During Convention 2017, we began collectively engaging with members to imagine racial justice in the field of student affairs. Over 170 people engaged in three large group conversations and also individually with governing board members, association leadership, and each other.  This page is an evolving collection of information gathered during all of our meetings and a space for members to engage in continuing conversations.  In an attempt to remain transparent, all ideas are laid out here.  While we may not be able to completely implement all of these ideas, they may continue to stir up new ideas, provide inspiration on individual campuses, and will keep us all accountable.  When similar ideas were shared, only one example was noted below and an asterisk* is used to denote that multiple people provided this feedback.

During these sessions, we asked four questions:

1. What is racial justice? This was an individual reflective question. 2. When you imagine racial justice in student affairs, what do you imagine? 3. Who should be involved in constructing a plan for working toward racial justice? 4. How do you believe this should play out in the association?  What are ideas for programs, scholarship, opportunities, and modes of support, policy papers or advocacy that move us closer to achieving racial justice?  This might include new programs, modification of current programs, professional/personal/career development opportunities, specific research ideas, theorizing, etc.  

If you would like to provide more thoughts around these questions, you can submit an email here.

  • Continuing Questions from Membership
  • How do we ensure this doesn't become a checklist of things to do, but live in discomfort?
  • We must review our strategic plan, mission, and values. Is this part of the strategic plan? It is merely a one year priority? How do we continue through organizational leadership change?
  • Who are we as an association?
  • How do we dismantle systems of white supremacy?
  • How do we include K-12?
  • How are we including Minority Serving Institutions?*
  • How do we partner for resources?
  • How does racial justice shift organization structures on campus?
  • How do we maintain sustainability across presidents?
  • How do we offer education on this?
  • How do we offer this year round?
  • Where are faculty members and SSAOs on this?
  • When you imagine racial justice in student affairs, what do you imagine?
  • Identifying and owning  and eradicating our systemic pattersn of racial oppression.
  • Learning how to use dialogues in racial justice work.
  • Ally work
  • Racial healing- how do we acknowledge and support colleagues/students in their trauma. 
  • Challening hierarchical structures that disproportionately affect people based on race.*
  • Bystander intervention within student affars; help us challenge each other
  • Discomfort*
  • Moving beyond awareness
  • Authenticity*
  • Can't be siloed
  • Tie compensation/raises to competency in racial justice
  • Openness and willingness to learn and listen
  • Recognizing the value difference makes
  • Having common knowledge about race
  • Action
  • Systems work
  • Must start with our own association and leadership*
  • Must look at who is acknowledged as leaders in our organization. Must look at who is absent from our organization.* 
  • Economic justice in rates charged to attend our conference, membership fees, etc. 
  • Move our grad programs to include other disciplines so that our scholarship becomes more interdisciplinary.
  • Equity*
  • Throwing our grad programs upside down.  Addressing the white supremacy in our literature, teaching, research.*
  • This should be intentional and grounded in equity work and how people is managed and redistributive of resources/decision-making.
  • If we truly want a movement, we must demantle (work to) white supremacy. Even the idea of hierachy is potentially a problem.*
  • Work toward resolving longstanding national issues as a root cause of ongoing problems and not just a symptom.*
  • Needs to not just be Black/white.*
  • Naming whiteness without centering white people.*
  • Utilize the expertise in the field, not just the people involved.*
  • Start with intentionality. Why was there a hip hop group at opening?*
  • Not tokenizing folks*
  • Stop microaggressions
  • Have a plan
  • Amends and reparation, particularly for Native land use*
  • Anti-racism work*
  • Elimination of race-based barriers
  • Naming it in as many spaces as possible
  • Relational work
  • Folx need to own their own lenses
  • Student activism
  • More support across identities
  • Writing literature to teach our students
  • Reconsidering prestige of institutions and traditional pathways into "student affairs"
  • Intentional when selecting student leaders. Inclusion so that folks see representatives. Supporting faculty/staff of color too.
  • Voices, lives, and knowledge among POC must be acknowledged and highlighted
  • Challenge, address, etc on behalf of our students.
  • SURJ - Show Up for Racial Justice. White people show up to understand their whiteness before taking over spaces and messing up the great work that people of color are already doing.
  • Equity
  • Being proactive about increasing inclusivity. A surge for racial justice! White folks seeking ways to increase our competencies and show up for racial justice.
  • Providing a space for us to own our individual baggage and when we harm others unintentionally (from ignorance/lack of awareness); allowing folks to heal and change behavior in a safe space.
