Bellevue Community College Diversity Caucus
2002 to 2003 Report to the Community
The work of the
Diversity Caucus has always been about excellence at our institution. If you
look at the accomplishments for this academic year, you will see much evidence
of that. We've worked hard this year--all of us--to make Bellevue Community
College a learning community that is ethical and humane. We haven't just helped
students who are underserved or disadvantaged, we've enriched the lives of all our students
with some of the most creative curriculum this college has seen. Pluralism
brings another layer of complexity to what we teach. It forces us to be original
and innovative because much of this new and pertinent body of knowledge is not
contained in traditional pedagogy.
We haven't just
made the environment more nurturing for our faculty, administrators, and staff
of color. All our colleagues have remarked that the professional development
activities have been among the best they've ever attended. We've heard our
professional development described with phrases like "transformative" and "intellectually challenging."
Our community has shown great maturity in agreeing to hear everyone's truth
because often the truth can bring discomfort or even pain.
We've brought the
community into our campus with exciting and educational events. Leaders of many backgrounds have interacted with our students. A good portion of
the articles written about BCC this year were about Diversity Caucus sponsored
events or activities.
of all, we've come together. We come to trust each other and to know each other
as good friends. This is important in the coming months and years if we are to
continue the transformation of our college. Our resolve will be tested by
external and internal challenges to our vision. At this early, fragile stage
of our evolution, divisiveness is dangerous. Although, we may disagree, we need
to stay connected.
Thanks to all the
members of the Diversity Caucus who gave up their precious time to cook a meal,
distribute posters, work on the budget, raise funds, organize events, arrange
for publicity, bring classes to forums, train others, book a room, or attend the
numerous meetings it took to achieve this momentous year.
Ethnic and Cultural Studies
Program approved by Curriculum Advisory Committee
Pollock provides leadership for Ethnic Studies.
the leadership of Instructional Pluralism Committee chair,
Bellevue Community College has an official Ethnic and Cultural Studies
Program. Kim has been working hard to review thirty-one comparable
courses at four-year institutions with the goal of offering courses as
early as Fall 2003 and having the full program listed in the Winter 2004
catalog. Kim will also work with other faculty to develop the courses
and to articulate the courses to four-year institutions. Accomplishing
all this in a time period of one year has been nothing short of a
miracle. Let’s not forget that Kim was also a professional development
mover and shaker, planning and facilitating Courageous Conversations
sessions with Glen Singleton and for professional development day plus
the Courageous Teaching: Best Practices for Teaching Diversity. This she
accomplished while maintaining a full teaching load. Thanks to Kim for
making one of the Diversity Caucus’ major goals a reality.
year look for more major collaborations and Dr. Charles Johnson to speak
on campus. Thanks to the work of
Ron Taplin, Tim Wise will
be speaking at our 2004 Martin Luther King celebrations.
The Instructional Pluralism Committee put through the
Ethnic and Cultural Studies Program in record time.
Successful American Indian
Film Festival focuses on issues of image, language, society and
Phil Lucas (as Tadadaho
in Broken Chain)
Meek gave life to the excellent American Indian Film Festival at BCC
(held from April 16 to 18) and we are grateful for her energy and
vision. Highlights of the
festival included storytelling by legendary Lashootseed elder, Vi
Hilbert who was accompanied by flutist Gary Stroutsos playing the Indian
flute (first day) as well as an Indian drum performance led by Matthew
Warbonnet. Northern Exposure fans had a great homecoming with Elaine
Miles. Producer Roger Baerwolf talked about the making of Smoke
Signals. The luminary Phil Lucas, a Chocataw Indian
BCC's own award-winning filmmaker of over 107 films including the
feature film Broken Chain starring Pierce Brosnan,
presented his documentaries on the Native American community. The festival concluded with an extraordinary
American Indian-inspired potluck.
Special mention is given to the diversity grant from the
Washington State Library which was
instrumental in the transformation of the college. Thanks for
Myra Van Vactor for her hard work in
securing this grant.
