On Wednesday, March 24, 2021 Chancellor Gillespie convened the introductory meeting of the VCCCD Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Workgroup. This workgroup will provide a forum for broad collaboration in review of policies and procedures through a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion. By putting diversity, equity and inclusion at the heart of our work, we will make significant strides in creating a culture that represents the importance of these values critical to the success of our students.

The meeting was attended by about 100 district employees and student government officers. Also in attendance were Trustees Bernardo Perez and Stan Mantooth as well as Student Trustee Ashley Gonzales. Attendees provided feedback on the goals and strategies as well as recommendations for workgroup outcomes. 

During the meeting, Chancellor Gillespie commented on remarks by Vice Chair Dianne McKay and Trustee Gabriela Torres from a previous Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity. VCCCD and college leadership: Laura Barroso, Patti Blair, David El Fattal, Oscar Cobian, Jennifer Goetz and Cynthia Herrera also shared their perspectives and the responsibilities of the workgroup.

At the meeting, Chancellor Gillespie reviewed the VCCCD 2021 - 2027 Strategic Goals:

  1. Increase access and student success.
  2. Close academic achievement and support services equity gaps across all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender groups. 
  3. Actively support workforce and economic development in Ventura County through partnerships and relevant programs and pathways leading from education to careers.
  4. Develop a culture that values students, collaboration, and the success of each employee. 

The work group is structured by the chapters of Board Policies and Administrative Procedures: Chapter 1: The District; Chapter 2: Board of Trustees; Chapter 3: General Institution; Chapter 4: Academic Affairs; Chapter 5: Student Services; Chapter 6 Business and Fiscal Affairs; and Chapter 7: Human Resources. If you are interested in participating in one of the chapter reviews, please email Laura Brower. Chancellor Gillespie will be holding a follow-up meeting in the next several weeks. 

The VCCCD first annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Week is April 12 - 15. Visit the DEI Week webpage for the full schedule of events. I f you missed any events, you can see them on the Ventura County Community College District's YouTube channel.