Equity, Inclusivity, and Diversity at Durham Tech: This is what we do. This is who we are.
To our Durham Tech community,
As organizations around the country issue statements in support of social justice, Durham Tech spoke first with our student representatives, our community, and our employees. As an institution of higher learning, we believe it is our responsibility to focus on issues of equity, inclusivity and diversity and to base our actions and decisions on data and to continue to find ways to learn and lead on these priorities. Our commitment is not to words, but to you and to the core values of our institution.
This is not a statement. This is an action plan.
For nearly three decades, Durham Tech has taken intentional measures to promote institutional change for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Focusing on the achievement gaps of our Black and Brown students has evolved into promoting an equity agenda to remove institutional barriers for students of color. We’ve created the Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusion to lead these efforts, which includes a newly created position, Director of Students of Color Success. The Office of Equity and Inclusion has developed and facilitated hours of training for racial equity and implicit bias awareness for our college employees.
We understand: This is not enough. As we reflect on our past and present efforts to engage our faculty and staff in promoting a culture of equity-mindedness, we are urgently reminded that all at our institution must completely understand racism and the struggle for racial justice in the United States of America. From courageous conversations to professional development opportunities, to institutional audits and a review of our institutional practices, Durham Tech must develop a deeper understanding of how the systemic plague of racism has impacted, too, the culture of our institution and affected the success of marginalized communities in our service area. Our call to action must bolster systemic change while holding ourselves accountable for continuous engagement in self-directed education and reflection that results in meaningful individual accountability and REAL sustainable institutional change.
As we begin our antiracist work and understand the racial Black/White binary, we must and will include our Indigenous, Asian American, and Latinx community members who are all part of the narrative of systemic oppression and exclusion that reaches back 400 years.
Durham Tech will be BOLD enough to acknowledge that conversations of race, white supremacy, racism, and privilege will be painful and difficult but are necessary for paradigm-shifting and transformative change.
- We revised our College Interview Committee process to include Implicit Bias Training for all committee members.
- We developed the Title IX Policy and Procedures and Investigation process (ATIXA).
- We required Racial Equity Institute training for all senior leaders and the President’s Cabinet, Campus Police and Public Safety, and other employees at the College.
- We reviewed our Campus Police and Public Safety protocols to ensure alignment with 8 Can’t Wait recommendations for ensuring police reform.
- We revised the curriculum in our Public Safety Administration and other public services programs to include student learning outcomes related to racial equity.
- We encouraged transparency of disaggregated data by race, ethnicity, and gender to reveal inequities in the student experience.
- We modified our salaries and wages to ensure that all employees, both part and full-time earn a living wage.
- We created an ADA Compliance Committee that developed a Digital Accessibility Plan, ADA Accommodations policies for employees and students, and facilitated an ADA audit of all campuses and locations in partnership with the College’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program students. We created the Equity & Inclusion Council to serve as an advisory board to the College as an equity-minded thought leader in the areas of equity and inclusivity while establishing a culture of inquiry aimed at closing equity gaps for students.
- We launched the College’s first Durham Tech Equity Plan with key focus areas in student success, climate and culture, employee development, data and assessment, and curriculum.
We are committed to:
- Ensuring that Black, Indigenous, and other students of color will enroll, persist, progress, complete a credential, transfer, and secure living wage or better employment at equitable rates that meet or exceed regional, state, and national averages.
- Reducing the zero-credit rate for Black, Indigenous, and students of color through guided career pathways and the redesign of early learning experiences at the College.
- Auditing policies, practices, and procedures to identify and remove any and all actions that promote racial bias both conscious and unconscious.
- Evaluating our curriculum and requiring faculty and adjunct employees to participate in professional development training that promotes anti-oppressive pedagogy and practice and integrates culturally responsive teaching strategies into the classroom.
- Recruiting and hiring faculty that represent our Black and Brown students, and intentionally evaluating our College leadership and administration to promote more men of color into leadership roles.
- Facilitating transparent conversations with our students to further identify ways the College can support our students to and through completion.
- Collaborating with our community partners to re-establish relationships that will support our students of color.
- Partnering with our local school systems and universities to implement promising practices that support students of color in our education pipeline from K-12 to college.
- Leading as a visionary in the work of equity and antiracism in both the North Carolina Community College System and nationally.
- Acknowledging that White employees who sit in positions of privilege and power must carry the burden of change and not allow it to rest on the shoulders of our Black and Brown employees.
- Identifying financial resources to support the Durham Tech Equity Plan.
- Creating an equity scorecard by identifying meaningful metrics that create clear goals and allow us to gauge progress, including a focus on the upward economic mobility of our students after they graduate from our programs.
- Ensuring that the equity and anti-racism agenda is integrated into the College’s strategic plan, infrastructure, service area reviews, and departmental planning briefings as a foundation for our core values.
We are BOLD enough to live up to our commitment to creating an antiracist institution while developing a sustainable culture of equity for our community.
The Durham Tech Office of Institutional Equity and Inclusion and Office of the President
J.B. Buxton John F. Burness
President, Durham Tech Chair, Durham Tech Board of Trustees