Collaboration between Donna Meek and Phil Lucas will continue next year
with their multidisciplinary course on media images of the American
Indian. Don't forget this was our first annual film
festival. Watch out for the fireworks next year.
and Yellow: The myth of the model minority, affirmative action, and other
issues of race beyond black and white.
Howard University law professor and civil rights activist, Frank Wu,
appeared on campus for a series of events on April 24 and 25. Professor
Wu gave two student sessions on Race: Beyond Black and White; a
community forum on the Model Minority, the keynote on professional
development day, and a break-out session on affirmative action. Many
faculty remarked that it was the best professional development keynote
ever. Rapt attention was paid to Professor Wu’s inside analysis as an
expert witness in the University of Michigan affirmative action case.
Key takeaways from his sessions: Ample evidence that racism exists in
America and permeates everything we do. Everyone can identify and
condemn hate crimes but institutional racism is more pervasive and
insidious. Let’s focus on the problem rather than the remedies. The myth
of Asian Americans being the model minority is used as wedge between
Asian Americans and other races. It also obscures ample evidence of
racism hindering Asian Americans.
who selflessly sold books during all sessions to raise
$1000 for the Ruthann Kurose Student of Color Achievement Scholarship.
Frank Wu spoke to a packed community forum.
take BCC into up-front, personal, and often painful
discussions about institutional racism.
to 60 people attended two days of training (Friday and Saturday) on
having Courageous Conversations about racism with nationally recognized
consultant Glen Singleton. Described as a transforming experience by many of the
participants, Glen Singleton took the group through the productive and
often painful process of having real conversations without the barriers
of white privilege. A group of over 20 have continued with a follow-on
day-long training session and weekly sessions to work out issues of
institutional racism in a radically different and very effective way.
The core of the process is that the change is fundamental and personal.
Everyone in the group is hopeful that the long evolution towards an
ethical and humane college community free of racism will be sustained
with this effort.
Myra Van Vactor for getting the pivotal grant
from the Washington State Library and to
for knowing that we were ready to have these conversations.
Akemi Matsumoto, Helen Taylor,
worked long and hard to find Glen Singleton, recruit people for the
sessions, and coordinate the training.
BCC faculty, staff, and administrators
agree to experience discomfort and speak their truth in courageous
Community leaders speak to
the Library Media Center lecture series and other venues plus the efforts of
Rossie Norris and
Alan Yabui, community leaders such as Larry Gossett, Bob Santos, and Doug
Chin have spoken to students on issues of economic development in King
County and on the history of the International District.
Thanks to Myra Van
Vactor for getting the diversity grant
from the Washington State Library that made this event possible..
Diversity Committee’s events encourage campus community to come together.
Emily Fisher collects food donations at the Bite of BCC
|The BCC Employee Diversity Committee has worked
tirelessly all year to mount a number of events to encourage people to
come together and celebrate their cultural heritage. They started out
with the viewing of the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding,
followed with the Irish Gig, and wrapped up the year with the delicious
Bite of BCC.
Members of the committee worked long and hard to make all
these events a success and we thank them for bringing the BCC family
closer together. Events like these do much to improve employee morale
and to make BCC more than just a place to work. Thanks to the capable Becky Turnbull for chairing this
committee and all the people who contributed time to planning,
promoting, cooking, cleaning, and good company.
Becky Turnbull, Juan Ulloa, Tony Akhlagi,
and Cora Nixon were among the gourmet cooks for the sumptuous BCC Bites.
Ruthann Kurose Students of Color
Achievement Scholarship breaks through first year goal of $10,000.
Ruthann Kurose, President of the BCC Board of
marks her tenth
year as a trustee at Bellevue Community College. It's no coincidence
that the college has gone through transformative and often painful process of
routing out institutional racism while Ruthann Kurose sits at the helm
of BCC’s Board of Trustees. We're definitely on our way but none of this
would have been possible without Ruthann's guidance.