  • Honest exploration of the ways in which whiteness is pervasive on every interaction
  • Moving beyond "BooBoo, we get it, you start sentences with saying you're an ally" to "Now do something with us."
  • All voices at the table are present, engaged, valued and sustained.
  • Manifest this in your budget and time and professional development. Don't expect certain offices to "handle it."
  • Issues of violence and discrimination/harm are addressed on campuses, regionally, and nationally through I/O / Governing Board quickly to demonstrate 'this is not ok'
  • Salary equity. Equitable representation on our staff. Open access to leadership positions. No one would say "it's not my work.
  • Equity of resources. Acknowledging the differences of the starting point
  • Spaces to discuss white privilege
  • Decolonization and Unlearning--stop basing our work on cannon that is rooted in whiteness and colonization
  • How ACPA advocates for racial justice work to be done on campuses - education, training, accountability, support for self-care, networking resources, etc.
  • Centering professionals of color & SOC as presenters and experience-bringers in this work
  • Diversity work not being limited to addressing differences, but also systems of power and privilege
  • Working with HBCUs and HSIs to provide additional resources
  • Integrated. Everyone knowing and understanding white supremacy. Understanding the history of higher ed and what our institutions are doing now to address past injustices.
  • Student leaders who use reflective action to challenge racism
  • Community-wide work to end white supremacy
  • Where this work becomes foregrounded in staff recruitment, student programs from orientation to capstone experiences, where our theory and research foregrounds race and we stop using code words like best practice or high impact practice so irresponsibly that we do not ask for who. Essentially, what are we including people in before we start doing inclusion work?
  • Race doesn't necessarily disappear, but opportunity, pathways, and success are distributed equitably
  • All voices being heard.
  • The Faculty and Staff and Administrators are racially  representative of the students we serve
  • Racial justice can be seen throughout convention and pro development 365
  • Conversations about the importance of intersectionality among race and elevating the unheard voices
  • Students, staff, and faculty standing up for one another in moments of bias but also being cognizant of there actions
  • Spaces that represent our communities
  • Open access to leadership positions
  • EVERYONE doing this work--especially White (and White passing) people
  • Centering of those most marginalized by current systems (trans women of color)
  • Supportive community
  • Leadership identities match identities of constituents
  • A critical lens applied to literature
  • White practitioners working to recognize white supremacy and working to decolonize higher education, student affairs, and the world.
  • Move past naming
  • educational institutions mutually designed to meet the needs of students from all racial backgrounds (paraphrasing Bell)
  • Challenging the preconceived notions of the "white norm" that dictates how men of color are supposed to act but white men are seen as normal
  • how are we setting up our graduate students and new professionals for success while continuing to challenge mid-level folks and SSAOs?
  • Being honest about the racist histories of our institutions
  • More questions than answers
  • How to operationalize complex concepts into practice without having everyone on board
  • Recognizing race, ethnicity, and cultural behaviors as they relate to structures that oppress.
  • Allies who speak up and have those uncomfortable conversations when needed
  • Theory to practice.
  • Focus on how we all show up to support everyone everyday
  • Having space for multiple identities
  • #CiteASista
  • Minimizing the career bottle neck for PoC. Decreasing Nepotism & minimizing over representation of PoC in Res Life & Diversity & under rep elsewhere.
  • Directions about how to dialogue
  • Being at the financial aid "table"
  • We post all positions
  • Redefining allyship to go beyond badges, certificates, and to action
  • An uphill battle. Too often the voices heard in educating people on this topic are not those directly affected.
  • Dealing in our truths
  • School to prison pipeline- who aren't we engaging with?
  • Social justuce without being "everything to everyone"
  • Challenging heterogendered institutions and "professionalism"
  • Feeling uncomfortable
  • Listening to perspectives
  • Being the voice for those who feel they cannot speak
  • Educating students about their privileges
  • Having genuine conversations among everyone, followed by action
  • White allyship
  • Justice is a lens for ALL aspects of our work, not an add on interest area
  • Racial justice work being a priority beyond cultural groups
  • The privilege of having a campus life experience
  • Awareness about racial injustices in our society
  • Community
  • Intersectional approaches beyond D&I offices/staff
  • Lead by example
  • Support of undocumented students, faculty and staff
  • Focus on intersectionality and inviting lots of voices into the conversation.
  • Engaging staff of all levels with issues of imperialism and the pervasive and structural impacts it has on campus
  • Strong representation in senior administration
  • Intense work but fulfilling
  • Everyone having a voice on campus about race. Not just the token experts
  • Justice across all levels - local, campus, national, system
  • Leaning in
  • Sharing successes of those who experience(d) racial oppression
  • Opposite of stratification
  • A habit of thinking about ALL. Who is present: who is not. What's the historical aspect.
