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Chaparral 2022-2023: 31.4 Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor

by Joanna Parypinski

Welcome back to another semester at GCC! Though this is the first issue of Chaparral for spring, we’re already well into the semester, with thoughtful work happening across campus. This month’s issue is focused on a key element of this work: DEIA, or Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility.

This isn’t the only acronym for these terms you may have heard, though it’s the one we use here at GCC. You may have also seen the letters rearranged as IDEA or, for the Star Wars minded among us, JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion). Though it’s easy to dismiss such acronyms as buzzwords, these ideas are integral and vital components of our work.

There are numerous initiatives at GCC doing truly outstanding work in these areas—likely too many for me to name. Take a look and you’ll see what I mean:

As you can see, there are many great initiatives and a lot of support for our work in DEIA! And I’m sure there is much more being done that has flown under my radar, so I apologize if I’ve missed anything in the sampling above.

At the same time, all of this work is an ongoing process; we’re not “done” with it simply because we have all of these great initiatives. A personal anecdote comes to mind in light of this notion. I’ve been working on the POCR to bring one of my courses up to the right standards for placing it on the CVC exchange. I’m very proud of this course, and I’ve done a lot of work making it vibrant, engaging, and accessible to students. So when I got to the part of the OEI rubric on Accessibility, I figured I was in great shape! After all, I use the accessibility checker on my pages when I construct them in Canvas, right?

Despite everything that was working well in the course, I was floored to discover that there was still quite a bit more I could do to make my course 100% accessible; the accessibility report found things the individual page accessibility checker had missed, and there were other tips for accessibility I discovered as well, beyond what is identified by the checkers. This was an eye-opening experience reminding me that while the strides we have already taken should be acknowledged and celebrated, it is the strides we can still take that will bring us even closer to a place in which all students, faculty, and staff are fully supported and included. And those are some strides I am eager to take.

In the interest of these ongoing strides, check out what we have in store for you this month:

  • “The Union Is All of Us” in Faculty United
  • A Senate Update on DEIA Committee efforts and plans
  • An in-person See’s Candies fundraiser in Classified Council Notes
  • Putting the D, E, I, and A into practice at Garfield
  • Climate emergency mobilization, social justice, and healthcare updates in Adjunct Junction
  • Creating a culture of inclusion in CSEA Connection
  • The importance of DEIA in fitness and OUR Wellness offerings
  • An accreditation update
  • A spotlight on governance committees
  • Articles on healing and pedagogy in the move toward equity
  • Building Bridges across campus
  • A spotlight on remarkable women in the ancestry of GCC employees for Women in History Month
  • And, of course, your milestones and what you’ve been reading!

I hope these articles invigorate and inspire you as we continue to take steps toward making GCC a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible institution for all.

Happy reading,

Joanna Parypinski
Chaparral Editor-in-Chief

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