ACC Equity Council

Austin Community College District’s Equity Council collaborates with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as well as the Campus Center for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) to fulfill the district’s mission of building capacity to achieve equity in student enrollment, persistence, and completion as well as equity in the hiring and staffing of ACC employees. The Equity Council will work collaboratively with the ACC Employee Associations and serve as an advisory group to the Chancellor and the Chancellor’s Cabinet.

ACC Mission

The Austin Community College District promotes student success and community development by providing affordable access, through traditional and distance learning modes, to higher education and workforce training, including appropriate applied baccalaureate degrees, in its service area.

Equity Vision

The Austin Community College District is a welcoming and inclusive environment for diverse students, staff, faculty, administrators, alumni, and community members where race, ethnicity, gender, and other human differences are no longer predictors of success.

Membership

To encourage widespread participation by faculty and staff across the district on the Equity Council (EC) and its sub-committees, all memberships will be chosen from individual applications. Applications will be reviewed by the founding Co-Chairs of the EC, the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer and the Director of the Campus Center for Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT). They will make recommendations to the Chancellor for his approval. The Equity Council will include 24 members with the following roles and membership structure:

  • Chair Positions
      • As noted above, the initial Co-Chairs of the Equity Council (EC) will be the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, and the Director of the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus enter.
      • After the completion of the EC’s first four years of operations, future co-chairs will be appointed by the Chancellor at the end of each academic year, with the new chair beginning the following academic year. The EC may nominate and recommend co-chair candidates to the Chancellor and each candidate must have served at least one year on the committee.
  • Member Representation based on College constituencies
      • Designated positions will represent different college constituencies. These positions will be selected through an application process, review and recommendation by the EC Co-Chairs, and appointment by the Chancellor.
        • Student Affairs (2)
        • Instructional Administration (1)
        • Full-time faculty (2)
        • Adjunct faculty (1)
        • Administrative/Classified (1) 
        • Professional/Technical (1) 

      Initially, all EC members will serve two-year terms. Beginning in year three, the EC may decide to initiate staggered opportunities to allow greater opportunities for others to serve.

  • Member Representation based on College offices
      • Additional positions are designated to represent college offices based on the purpose and function of the office. These positions will be selected through an application process, review and recommendation by the EC Co-Chairs, and appointment by the Chancellor. Subject to department and EC approval, these individuals may serve for a longer time period to provide a core stability of experience and expertise.
        • Communications & Marketing (1) 
        • Student Affairs Administrator (1) 
        • Teaching & Learning Excellence Division (1) 
        • Student Support Services (1) 
        • Human Resources (1)
        • Student Government (1)
        • African-American Cultural Center or BRASS Program (1) 
        • Latinex/ Latin-American Studies Center (El Centro) or Ascender (1) 
        • Peace and Conflict Studies or Asian American Cultural Center (1) 
        • ACC LGBT Equity Team (1)
  • At-Large Positions
      • Three positions are designated for individuals from systematically non-dominant populations representing either staff, faculty, or community. These positions will be selected through an application process, review and recommendation by the EC Co-Chairs, and appointment by the Chancellor..

Application Process

  • The application form will be posted on the websites of both the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion as well as the TRHT Center.
  • Applications must be approved by employee’s supervisor. Employees who express interest in participation must seek approval from their supervisor to ensure that EC participation aligns with current workload and consideration individual professional development plans.
  • Applications will be reviewed by the EC Co-Chairs who will make recommendations to the Chancellor for approval.

Apply

Subcommittees

Subcommittees are aligned with priorities and goals identified in the 2017-2021 ACC Strategic Plan. Each subcommittee chair will be recommended by the Co-Chairs of the Equity Council subject to Chancellor approval. Subcommittee members will be selected from the application process described above for Equity Council members. The Equity Council Co-Chairs will identify and recruit possible external subcommittee members as appropriate.

  • Executive Leadership Subcommittee
      • Will work to promote a culture of coaching in helping ACC exceed the designated Equity metrics and milestones. 
      • Will work to help ACC exceed the institutional expectations for driving systemic changes in ACC diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Equity Planning & Assessment Subcommittee
      • Will work with the College to collect and publicize data to promote evidence-based decision-making in helping ACC exceed designated Equity metrics and milestones. 
      • Will provide feedback based on the assessment of data into the College’s processes of strategic planning and budgeting to drive systemic changes in diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Community Engagement Subcommittee
      • Will work to connect the community and the college for student success in helping ACC exceed the designated Equity metrics and milestones.
      • Will work to help ACC exceed institutional expectations regarding college engagement with underserved communities for driving systemic changes in diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Cultural Proficiency Subcommittee
      • Will work to promote understanding of the impact of dominant cultural norms in helping ACC exceed the designated Equity metrics and milestones.
      • Will work to help ACC exceed institutional expectations regarding cultural proficiency of all employees in driving systemic changes in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
      • We will work with all campus stakeholders to ensure there are monthly celebrations, programs, and/or activities that provide continuous cultural competency development of students, staff, and faculty.
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching & Student Support Subcommittee
      • Will work with the leadership and teams of Instruction and Student Affairs to promote high expectations for students, and the creation of relational, rigorous, relevant, and respectful interactions among students, faculty, and staff. 
      • Will work to help ACC exceed institutional expectations regarding culturally responsive teaching and student support in driving systemic changes in diversity, equity and inclusion.

