Improving Outcomes for African American and Latinx Students
The Time for Measurable Change is Now
The time is now to improve outcomes for our African American and Latinx students. Combined, these students make up at least 37.4% of our student population, yet are less likely to complete a degree than others at our colleges.
The entire Los Rios organization – including our Board of Trustees, Chancellor and College Presidents, and faculty and classified leadership – is committed to making real and measurable change on behalf of our students.
Key Documents and Resources
- Los Rios Board of Trustees Resolution: Affirming our Commitment to Student Success for Black and African American Students
- Los Rios Board of Trustees: Supporting Transformative Change Action Plan
- American River College's Institutional Equity Plan
- Cosumnes River College's We Won't Fall Campaign
- Sacramento City College's City Ways Campaign
- Latest Los Rios Enrollment Report
- California Community Colleges Vision for Success
- Biographies for Lasana Hotep and Dr. Cynthia Olivo Biography
Though the equity work and the conversation about closing historic opportunity gaps is not new, the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and far too many others have ignited a renewed urgency to accelerate this work.
The following is a timeline of some of the recent Los Rios activities in support of this effort.
Digital Equity Workgroup is Established
Digital Equity Workgroup is established in response to urgent and critical technology needs associated with move to remote operations. Workgroup includes a broad range of college and district representation.
First CARES Funds Distribution
The first direct distribution of CARES funds to Los Rios students based on student need defined through an equity lens (including resources for undocumented students from alternate funding source).
African American Advisory Group Established
Chancellor King establishes an informal advisory group with African American administrators for ongoing dialogue on a variety of issues, including inclusive hiring practices and how to best address the needs of African American students.
Auto-Drops for Nonpayment Paused
All auto-drops for nonpayment temporarily are paused, as part of efforts to reduce financial barriers for our neediest students in the midst of the pandemic.
Los Rios Police Department announces a series of major reforms aligned with Campaign Zero, a national leader in the movement to end police violence.
Board Resolution Affirming Commitment
Los Rios Board of Trustees approves Resolution: Affirming our Commitment to Student Success for Black and African American Students.
2.6 GPA Requirement Implementation
Districtwide implementation of 2.6 GPA for placement in college-level English courses at all four Los Rios colleges, a move intended to get students of color in particular into college-level courses – and on a path to completion – quicker.
Work Begins with Lasana Hotep and Dr. Cynthia Olivo
Work begins with Lasana Hotep and Dr. Cynthia Olivo to help facilitate our commitment to improving outcomes for African American and Latinx students. This investment comes in the midst of massive budget uncertainty caused by the global pandemic, indicating the urgency and prioritization of the work.
"How to Be an Antiracist" Book Study
College and district administrative leadership teams come together on a multi-week book study of Ibram X. Kendi's landmark book, "How to Be an Antiracist." The book study helps to create a shared vision and language for the critical work underway.
Second Distribution of CARES Funds
Second direct distribution of CARES funds to Los Rios students based on student need defined through an equity lens (including resources for undocumented students from alternate funding source).
District Academic Senate Retreat
Lasana Hotep and Dr. Cynthia Olivo participate in District Academic Senate (DAS) Retreat.
All four Los Rios Colleges share ambitious goals to improve outcomes for African American and Latinx students at Fall Convocation.
Districtwide Equity Town Hall
Districtwide Equity Town Hall discussion is facilitated by Lasana Hotep and Dr. Cynthia Olivo.
Lasana Hotep and Dr. Cynthia Olivo participate in discussions with members of the Los Rios Board of Trustees .
Common Goals Established
All four Los Rios Colleges, led by the college Presidents and Chancellor King, establish common goals and strategies to address the historic equity gaps of African American and Latinx students at a Board of Trustees Study Session.
SCC Executive Planning
Lasana Hotep participates in Sacramento City College Executive Planning Session.
Supporting Transformative Change Action Plan
Los Rios Board of Trustees adopts "Supporting Transformative Change Action Plan," a statement of the Board's commitment to improving outcomes for African American and Latinx students with specific policy-related deliverables.
ARC Executive Planning
Dr. Cynthia Olivo participates in American River College Executive Planning Session.
CRC and FLC Executive Planning
Lasana Hotep participates in Cosumnes River College Executive Planning Session, while Dr. Cynthia Olivo participates in Folsom Lake College Executive Planning Session.
District Research Council Planning
Lasana Hotep and Dr. Cynthia Olivo participate in District Research Council Planning Session.
Kickoff for College Futures Grant
Lasana Hotep and Dr. Cynthia Olivo participate in kickoff for College Futures grant implementation project.
District Equity Champions Discussion
Districtwide discussion with Lasana Hotep, Dr. Cynthia Olivo, and college and district equity "champions."
Classified Senate Planning
Lasana Hotep and Dr. Cynthia Olivo participate in Classified Senate Planning Session.
Spring Convocation Planning
Lasana Hotep and Dr. Cynthia Olivo participate in planning session with Convocation leads from all four colleges.
