ACPA Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice and Decolonization
ACPA will direct resources, energy, and time toward addressing racial justice in student affairs and higher education around the world. Our lens is intersectional, intentional, and directed. The focus is on reducing the oppression of communities of color at the intersections of their identities, knowing that all oppressions are linked and that the work is ongoing. Our goal is to provide leading research and scholarship; tools for personal, professional, and career development; and innovative praxis opportunities for members that will actively inform and reshape higher education. We move toward this goal knowing that the roles and daily tasks of our jobs are important to the functioning of colleges and universities. We also know that racial justice and the tasks of our jobs do not sit as dichotomous poles. Racial justice is at our core; it underlies the work we each must do every day, in every way we can.
Thank you for learning more about the ACPA Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice and Decolonization. Through this page, we hope to keep members and other interested parties up-to-date regarding the planning and implementation of the Strategic Imperative. Our goal is to be transparent and engaged with our membership throughout the course of this process. If there is information you would like to access that is not available on this site, please contact Alex@acpa.nche.edu.
On November 17-21, 2016, the Governing Board, Assembly Leadership, and International Office gathered in Alexandria, VA to discuss a variety of issues related to mission, values, and the future of ACPA. Below we share the text from an email that past-President Donna Lee shared that best explains that gathering.
Update from ACPA President Donna A. Lee, 6 February 2017
"This past November I shared with you some highlights of the planning retreat in which the leaders of ACPA, including members of the Governing Board, Assembly, and International Office, gathered to reflect upon the mission that guides us, the things that matter most to us as leaders and educators, and the deep and meaningful ways that we impact student learning. We departed from that retreat inspired and energized, emboldened by our capacity to affect change in a world that has been impacted by ubiquitous change, turmoil, and pain. Our work as student affairs educators is transformative, thoughtful, leading, and catalytic; our commitment to equity, inclusion, and justice is even more present. This is a time for us to boldly move forward as a profession and as an Association. In order to move in this boldness, it is important that we intentionally and strategically direct our energies, time, and resources.
What became evident for us as we reflected on our way forward was the need to identify a strategic imperative for our Association. What most powerfully and compellingly emerged as this imperative was Racial Justice. This strategic imperative is an authentic demonstration of who we are as an Association. In conceptualizing racial justice, our lens is intersectional, intentional, and directed. The focus is on reducing the oppression of communities of color at the intersections of their identities knowing that all of our oppressions are linked and that the work is ongoing. Our goal is to provide leading research and scholarship; tools for personal, professional, and career development; and innovative praxis opportunities for our members that will actively inform and reshape higher education. We move toward this goal knowing that the roles and daily tasks of our jobs are vitally important to the functioning of our colleges and universities; and, we also know that racial justice and the tasks of our jobs do not exist as dichotomous poles. We believe racial justice is at our core; it underlies the work we each must do, everyday, in every way we can.
As we forge forward, authentic, committed, and transformational, it will take the collective gifts, skills, and voices that make up our Association. We will need each of you in this work. Over the coming months, there will be multiple and varied opportunities to provide feedback and input, ask questions, and help shape the work, our profession, our Association. We urge you to take the opportunity to engage in these conversations."
As such, a small working group of Governing Board members and Assembly Leaders continued the conversation and formed the collective imagining sessions as a first step to begin to gather information in order figure out who should be involved in the conversation for creating a plan to implement this strategic imperative. The first collective imagining sessions took place in Columbus, OH during ACPA Convention 2017.
Strategic Imperative Planning and Progress
We conceptualize the planning of the strategic imperative as expansive, inclusive, intersectional, and transparent. The intial working group that created the collective imagining sessions was made of Governing Board and Assembly Leaders and will be disbanded in its current form shortly after ACPA Convention 2017 in order to coalesce a new body that will ideally include ACPA members, faculty, staff, students (graduate and undergraduate), and community members and leaders. This website will be the place where those interested in the strategic imperative can receive updated information on the planning and progress. The team will be tasked with determining and recommending how the association moves forward with this strategic imperative. The team will also engage in education of members, implementation of programming, and assessment of the imperative.
- 16-21 November, 2016: Governing Board, Assembly Leaders, and International Office staff gathered in Alexandria, VA to create the Strategic Imperative on Racial Justice
- 28 November, 2016: President Donna Lee sent email to ACPA members about strategic imperative
- 6 February, 2017: President Donna Lee sent second email to ACPA members about strategic imperative
- 8 March, 2017: President Donna Lee sent third email to ACPA members about involvement in collective imagining sessions
- 26-28 March, 2017: Three collective imagining sessions were held at ACPA Convention 2017 in Columbus, OH. These sessions were advertised on CrowdCompass and in the printed program booklet, as well as sent via email on 8 March 2017.
- 30 March- 2 April 2017: Information from collective imagining sessions compiled and made public on this website.
- 19 April 2017: President Stephen Quaye, Past-President Donna Lee, Vice President Jamie Washington, and immediate past Director of Equity & Inclusion Dian Squire presented on HigherEd Live about the Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice and Decolonization. Watch the video.
Collective Imagining Sessions Feedback
Student Affairs Live: Racial Justice & Decolonization in Practice at ACPA | recorded 7 February 2018
ACPA-ASHE Presidential Symposium on Racial Justice in Higher Education | recorded 22 January 2018
Facebook Live Presentation & Discussion with Stephen Quaye and Cindi Love | recorded 31 October 2017
Higher Ed Live: ACPA's Racial Justice Strategic Imperative | recorded 19 April 2017