That’s much news for celebration but unfortunately many
students of color still lack financial resources to pay for quickly
rising tuition costs. Enter the Ruthann Kurose Student of Color
Achievement Scholarship—a mouthful but a godsend nonetheless. Having
Ruthann's name on the scholarship is a natural. It's a good way of
acknowledging what she's done for the college. The fundraising began as
a grass roots movement among a few BCC faculty and staff and has
snowballed into a major effort by the whole campus. Like its namesake,
the scholarship fund is ambitious. Of
course, most people contribute to honor Ruthann Kurose but their
contributions signal support for the direction that
BCC has taken. Names on the contributors' list is a virtual
who's-who of community and political leaders including Larry Gossett, Tomio Moriguchi, the Organization of Chinese Americans, JACL, Ruth Woo,
Velma Veloria, Sharon Tomiko-Santos, Vera Ing, George Northcroft, and more. Their names give
outside endorsement and credibility to BCC's pluralism efforts.
With the power of the Kurose name, in a few short months
we've exceeded our goal of $10,000. We're resolved to continue
fundraising. Thanks to Ruthann and all those who worked hard to make
this scholarship fund possible.
and the members of the
Professional Development Committee have worked all year to infuse
pluralism across all professional development activities from the
keynote address of Frank Wu to follow-on Courageous Conversations
faculty from across the campus participated in the workshop “Courageous
Teaching: Best Practices in Pluralism.” The goal was to provide a forum
to share teaching strategies related to the general education outcome in
cultural diversity. As a result of that workshop, assignments from the participants
are posted at http://www.bcc.ctc.edu/frc/pluralism/ (link removed). These faculty and many others
across the campus have created innovative curriculum to address the
increasing diversity of our students. We applaud them all.
(Left) The graduating class of the Nursing Assistant Program with their super
instructors: Linda Knodel, Anne Neethling, Lynne Phillips,
and Lorna Boulton. (Right) BCC business students consult with the Bellevue
Entrepreneur Center and minority-owned businesses.
Soto, Carol McKee, Terry Weston,
presented a short diversity program, "Ting: Listening to Many Voices," at
the League for Innovation Learning Conference held in Phoenix, Arizona from
March 14 to 16, 2003. Included in the presentation a brief summary of the
work of the BCC Diversity Caucus.
Starting at the
beginning of the year, we drafted and signed the Pluralism Compact.
unveiled a number of websites around Diversity Caucus and its events.
Diversity Caucus' influence was felt in the selection of On the Rez
for 2003-4 BCC Reads.
a host of other events and organizations including the History of African
American Leagues, Bruce Lee Seattle Exhibit, the Native American Student
Association's great Symposium: The Evolution of the
First Nations in the United States with Eloise Cobell,
Wing Luke Museum, Asian Counseling and
Resource Center, and the University of
Diversity Caucus events have been featured in
the press throughout the year:
'Myth of model minority' targeted
April 24, 2003 |
The Seattle Times
Bellevue film fest celebrates Native Americans
April 16, 2003 |
The Seattle Times
BCC interactive forum to focus on race issues
April 11, 2003 | King County
present first Native American Film Festival
April 11, 2003 | King County
Tackling diversity: BCC department will try to reflect community's ethnic
February 20, 2003 |
The Seattle Times
Diversity Caucus Co-Chair, for keeping everyone on task.
for fighting against racism wherever she goes.
Surendranath for strategy and guidance.
Lucy Macneil for unswerving support and heart.
Myra Van Vactor for the pivotal Diversity grant from
the Washington State Library.
Yabui, Diversity Caucus Co-Chair, for being Alan.
The highly productive, highly
energized working community that is the BCC Diversity Caucus owes an
incalculable debt to the boundless energy, pragmatic idealism, and visionary
strategic brilliance of Leslie Lum.
As members of the Diversity
Caucus, we want to extend our special thanks to Leslie for her outstanding
leadership in rejuvenating the entire BCC pluralism effort by building a
life-giving coalition of outside support and advocacy, so that we now no longer
labor like Sisyphus, exhausted by endless repetition and little meaningful
movement. ---Donna Meek