LRCFT Contract Includes Equity Self-Reflection Component
Los Rios Board of Trustees approves new contract between Los Rios and the Los Rios Colleges Federation of Teachers (LRCFT). For the first time, the new contract includes an "Equity Self-Reflection" component for faculty.
American River College
- Summer Social Justice Series Part 1: What is Activism on July 9, 2020
- Summer Social Justice Series Part 2: How to be Anti-Racist on July 16, 2020
- Summer Social Justice Series Part 3: Cultivating Critical Hope on July 23, 2020
- Weekly Communi-Tea Tuesdays, September through November 2020
- Labels and Identity Workshop on September 16, 2020
- History of Redlining, Fair Housing Act, and Post-FHA Consequences on September 29
- Breonna Taylor #SAYHERNAME on October 2, 2020
- Gender Identity and Pronouns Workshop on October 15
- Undocumented Student Events in October and November 2020
- Intersex 101 on October 26
- Black Student and Student of Color Support Groups in December 2020
Cosumnes River College
- Urgent Campus Conversation Part I on June 1, 2020
- Urgent Campus Conversation Part II: Addressing Systemic Racism on June 15, 2020
- Disruption is Our Strength: Beyond "Inclusion" and "Diversity" in Our Canons of Knowledge by Jose Alfaro on August 20, 2020
- Breonna Taylor #SayHerName on October 2, 2020
- We Won’t Fall Campaign – Urgent and Immediate Plan to Address Structural Racism in a Time of Pandemic on November 4, 2020
Folsom Lake College
- Safe Space Healing Circle for Students and Employees of Color on June 3, 2020
- Safe Space Healing Circle for Black/African-American Students and Employees on June 4, 2020
- Campus-Wide Dialogue on Anti-Racism and Allyship on June 4, 2020
- Safe Space Healing Circle for Black/African-American Students on June 11, 2020
- Flex Workshop: Addressing Racial Equity and Justice: FLC's Commitment to Close Equity Gaps and Cultivate a Culture of Anti-racism on August 19, 2020
- Flex Workshop: Double Pandemic: Racism in a Time of COVID in the Classroom on August 21, 2020
- FLC Convocation: Transforming the College: Improving the Success of our Students of Color on August 21, 2020
- Equity Center 3-Tier Equity Welcome Events on September 24, 2020
- College-Wide Book Read Discussion: "How to Be an Antiracist", starting September 16, 2020
- Virtual Visit with Dr. Frank Harris III (continuation of Spring 2020 Convocation visit) on October 1 and October 2, 2020
- Implicit Bias Training and Discussion on October 15, 2020
- Instructional Equity in Action Dialogue for Instructional Faculty, October 8 through October 29, 2020
- "We Are All Educators" Mandatory Equity Training for Classified, October 8 through October 29, 2020
- Mid-Semester Update – Addressing Racial Equity and Justice on November 9, 2020
Sacramento City College
- Student Healing Circle on June 3, 2020
- Black Student Discussion on June 8, 2020
- Black Student Conversation: Our Community Resources on June 15, 2020
- Your Voice, Your Power, How to be an Ally for Change on June 16, 2020
- A Call to Action to the ASHE Community, Healing Through Action on June 22, 2020
- Breonna Taylor #SAYHERNAME on October 2, 2020
- Queendom on October 29, 2020
College Data Dashboards
Note: To view some of these dashboards, you must access the dashboard via the Los Rios internal network – whether by a direct connection on a work station or via VPN and remote desktop. You must also sign in with your Los Rios ID and password.
Background and Framework Resources
Board Leadership (available at Critical Higher Education Governance Collaborative: Publications)
Dr. Raquel Rall
Evidence Based Decision-Making for Underserved Student Populations
Dr. J. Luke Wood and Dr. Frank Harris
Creating a Culture of Inquiry Around Equity and Student Success
Dr. Keith Witham and Dr. Estela Bensimon
Image provided by Dr. Estela Bensimon, Center for Urban Education.
Lasana O. Hotep is an antiracist and antisexist educator, strategic thought partner, and equity-advancing executive coach with a commitment to dismantling institutional inequities and creating transformative solutions for people and organizations. As the founder and Lead Consultant of Hotep Consultants, he leverages his culturally sustaining historical analysis with practices rooted in racial justice to address issues of equity within the workplace.
Lasana currently serves as the Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to these roles, he is a writer, highly sought after lecturer, and established education professional.
Dr. Cynthia Olivo has been a professional in higher education since 1995. For 23 years she has served in capacities including Dean, Associate Vice President and Vice President. This is her 16th year as an administrator including seven years at the university level and nine years in community college.
Dr. Olivo serves as the Vice President of Student Services at Pasadena City College (PCC), serving 30,000 diverse students including 51% Latino, 27% Asian and Pacific Islander, 6% African American, 17% White, and 43% first generation college students, with 65% meeting low income guidelines.
Her leadership qualities include leading innovation to improve student success, consensus building among stakeholder groups to advance student equity and creating an engaging, inclusive environment to foster change in our practices while emphasizing cultural competence.