Joint senate forum on racial justice: ‘What’s said here stays here; what’s learned here leaves here.’ 


Faculty members met on Oct. 28 to discuss racial justice and safe spaces. (The Inquirer file photo).

Micheal Sullivan, Staff member

Academic Senate Presidents Marisa Greenberg and John Freytag held a joint senate forum for faculty that addressed racial justice, equity, and inclusion at Diablo Valley College on Oct. 28

Sabrina Kwist, the Dean of Equity and Inclusion at Los Medanos College, facilitated the event. Discussions among staff included “brave spaces,” which focus on accountability, listening to others, and self examination. The event also covered safe spaces, coping with stress, and the need to talk about racism on campus.

Greenberg and Freytag focused on encouraging staff to feel comfortable discussing difficult topics, primarily racial equality. Because the event was meant to serve as a safe space for discussion about racial justice, The Inquirer was asked not to record any conversations or speeches. 

Faculty and staff were also asked to keep conversations confidential. One of the points of the community agreements was: “What’s said here stays here; what’s learned here leaves here.” 

The goal of the presentation was for faculty to reach common ground addressing racial justice in their curriculums. These sentiments helped further discussions among colleagues and made it possible for faculty to speak about personal experiences in small groups.

Discussions about race and racism have increased at DVC in the wake of racist graffiti found last spring. In response, a student-led movement and several faculty task forces were formed in order to voice the concerns of students and faculty of color on campus.

The Racial Justice Task Force has workgroups that include: Communication and Messaging, Safe spaces, Integration of Race/Equity into Curriculum and Ethnic Studies, Professional Development, and Hiring and Affinity Groups. Information about the Racial Justice Task Force can be found on DVC’s website