awareness of the structural oppression that surrounds us and a readiness to take action to correct it – can support increased equity and social justice in America’s schools. Four elements will be described: Interrogating power; Historicizing school and policy contexts; Critical listening; Engaging with discomfort; embracing discomfort.

Workshop #5: How to Cultivate Immigrant Parents’ Leadership Skills for Engaging in Advocacy
Laura Gardner, Gardner and Associates: Immigrants, Refugees and Schools
Learn the importance of immigrant parent leadership through examples of programs that develop the capacity of immigrant parent leaders. Explore the relationship between family engagement initiatives and community organizing.

Workshop #6: How Immigration Impacts Our Schools: Building Alliances and Allies
Laura Gardener, Gardner and Associates: Immigrants, Refugees and Schools
Lisa Dorner, University of Missouri/Missouri Dual Language Network
Denzil Mohammed, The ILC Public Education Institute
How immigration penetrates the classroom and what teachers and schools can do to take control and reframe the conversation toward greater understanding and empowerment.

Workshop #7: Policy Update: What the What?
Sarang Sekhavat, JD, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition
Get clarity on the most recent immigration actions and policies, who is affected, and what we can expect in the near future. Implications for students and their families as well as school districts. Updates include the travel ban, DACA, TPS and imminent “public charge” rule changes with wide-ranging implications.

Workshop #8: Creating a Pipeline of Hope: One Immigrant Student’s Journey
David Aguayo, PhD, University of Missouri
Learn what contributes to the success of immigrant students from the perspective of an immigrant who has been through the entire U.S. school system. How teachers and schools can create a “pipeline of hope” even in the most challenging situations.

Workshop #9: How Teachers and Schools can Respond
Eileen Kugler, Embrace Diverse Schools
Alaisa Grudzinski, LCSW-R, Molloy College
David Aguayo, PhD, University of Missouri
Denzil Mohammed, The ILC Public Education Institute (moderator)
How does this story resonate with educators, administrators and social workers, and how can teachers and schools be better equipped to create a “pipeline of hope” for immigrant students.

Workshop #10: How Teachers’ Pasts Impact Students’ Futures
Alaisa Grudzinski, LCSW-R, Molloy College
How do teachers’ implicit biases impact students’ abilities to learn? What are the ideological underpinnings that affect their teaching and how do these manifest themselves? How are students affected? Step-by-step guidance on what teachers can do to ameliorate this situation.

Workshop#11: Building Welcoming Schools Teaching and Lesson Activities
Claire Tesh, LMNO Educational Consulting
Step-by-step guidance through two activities from the Building Welcoming Schools toolkit: “Welcoming Book” and “Where Does Your Name Come From?”

Workshop#12: Creating Empathy in the Classroom
Dawn E. Duncan, PhD, Concordia College / Narrative 4
Using the power of personal stories to create empathy in the classroom: teacher training and classroom curriculum ideas.

Workshop#13: Relationship-building in the Classroom and Community
Eileen Kugler, Embrace Diverse Schools
The basics and importance of building relationships in perilous times among students, parents and communities. What teachers and schools can do in the current climate. Emphasis on undocumented immigrants. Access to resources.

Website URL where information about the institution’s diversity and equity office or trainings is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Information from Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Dr. Windy Paz-Amor

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.