Action & Accountability: CCA’s ongoing commitment to anti-racism, equity, and social justice

CCA is committed to addressing structural inequities and promoting anti-racism, equity, inclusion, and belonging through ongoing, substantive change in our curriculum, in the classroom, and throughout our college.

As an institution whose mission is to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing, CCA has a responsibility to address its own structural inequities; find ways to support and center our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) students, faculty, and staff; and meaningfully promote social justice and civic engagement throughout our community.

We know that a culturally diverse and inclusive campus is integral to academic excellence. We recognize that our college is not immune to the systemic racism and structural inequities that devalue and disempower many members of our community. Pledging energy and resources, CCA is defining and implementing reparative steps that are definitive, measurable, and transparent. On this page, we will publicly track some of these commitments and our progress toward realizing them. We invite you to hold us accountable, and we encourage every member of our community to join in this critical work.

Our Commitment

Promoting racial justice and equity

Through ongoing, continuous, and substantive action, we’ll work to make our college a place that is welcoming, equitable, inclusive, actively anti-racist, and safe for everyone. This will take sustained effort and participation from our entire community. This is a long-term commitment to you—our students, faculty, staff, and alumni—that CCA will continue to grow and transparently work toward an equitable future where all students have equal opportunities to thrive. We must be a component of change in our community, and we thank you for holding us accountable.

“We must act with urgency to ensure our campus is a brave, safe, welcoming, and actively anti-racist place for everyone.”

— President Stephen Beal & Provost Tammy Rae Carland

June 30, 2020

Actions & Updates

Tracking our progress

As one step toward the reckoning and change that must take place to promote racial justice and equity throughout our college, in the summer of 2020 the President’s Diversity Steering Group (PDSG) asked the CCA community for input and recommendations (CCA students, faculty, and staff can still submit recommendations). The PDSG received more than 125 initial suggestions and insightful feedback, which have been categorized and compiled here.

With these recommendations as a foundation, CCA President Stephen Beal and Provost Tammy Rae Carland announced on June 30, 2020, a commitment to a set of initial actions—the first steps in a process that will evolve and grow over time and include the creation of a comprehensive diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging strategic plan for CCA. We will continue to add to this list and track progress here. The commitments below are organized according to the categories established by the PDSG. Click on any commitment to see date-stamped related actions and updates.

Assessment & Reform

Improve the process for reporting, acknowledging, and responding to student concerns and complaints.

  • Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, and Human Resources are assessing the reporting process and, with student involvement, have begun developing an improved process and interface. This includes revision of the CCA Care form. (August 2020)

Establish forums for regular communication between BIPOC students and academic and college leadership.

  • The provost and assistant dean of students have been meeting regularly and are developing several approaches to reciprocal communication between BIPOC students and CCA senior leadership that will be piloted this fall in our remote environment and iterated upon. (July 2020)

Refocus the Student Retention and Success Committee to prioritize support for BIPOC students.

  • This staff committee, led by Associate Provost Dominick Tracy with staff representation from across the college, began meeting in July 2020 and continues to meet. (July 2020)

Develop and establish a restorative justice program at CCA

  • DEIB Task Force charged with researching restorative justice models and thinking about what a restorative justice model might look like at CCA. (ongoing)

2020 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Data Review and Assessment

  • DEIB Task Force has reviewed the CCA results of the 2020 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the additional Inclusiveness and Engagement with Diversity module both individually and as a team. Rather than making specific recommendations for actions based on the results of this survey, the Task Force proposed that CCA consider any actions the college is already undertaking or proposing to take to support its DEIB goals against these results as a way of supporting or challenging our plans. These results can serve as an ongoing check of the likelihood of our decisions to achieve the results we aspire to. This recommendation was submitted to the PDSG, President,l and Provost. (May 2021)

Curriculum

Continue funding and support for the CCA Decolonial School.

  • Academic Affairs re-established the $10,000 curriculum grant awarded to support the pedagogical initiatives, faculty development, and academic programming led by the Decolonial School. (August 2020)
  • Funding has been designated to compensate two faculty co-leaders of the Decolonial School for their ongoing work on the initiative. (August 2020)

Data

Expand availability of race and ethnicity statistics on the CCA website.

  • Demographic information for staff published to Portal (December 2020)
  • Demographic information for students, faculty, and staff updated and published on cca.edu (May 2021)
  • Process established for updating information annually (May 2021)

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Strategy

Launch the CCA land acknowledgement, which was developed in partnership with the Decolonial School and local Indigenous leaders and representatives.

  • The CCA Indigenous Land Acknowledgement appears in the footer of every CCA webpage: CCA campuses are located in Huichin and Yelamu, also known as Oakland and San Francisco, on the unceded territories of Chochenyo and Ramaytush Ohlone peoples. (July 2020)
  • Information and usage guidelines are published on the CCA website and Portal. (July 2020)
  • Option to automatically include the land acknowledgement in email signatures added to all cca.edu email accounts (July 2020)
  • The president, provost, and chair of the Board reached out to the leaders of local indigenous groups to further engage them in our ongoing land acknowledgement efforts. (August 2020)

People

Develop support specific to BIPOC faculty.