  • Concern for the well-being of professionals of color.
  • Embracing and loving folks
  • Listen to lived experience
  • Not a higher ed problem but bigger
  • Everyone's work- not just multicultural offices

Who should be involved in constructing a plan for working toward racial justice?

  • Everybody* 
  • People of color need to be at the table and we need to be mindful of what sharing our stories much cost emotionally.
  • Black Lives Matter
  • NAACP*
  • Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Social Justice Training Institute
  • Creating Change
  • Highlander Center in TN
  • NCORE
  • MAASU
  • KASCON
  • ITASA
  • USHLI
  • HACU
  • Black Solidarity Conference
  • Summit of Ohio Latinx
  • GLCA Students of Color Leadership Conference
  • 100 Black Men
  • Urban League
  • NCSL
  • CAIR
  • JACL
  • CCES (California Conference of Equity and Justice)- They work with students in high school; however they have amazing workships and campus that I think would translate easily to college students/staff/faculty. My thought is that of the battle is creating interactive space. 
  • SSAOs
  • Faculty
  • AAC&U
  • Jamie Washington
  • Mental health organizations
  • Houston
  • "Dear Nice White Ladies"
  • Soulforce
  • ACLU, NCORE, Witnessing Whiteness, Black Lives Matter, GLSEN, GLAAD, Political figures, SPLC, NAACP, Muslim Advocates, National Education offices, AACU, ASH - essentially, scholarship and folks who can turn scholarship into practice
  • Finding ways to transcend institutional types (private, public, lei, hbcu, etc.)
  • Connect state chapters with local organizations doing racial justice work
  • Non SA faculty!
  • The people who aren't in this room. The happy whole folks.
  • Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Human Resource departments
  • ACUHO-I and regionals
  • Yancy Gulley
  • All levels, all identities. People with power need to give away power
  • Sylvia Rivera Law Project
  • Young professionals
  • National Institute for Transformation and Equity
  • AFA
  • Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities
  • Those who are not always "knowledge holders" - students, grad students, young SApros. How can the "experts" bring these voices in?
  • BYP100
  • Regional accrediting bodies
  • Greek Life
  • Multiracial Americans of Southern California
  • Sylvia Rivera Law Project
  • the commissions and coalitions who have been doing the work on this for years
  • NASPA, ASHE, AAC&U
  • Southerners On New Ground (SONG)
  • Student Government Association
  • #AseISlayAmen
  • Macalester College folks!
  • White people
  • ASHE - research
  • complacent "woke" white people who need to be challenged and who need to take some of the emotional labor off of POC.
  • This is the one time white folks need to center themselves.
  • Don't put all of the burden on PoC
  • Actions that can be taken by the entire structure equally - grads, new, mid, upper, faculty, etc.
  • Executive administrators (decision-makers), not JUST SJ warriors
  • people who have been left out our higher education
  • governing board and foundation board
  • Everyone equally... not neocolonial. Not only PoC.
  • Every single person who works with us, students, or faculty
  • Past presidents of ACPA to add their voice as to why this work is essential for the growth of our association.
  • Minority Serving Institutions -Representatives
  • Presidents and senior student affairs officers.
  • Houston city partnerships/ Convention city partnershipsAACU - connect to the curricular
  • AAC&U, Jamie Washington Training Institute, Mental Health Organizations
  • Those who typically are not seen as holding knowledge
  • US Department of Education
  • A tiered system could be nice ... ways to increase competencies at different levels to meet people where they are.
  • ACLU
  • Church partners - Methodist and other church partners who are doing this work and founders of our institutions
  • Us, as we leave here and go home, to sustain it between now and Houston. A timeline and guideposts/milestones would help.
  • Campus compact
  • Planning group, should be self select, then working groups created by demonstrated commitment
  • Student activists and pushing our institutions to engage on these topics.
  • Also look to see what ACPA has already done in the past - what do we know? What can our institutional memory tell us?
  • Race Forward, https://www.raceforward.org/about
  • Be careful when working with other orgs that we don't put work on the shoulders of others when collaborating.
  • A diverse committee of students, faculty, staff, and community members that allows for multiple views in various roles to create a well rounded plan that
  • NCBI. National refugee association? BLM.
