We, as a college and a community, condemn racism and bias against any community.
Authentic and honest responses and declarations require active support, which we are undertaking. As COTA has begun the necessary and difficult work in response to urgent and ongoing actions for change in solidarity with Black American communities, we pledge to continue exploring anti-racist and anti-bias training and practices, breaking down the personal and institutional barriers that separate and “other” us from each other. The College of the Arts is committed to supporting, centering, and amplifying voices of color and underrepresented communities, particularly those whose safety continues to be challenged at this time.
I am humbled by the many ways COTA departments in the past year have established sustained engagements in response to racism and to concerns raised by our students, staff and faculty: holding town hall and listening sessions to air concerns and encourage challenging conversations; inviting social justice proponents with experience in their field of study to address how art can impact social change; providing ongoing forums, working groups, and support systems for those who identify in communities subjected to systemic racism, discrimination, prejudice, and bias. A partial set of COTA actions is presented in the CSULB Equity & Change Report released yesterday by President Conoley. We understand that AAPI concerns are also a response to sustained historical trends which have often been unspoken and unheard. Our work ongoing is to transform our ways of recognizing, listening, including, and sharing COTA resources and decision-making.
Transforming words and wishes into actions and changes, COTA leadership is making spaces and times to listen, and we will continue to focus our listening as an ongoing part of our teaching-learning-managing processes. We are finding ways to connect our listening to priorities for how we work and who and what we support. Here are some specific actions we are performing to enable our listening and change:
While we are nearing the semester’s most intensive work period and the academic year’s end, COTA departments will make their best efforts for dedicated AAPI listening events or related support and will facilitate the organization of working groups and student groups who can carry forward in planning activities for next Fall semester.
Right now, COTA academic and administrative leaders are in the midst of anti-racism and unconscious bias training, to prepare for college-wide work in these areas. We will invite and include AAPI-specific awareness in our remaining training sessions.
In Fall semester 2021, COTA will begin a series of sponsored DEI workshops for all students, which will carry forward into Spring semester 2022. AAPI concerns will be incorporated into those activities and community engagements.
In Fall semester 2021, COTA will also begin two series of professional DEI training workshops, for Faculty and for Staff. AAPI concerns will be incorporated into those activities and community engagements.
We commit to a process of transparent communications regarding these efforts, with a report on actions and progress provided at the end of each academic semester.
We are not alone in recognizing the urgent need to stand in solidarity with AAPI communities at this time. Below is a partial collection of resources and events addressing AAPI equity and responses to acts of violence and exclusion.
The Dean’s office welcomes all expressions of concern and advocacy and we are connecting our support for AAPI into COTA’s broader network of actions. Our goals are to better listen and to make transformations in support of COTA’s diverse community of communities.
Resources for Addressing AAPI Equity
CSULB Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration 2021
A series of online events celebrating the AAPI communities and encouraging engagement, understanding, and conversation
Vanity Fair List of 10 Essential Podcasts From AAPI Creators
These podcasts explore the richness and complexity of Asian American identity and emphasize how AAPI history is integral to American history.