• Official Statement on Black Lives Matter by the MHCC District Board of Education

    The MHCC Board of Education affirms Black Lives Matter, stands with the victims of the recent tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, and commits itself to do the work necessary to end this centuries-long cycle in our country of systemic oppression, violence, and anti-Black racism.  The Board echoes President Skari, and we assert that racism and bigotry have no place at MHCC.  Mt. Hood is a place where all community members are welcomed to be part of our learning community. We acknowledge that the institution has significant work to do to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion, a central goal of the college’s strategic plan.  While many organizations are releasing statements, the MHCC Board has decided to instead release an action plan.

    The MHCC Board adopts the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) framework for embracing an equity agenda, and will create action plans for an equity-minded board and institution, monitor and evaluate college progress on equity goals, and annually evaluate board leadership, effectiveness and continuous improvement on diversity, equity & inclusion goals.

    Beginning this month, facilitation of professional learning around privilege, power, and difference will start with all members of the President’s Cabinet.  In July, the Board of Education will also undergo a similar professional learning series, but focused on higher-level leadership appropriate for the Board.  This facilitation will lead to action planning by all unit leaders to create a cogent college equity plan. This will be led and guided by our Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, who joined the college in February, but it will be expected that every member of our MHCC community will do the work of examining and acknowledging our implicit biases, of speaking out and becoming intolerant of racism, and enduring the many uncomfortable changes and moments that will be necessary to achieve the end of this systemic problem. To this end, our goal is that the Board’s professional learning will lead to a shared understanding for equity in decision-making, as the Board has a critical role in making decisions for the college.

    The Board, in partnership with the president, endorse the recommendations and counsel of the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, who has determined five broad areas of action needed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI):

    1. Leadership through adoption of a college wide equity lens linked to the college mission
    2. Review of Human Resources policy and practice to assess barriers to building a diverse and inclusive college
    3. Focus on equity-minded instructional practice
    4. Use quantitative and qualitative data to assess impact of DEI strategies and DEI goal attainment
    5. Amplification of student and community voices to be responsive and center their needs, specifically our students and communities of color.

    Implementing these points won’t happen overnight, and it is important that we take our time with this work, do it well, and revisit the plan often and throughout all we do. We will remain committed and steadfast to driving out implicit biases and procedures and systems that help keep racism and bigotry in place. As we go through this process, we also commit to providing regular updates and insight on our process. Together, we will continue to strive to a better, more equitable, diverse and inclusive future for MHCC and our communities.