  • Intentional recruitment of members and leaders from our different types of institutions on the planning team/committee. (HBCU's, LatinX serving, Asian American & Native American Pacific Islander serving, etc)
  • the word co-constructed comes to mind
  • This is complicated. People of color live it and their voices should be honored. But, practically, white voices are important to reach others in powerful
  • National Coalition Building Institue
  • Black and brown voices do the talking. White folx listen.
  • First we need to dismantle systems and then rebuild who should be "at the table"
  • Coalitions. Commissions. General members. NCORE. National LGBTQ Task Force. SJTI. All involved at different points. Campuses and leaders who are creating new possibilities
  • Persons who have demonstrated their commitment to social justice education. Perhaps social workers, counselors, etc.
  • We can't do this without community partners--especially the ones who have stayed doing this work
  • CMA
  • #TransResistance
  • Students!

How do you believe this should play out in the association?

  • Offer larger pre-convention programs and time in the space
  • Toolkits to bring to campuses
  • Art spaces/Racial healing spaces
  • Make curriculum in graduate level programs to require courses around multicultural competency
  • Weave racial justice into all the coalitions
  • Know the difference between racial liberalism and racial justice
  • Create a "5-things" handout/newsletter about topics (similar to NASPA)
  • We have good examples of processes and structures that can live into our values without reinforcing white racism. Erik Olin Wright has focused on alternative  "real utopias" that can guide the process. 
  • This needs to first play out in the organization by dismantling the structure and organiztion of the governing board. 
  • At convention there should be programs around racial justice work in each educational block, keynote speaker, and open and closing session and NextGen.
  • I am concerned about ACPA making a grassroots effort toward racial justice that is not supported by our field as a whole because NASPA is not involved. Our profession remains fragmented and I worry if we don't fix this damage we won't be successful.* 
  • We've started credentialing with ComplianceU, would like to see more of these. 
  • Work with NAFSA
  • Think about programs internationally such as a professional international educator exchange
  • Engagement with other organizations so they don't hold back ACPA through lack of buy-in
  • The ongoing critique of the association, accountability to the members, infrastructure, and how the resources are dedicated. 
  • Bi-weekly emails/newsletters
  • Have to energize the membership
  • Change the structure of convention so it does not seem like board meetings
  • At least 1 webinar from each commission should focus on racial justice
  • Ongoing professional development/prompts to consider/reflections/articles/brown bag sessions
  • Reaching out to members not at the conference
  • Scholarships and grants for studying/researching those areas
  • Work for white people around white supremacy, racism, and whiteness*
  • Centering professionals of color as presenters 
  • Supporting white members to understand that they have a race too and we all need to consider our place in society as racialized beings*
  • Common read
  • Placement conferences that are more localized, accessible
  • Work with foundation to help offset cost of convention
  • Call on all of its membership to take one day to discus as a collective, at individual institutions
  • Faculty Fellows based in anti-racist work
  • Leverage competencies
  • Utilize platforms we currently have to do work
  • Online module- features different departments and offices, educational and developmental learning, features and FAQ section of questions that we are afraid to ask
  • Build it into NextGen, Ambassadors, Video on Demand
  • It starts with self-work
  • Undocumented ally training
  • SGA leal services
  • CAS Standards
  • Student activism support
  • Racial justice training for SSAOs
  • Caucus groups at convention
  • Diverse faculty support
  • Implicit Bias Training
  • This cannot be an "add on" - perhaps look at everything we currently do and insist that there be an angle of justice.  (ie: typical program review for conference asks if the program is non-biased/non-discriminatory.  Should ask, how it's advancing this topic.  Embedding the work.  Proactive address racial justice in program proposals and training seminars (x% would need to address the topic).  Create introspective learning opportunities for practitioners.  Regular dialogue opportunities.  Be careful not to "credential" some because of their perceived knowledge or experience. Certificate programs not dissimilar to Compliance U. 
  • Involve coalitions but don't make them the "educators."
  • Use a compliance u model for racial justice competency work
  • Critically examining current ACPA practices that are counter to racial justice and removing those
  • Outcome driven programming
  • A statement on social media and this Facebook page that encompasses so many of our colleagues
  • Provide FREE educational resources to support racial justice for member institutions
  • Funds towards racial justice research
  • Scholarships for entry level professionals for schools with limited funding, including HBCUs!
  • Make connections to all functional areas
  • Not resisting activism at acpa
  • Less well intentioned YT people on governing board and more accomplices
  • Providing effective education at all levels of and btw all levels of professionals
  • there needs to be really practical steps re: moving toward racial justice for everyday members to start with - the idea of racial justice is so big it can be
  • Reconstruct ACPA to be a RJ / SJ organization
  • have drive in and a Higher Ed Live series
  • Offer and encourage witnessing whiteness training. This won't capture everyone, but maybe move some forward in their progress.
