BC Continues to Engage in Social Issues

Curtis Michaud

News Editor

Broward College and its administration forms the Advisory Council for the Advancement of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ACADEI) to fight racial equity inside and outside of the classroom.

The Council was created after a series of deaths by police officers around the nation that created major uproar with enormous protests and looting of businesses.

Deaths like George Floyd in Minnesota, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, and many other African Americans inspired Professors Rudy Jean Bart and Michelle Jackson to form the ACADEI.

“George Floyd’s death issued a loud and urgent call for change,” Bart said. “It amplified the injustices we have been experiencing all along and signaled that enough is enough.”

In a year with the coronavirus pandemic has truly impacted our daily lives as an institution, BC recognizes the need to assess society and its fellow staff can affect change towards racial equity.

Since the council was recently formed, coronavirus hasn’t affected their weekly meetings with its members compared to other organizations.

“COVID has not negatively impacted us since we were just recently formed.  Due to the technological capabilities we have been able to meet and begin the strategizing process,” Bart said.

Bart and Jackson who teach History and English respectively for the college are also the co-chairman for the council.

Bart who is especially passionate in his position as co-chairman takes his role very personally as he shows concerns of the social injustice society continues to reveal. Also, being an African American professor, Bart continues to engage in these social issues for the college.

“I am very much aware that all of the Black men that were killed while unarmed had something in common.  They were all somebody’s son,” Bart continued. “ I cannot control the actions of others, but I do believe that if we improve our society, the actions of others will also improve.”

As co-chairmen Bart and Jackson hope to provide a significant change in Broward College and challenge the systematic inequalities that reside in our communities and in education.

“Like Professor Jean Bart, I see our job as two-fold. Support and affirm members of the council in their efforts to create sustainable change, Jackson said. “To ensure that we execute the sustainable change we hope to create. We are here to assist in affecting equitable change throughout the College. 

ACADEI hopes to work with Broward College’s active engagement in matters of social justice that continue to affect us even more recently with the shooting of Jacob Black in Wisconsin, who was shot seven times in the back from a police officer.

“It is no secret that African Americans have been the victims of violent crimes and racial injustices throughout history, and we have been fighting against these injustices for years,” Jackson said. “We are committed to becoming champions of positive transformation within the communities we serve.” 

This fall semester is a pivotal time period for the ACADEI as they try to accomplish some of the goals and objectives they have in mind.

The council’s main objective this fall semester is to examine and revise any institutional policies that cause inequalities among students and employees at the College.

“Our Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning (CTEL) has done a phenomenal job of providing us with such opportunities,” said Bart. “We want to ensure that the Black employees at the college, whether they be faculty, staff, or administrators, feel as though they work in an environment where they feel supported and appreciated.”

Currently, there are 20 members at the ACADEI, and the council expects to expand its members as the semester is underway.

If you are interested in joining the council, one may do so by joining one of the seven subcommittees the council has in place.

“In our quest to ensure that we are an institution of racial equity we have identified seven major themes and we have created a workgroup for each theme,” said Jackson.

These seven subcommittees reflect the seven major values the council holds dear which are: Accountability, Benchmark Best Practices, Establish Cultural Competence, Communication, Training & Education, Policy/Procedure/Practice and Community Outreach.

To be a part of or to get in contact with the co-chairmen about the ACADEI, please contact them via email at rjeanbar@broward.edu or me at mjackso3@broward.edu

Photo Courtesy of broward.edu