  • Two Black faculty members were hired as visiting scholars beginning in fall 2020 in the DMBA and MFA Design programs. A third hire may be confirmed in the First Year program pending enrollment. (August 2020)

Assess and improve diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging practice for all Board of Trustees operations.

  • Reviewed current Board practices and policies to identify areas for improvement (September 2020)
  • Organized an anti-bias workshop and facilitated discussion with Dr. Sonia Mañjon, executive director of LeaderSpring and former director of the Center for Art & Public Life, for the Committee on Trustees (September 2020)
  • Drafted a Board statement of commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, the first of its kind at CCA (January 2021)
  • Updated the trustee service guidelines to promote DEIB values (March 2021)
  • Updated the Board matrix to better understand how diversity is currently represented on the Board (April 2021)
  • Recruit and elect new trustees with diverse backgrounds, identities, cultures, and ethnicities. Three new trustees, including two women of color, appointed in FY21. (Ongoing)

Space

Designate space on campus as an academic and social gathering place for BIPOC students. This space will be completed and open by the time students return to campus.

  • Provost Carland met with staff responsible for space planning and the assistant dean of students and identified a specific space by the start of the fall 2020 semester. Unfortunately the space cannot be launched and utilized until we can safely return to campus. In the meantime, students will have opportunities to contribute to the charter and mission of this designated space. (August 2020)

Student Services

Expand CANVAS (CCA Artist’s Network Valuing Aspiring Students) to include a for-credit experience encompassing mentorship, networking, and leadership preparation.

  • BIPOC scholarship-recipient CANVAS students will participate in a year-long, for-credit class as part of their first year at CCA experience. The course includes goal-setting, mentorship, networking, and leadership preparation as well as robust programming led by CCA faculty, visiting artists, designers, and scholars. The class has a course budget for an immersive introduction to the Bay Area’s vibrant community of BIPOC leaders, makers, and educators and historical and cultural sites in our region. (August 2020)

Work with local high schools to expand opportunities for BIPOC students and create additional pathways for enrollment.

  • CCA’s Admissions Office currently partners with many local high schools, community colleges, and community-based organizations that support BIPOC students. Beginning in fall 2020 we will expand the number of these partnerships with a focus on:
    • Extra support for portfolio development, especially in the context of remote learning for both high school and community college students.
    • Developing additional 2+2 agreements and transfer articulation agreements to streamline enrollment at CCA
    • Promoting inclusiveness of diverse backgrounds and experiences by developing portfolio alternatives and expanding portfolio requirements
  • Increase total need-based funding to support first-generation and low-income students to continue to support a diverse student population. (Note: State law and federal court decisions limit the use of race or ethnicity in college admissions and financial aid awarding.) (August 2020)

Training

Expand anti-racism and anti-bias training and education for all faculty, staff, and students. Elements of this training will be universal and mandatory.

  • DiversityEdu anti-bias training (accessible through Workday) is currently required for all incoming staff, faculty, and students and all residential students. Human Resources, Academic Affairs, and Student Affairs are working to ensure all continuing staff, faculty, and students have completed the training as well, with a goal of 100% compliance by the end of the 2020-21 academic year. (July 2020)
  • A consultant with expertise in providing diversity, equity, and inclusion training to leadership teams has been engaged to work with CCA’s Board of Trustees and senior leadership team. (July 2020)
  • Staff Advisory Committee (SAC) launched DEIB Community Talks sessions available to all staff. (October 2020)
  • DEIB training integrated within newly launched Skillstudio professional development program for staff (March 2021)

Funding

Prioritize funding for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives. A discrete budget for these efforts will be created through existing operational funds and fundraising.

  • President Stephen Beal and Advancement staff are actively fundraising to secure new dollars for this initiative and funds are also being redirected from the 2020–2021 fiscal year budget for this priority. (July 2020)
  • CCA has designated additional funding for diversity scholarships to support BIPOC students. In 2019-20 the college distributed $25 million in scholarships with $16.1 million of that supporting diversity students. This summer, CCA set a fundraising goal to secure an additional $1.5 million for scholarships, of which $635,000 for diversity scholarships has been raised so far. ( July 2020) Update: $3.98 million raised for student scholarships in FY21 (May 2021)
  • New diversity scholarships created: Sandra Vivanco Scholarship, Diversity in Design Scholarship. Both scholarships were launched in FY21 with $31,000 raised for the Vivanco Scholarship and $84,000 raised for Diversity in Design Scholarships. (Spring 2021)
  • Kalmanovitz Scholarship renewed with a gift of $500,000 in late FY20 to be spent in FY21 and FY22 (Spring 2021)
  • Submitted a grant request to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for $150,000 to support the efforts of Decolonial School (submitted May 2021, notification in October 2021)
  • Advancement conducted an audit of CCA fundraising practices and policies and developed a draft Statement of Principles to foster a culture of philanthropy at CCA that is just, equitable, respectful, and welcoming to all. (Fall 2020)

Get Involved

Be a participant in change

CCA is committed to making systemic, lasting institutional change, and that will take time and participation from our entire community. Insights and feedback from our students, alumni, faculty, and staff are crucial to strengthening CCA’s unified community of creative-citizens.

Questions, comments, more information?