  • Embedded throughout in every group as our core focus not rely on a separate group
  • Outlining ways and/or developing formats/programs for institutions that lack resources to support students/staff with regard to racial justice
  • Cut the overbureaucratic inaccessible ACPA governance structure
  • Recommending common curriculum around racial justice for all graduate education programs to engage in
  • Racial justice skill building institute.
  • Continued publications that challenge folks at institutions, for example pathways to trans inclusion shook a lot of administrators at my institution. Foc
  • aligning the work of the governing board, the foundation board, and all the association activities around the imperative
  • ACPA foundation campaign for racial justice work
  • Targeted funding for grad and new professionals of color to attend ACPA events.
  • Equal representation in racial justice advocates not just PoC
  • Providing good resources (scholarship, resources, ted talks, etc.) For participants to engage in before coming to conference.
  • Start in the graduate programs. Too many professionals coming out and don't have the basic language, action or methods to be leaders. Man higher ed progr
  • Increase scholarship.
  • In program proposal, ask how topic connects to addressing, "Is it racialized?"
  • Unpacking and having tough conversations about whiteness as privilege
  • Engage with community organizations like legislators, law enforcement etc.
  • Training and ability to have open conversations with folks, especially as it relates to social media and student affairs professionals Facebook.
  • Resources on supporting student activism
  • Utilizing Intergroup dialogue pedagogy as a community of practice pre, post and during convention
  • restructure #ACPA18 around this imperative
  • Institute on Racial Justice during convention
  • Identity collectives
  • Opening up access to racial justice to the everyday person to partner with Acpa
  • Organizations that do Bridge programs, posse, upward bound, project success and admissions and financial aid
  • Teach members (and beyond) about intergroup dialogue
  • Looking at taking systemic action steps
  • There needs to be a scholarship/ research/ practical application of racial justice track of convention programs.
  • Divestment
  • Mentoring programs
  • Action items
  • Infuse racial justice into things we are already doing.
  • Going beyond conversations
  • Offer more resources to assess campus climate
  • AAC&U-like rubrics
  • Hbcu sessions and seminars
  • Look at ACPA fee structure for institutional type, avoid ups and downs in commitment throughout the year/Convention
  • Support for two year schools and MSIs
  • Training for professionals in leadership and on the Convention Planning Team.
  • Racial healing spaces, advocacy work around Convention city or locally, naming racial justice in spaces regularly, toolkit, infuse it in all sessions
  • Curriculum support for faculty to change their programs that are training
  • Shift all professional writing in about campus and jcsd to include how scholarship is impacted by racial justice lens.
  • Grant writing to support new, innovation programming
  • Racial Justice training for SSAOs that connects self work, intervention ideas, and assessment metrics
  • Caucus groups at convention
  • Advocate for GIH at every price point
  • Provide resources for folks of color who are experiencing racial justice burnout
  • We prefer the plenary sessions re: racial justice did not have competing sessions. Center it.
  • Create and advertise small, measurable action steps that everyone can take (i.e. where can we donate our hotel soap?)
  • We have vendors in the ballroom - what if we also had a showcase of racial justice groups/orgs?
  • Our program submissions are due September 1. So summer is a good time to push for an educational, intentional conversation in advance of the submission deadline.
  • Advocacy is critical. Colleges and universities cannot be in silos - we need to fight for racial justice in society at large
  • We should try to get ahead of the game. Instead of a toolkit after the election, for example, let's be thinking ahead and planning ahead for our members.
  • Partnering with associations that do great work with racial justice to be present and to present at conventions (workshops, coffee talk, etc)
  • Let's not have it be abstract. Bring in partners from local agencies to create practical solutions that we can take back to our communities. Higher ed is not a bubble!
  • We have alternative organizing structures like Occupy, participatory democratic movements, Wikipedia, Porto Alegre, etc. Use those models for process.
  • If we have tons of programs on this topic in Houston, great, but how does that spread? We as professionals need to take that out... or bring city/state leaders to join us?
  • Community organizations for where we go, we must be in community with them
  • Continual monitoring and reconstruction of the partners to whom power has been acceded.
  • Every conference session should somehow be rooted in this - they currently are not
  • Whiteness studies is a growing and relevant field that has lots of potential to make change at ACPA
  • Strategic look at budgets...follow the money
  • Convention shell must be entirely different.
  • Convention on boarding for new professionals
  • Work with marginalized institutions
  • Tie entity group funding to this imperative