SBCC to receive $300,000 EEO grant to disrupt institutional racism; foster equitable hiring

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office recently announced that Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) has received an Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Innovative Best Practices Grant of $299,995. The SBCC grant is specifically earmarked for programs that disrupt institutional racism and foster equitable hiring and belongingness on campus.

The SBCC endownment is one of a number of EEO IBP grants totalling $5,651,806 to be distributed among a total of 21 California Community college districts. The funding will aid institutions that pilot or create innovative DEIA-minded practices related to EEO in the categories of pre- and post-hiring interventions as well as diversity interventions.

“I was humbled and inspired to collaborate with an amazing group of coworkers who understand the importance of approaching our DEIA work with intentionality; everyone was focused on creating and sustaining an environment where new employees and those who have been here for awhile feel welcomed as a part of this community and inspired to pay it forward and build lasting cultural change,” said SBCC Interim Vice President of Human Resources Deneatrice Lewis.

The funding will support innovative programs to provide SBCC students with the necessary skills for jobs of the future (medical, science and CTE areas), and increase the interest of all students — particularly students of color — in STEM fields. The grant will also assist in creating structures that aim to support students at a younger age to further explore non-traditional areas of study.

“As a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), proactively and collectively, I am committed to hiring individuals who understand and value the cultural diversity of our student demographics,” said SBCC Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Maria Villagómez. “It is imperative that our students of color see themselves reflected in our faculty and staff. It sends them an invaluable message: you too can be a college professor one day, you belong in higher education and you have the right to pursue your dreams at SBCC. Most importantly, I think that a staff that is diverse and understands and values diversity is part of the infrastructure necessary to support our students holistically.

“I am looking forward to discussing collaboratively the development of interventions that can help us demonstrate our value and commitment to diversity in all its forms. I highly value diversity of thought, which belongs in higher education. Part of our college journey should include exposing our students to individuals who think and behave differently. This (grant) will help our students formulate their own ideas and opinions about the world we live in and the world they wish to create for themselves and future generations.”

For more information on the EEO grant click here.

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