Committee Member Expectations/Commitment

  • Membership terms are limited with the option for renewal. The Equity Council year coincides with the ACC academic year September thru August. 
  • Members are expected to commit at least 3-6 hours per month to the Equity Council and/or subcommittee work. The Council will meet once a month, with subcommittee meetings, and events as needed.
  • Members are expected to attend Equity Council and/or subcommittee meetings and be prepared to engage. Meetings will be held on the second Wednesday of each month from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. 
  • Members are expected to join a subcommittee and meet with their subcommittee outside of Equity Council meetings at least once monthly. Subcommittee chairs report back to the Equity Council, and share information from the Equity Council with their subcommittee members. 
  • Members are expected to participate and attend Equity Council sponsored events, trainings, and retreats whenever possible. 
  • Members are expected to have completed or complete at least one level of anti-racism training.

Guidelines for Interaction

  • Be present and respect the space.
  • Share your experiences, use “I” statements.
  • Listen intently to learn and grow.
  • Assess your safety and use your discernment.
  • The stories of others are theirs to share, maintain confidentially and trust among the group.
  • Step up, step back.
  • If you experience yourself making judgements, ask yourself from where did those feelings arise.
  • Consider and address the impact of actions rather than focusing on your intentions.
  • Consider your privilege.
  • Acknowledge pain or offense in the moment using “ouch” and have the option to discuss it or not at that time.
  • Confront, critique, and challenge your discomfort.

Budget

The Equity Council will not engage in direct programming, nor duplicate equity initiatives already addressed by other areas of the College. However, for innovative projects, workshops, and activities that promote excellence in equity, inclusion, and diversity not addressed or limited for consideration by other existing campus resources, the Equity Council will consider financial assistance for grant proposals in the amount of $500 - $2,500.

Review of applications will be contingent upon availability of funds, and/or the Chancellor’s discretion of continuing, limiting, or eliminating the funding based upon institutional financial constraints. Approximately 50% of the available budget will be designated for faculty and staff college and/or community initiatives; and 50% will be dedicated for student initiatives. The initial budget, if approved by the Administration of ACC, for the first year Equity Council mini- grant program is $40,000.

Applications for Equity Council mini-grants will be posted on both the websites for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as well as the TRHT Center. The mini-grant applications will first be screened by the co-chairs of the Equity Council and later scored by members of the Equity Council.

The Equity Council Co-Chairs will review the merits of the proposals, confer with the appropriate Student Affairs, Instructional Division, or Administrative Leadership to rule out possible duplication of funding consideration from another source, and recommend consideration of financial support for the proposal to the members of the Equity Council. The timelines/calendar for Equity Council grants will be posted on the appropriate website. Applications will be reviewed on the following criteria:

    1. It is the applicant’s responsibility to write a convincing application with supporting arguments and evidence that show the project or event as strengthening ACC’s long- term commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. And also, be consistent with mission and core values of ACC as expressed in the Strategic Plan.

    2. The proposed event or project should have a strong conceptual framework based upon rubrics from the ACC Academic Master Plan, and the Chancellor’s Equity metrics and milestones. Those rubrics include alignment with Strategic Plan, how many students will be impacted, projected results (e.g., increases in students’ access, persistence, completion, transfer, employment, learning, cultural proficiency, evidence of viability, and innovation). The proposed event or project should be clearly defined with easily identified starting and ending points and specific activities.

    3. The proposed event or project should have specific goals, and measurable outcomes.

    4. The proposed event or project should have a plan for assessing impact.

    5. The proposed event or project should have a broad impact upon the ACC community or target a historically under-represented or under-served group at ACC. It cannot be limited to in-class presentations. Grant applicants are encouraged to seek broad visibility for the event or project.

    6. A final report is required and it will appear on the Equity Council website. That report is due no later than three months after the funded activity. Failure to submit a final report will disqualify applicants from receiving future Faculty, Staff, or Student Equity Council Mini- Grants.

Successful applicants are expected to include the ACC emblem on all promotional material in accordance with College guidelines and to reference that the event/project was funded by a Faculty/Staff/Student Equity Council Mini-Grant.

Examples including but not limited to purposes mini-grants can address:

  • Guest speakers on a diversity topic.
  • Special program(s) intended to increase respect for diversity and individual differences.
  • Equipment or other material items used to support under-represented or under-served groups.
  • Projects to enhance and support the recruitment, retention, and development of a diverse full-time faculty and staff.
  • Events that expand the inclusion of issues related to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability or attributes, religious or ethical values system, national origin, and political beliefs.