The New Normal: Don’t Leave Equity Behind [video]

min read

As higher education navigates the new normal, it is important to include equity in our strategies going forward.

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Nani Jackins Park
Founding Principal

One of the conversations I've had with so many educators in the last couple weeks is this anxiety that given, again, like the cumulative effects and the trauma that we are collectively experiencing because of this COVID environment and the radical, it has changed. There's a joke that March was 300 years long. There's a reality that it seems like it because the devastation and the radical change that it has presented to how we understand higher education to be, it is that dramatic. And so a few weeks ago, I had lots of conversations with folks about just the mourning of what they feared was going to be like these radical losses in the progress towards equity. Because Maslow's always told us that it's really hard to deal with what is considered the higher level functions when your safety and basic security needs are really in jeopardy. And so we had already started to have conversations and people were saying well, yeah and it's going to be really hard to attend to equity when we just have to make sure that we can provide classes and we are so engaged in making the translation and the transition from in-person to online and yeah, we will think about those equity considerations when we have time. That's terrifying because those are the same dynamics that have gotten us where we are. And so the fear that if we are not absolutely stubborn and diligent and determined, that we aren't gonna make those same mistakes over and over and over again, that as we negotiate from crisis to survival to really getting in to so what is our new normal gonna look like? If we are not centering equitable student success, we're gonna be put back decades and decades. And we're already trying to retrofit. So that's my message is this isn't the time for us to say, okay as soon as we get our stuff together, and see how appropriate I'm being with that word? This isn't where we wait to get our stuff together. It's that this is the stuff that we have to get together. We can't regress.