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Messages from the CECW

April 22, 2021 Message from the CECW

The Urgency of Now: Transformative Resistance in Higher Education

4th Annual Center for Equity and Cultural Wealth Institute

June 3 and June 4, 2021

The past year has illuminated inequities that have long existed in higher education, but it has also presented a unique opportunity. We have proven we can dramatically and immediately transform how we work and commit to equity and racial justice at the same time. If we want to transform higher education into an equitable system that centers and amplifies the cultural wealth of our diverse communities, the time is now.

At the center of a just transformation are two of the foundational beliefs of “transformative resistance”:  a commitment to both social justice and to challenging inequitable structures and practices.  Join us as we explore practical approaches and strategies to identify and reform inequitable, oppressive structures in higher education by centering equity and our cultural wealth.  The two-day virtual experience will be framed by our featured speaker, Tara Yosso, who created the theory of community cultural wealth. Yosso’s work has shifted our thinking, so we recognize the unique strengths and assets communities of color bring to our work.

Register here to reserve your virtual spot on June 3 and June 4:


Registration Fee:  The registration fee for participants external to Bunker Hill Community College is $100 for both days. The fee may be adjusted or waived if presents a hardship.  Please contact Lee Santos Silva at lssilva@bhcc.edu to request waivers or adjustments. Group discounts are also available for groups of 5, 10, or 15 or more members from one organization. See the registration form for more information.

The registration fee includes access to all 2021 Institute sessions and performances (which will be recorded) for up to three months after the Institute and a certificate of participation.

Call for Proposals

Educators, Students, Educational support staff, Administrators, Scholars, Artists, and Activists are invited to submit proposals for sessions that address one or more of the 2021 CECW Institute Outcomes below. Institute presenters will receive an honorarium and certificate for their work. Proposals are due May 13, 2021.  You can find more information and submit a proposal here:



2021 CECW Institute Outcomes:

Understand Community Cultural Wealth
Recognize and integrate forms of community cultural capital into our work
Define transformative resistance
Identify and Share examples of transformative resistance at work
Recognize and apply strategies that integrate transformative resistance
Strategize ways to reform inequitable oppressive structures in higher education



June 5, 2020 Message from the CECW

Dear BHCC Community,

Our Reality

Last week we witnessed the brutal murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.  Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident, rather it is but one example of a pattern of racism, abuse of power, and violence against black bodies that has become all too familiar.  We have also witnessed protests erupting in cities across the country, including our own, as community members stand in solidarity to condemn this violence and demand justice.
Many of us are experiencing waves of emotion, including: rage, sadness, grief, frustration, fear, and exhaustion. Many of us have been here before.  In addition to George Floyd, consider the most recent examples of senseless killings of black people, including Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Aubrey, and these black Americans https://mappingpoliceviolence.org killed by law enforcement.
Racism is not new; racially-motivated violence is horrifically commonplace in the United States and around the world, and has been for centuries.That reality is as enraging as the state-initiated murder we witnessed of George Floyd.

Our Core Beliefs

The CECW is committed to equity, social and racial justice and inclusion. Our work over the last decade has been directed at fostering inclusive educational spaces that reflect and value our diversity and cultural wealth and that produce equitable outcomes for all members of our community.   This work makes us a better, stronger BHCC. 
Nothing threatens equity more than tolerating or staying silent in the face of inequality and inequity.  And what is more inequitable than some agents of the state abusing their power and using their authority to target and kill its own citizens?  
As educators, we must also face the reality that the U.S. education system has long functioned to reproduce and perpetuate systemic inequities and injustice.  It is our duty to stand up to and eradicate the systemic racism that pervades our institution and our profession.  

Where do we go from here?

The CECW openly and unequivocally condemns the inhumane and racist actions of the Minneapolis police, and we call our community of educators and learners—all of us—to take action against systemic and institutional racism.
We are taking action in the following ways:
  1. Listen. We will re-open our drop-in sessions as a space for colleagues to voice their frustrations, rage, sadness, or to just be silent, listen and reflect in community. 
  2. Engage our community. We will create a dialogue series that will feature ‘brave spaces’ for active reflection and processing that we might be too afraid, too polite, or too unprepared to have in other contexts.  
  3. Amplify your voices. We will use the collective power of the Center to highlight your narratives and questions.
  4. Collaborate. We will develop and strengthen partnerships on campus and in the community to align our work and resources in support of combating systemic and institutional racism.  
  5. Advocate. We will advocate that our core mission and values drive decisions, policies, procedures, structures and practices, and we will hold the institution and each other accountable for dismantling systemic racism.

What Can I Do? 

Below are some steps you can take to stand in solidarity with our black colleagues, students, and communities and support the work ahead:
  1. Listen.You can commit to actively listen to black and brown voices with an open mind and empathy.  
  2. Reflect.  You can engage in ongoing reflection on racial injustice and systemic racism as they impact our lives, our work and our workplace.
  3. Critically examine. You can fully engage in the ongoing work of examining and deconstructing your own biases and stereotypes. 
  4. Grow. You can change your beliefs, attitudes and behaviors, and support and challenge your colleagues, family and friends to do the same.
  5. Repeat. You can commit to the iterative, ongoing process of discovery, growth and transformation for racial justice by continually reengaging steps 1 through 4. 
Perhaps at no other point in BHCC’s 47-year history has our struggle to be our best selves been compounded by such trying circumstances.  However, we’ve demonstrated over the last few months that when faced with a crisis, we work collaboratively to problem solve and support each other and live up to our aspirational language.  Make no mistake:  the continued systemic violence against Black people is a crisis for us all. And the CECW is firmly committed to drawing upon our collective strengths and resources to address this crisis and create the BHCC we envision ourselves to be.  
Center for Equity and Wealth
Lee Santos Silva, Director
Steering Committee
Aurora Bautista
Meghan Callaghan
Lori Catallozzi
Nuri Chandler-Smith
Liya Escalera
Evans Erilus
Paul Kasili
Carmen Magana
Tahmina Matubbar
Emmanuela Maurice
Carlos Maynard
Jacqueline McMillion-Williams
Jenne Powers
Maria Puente
Isaias Sarmiento
Latasha Sarpy
Arlene Vallie
Kevin Wery
Karen Woo
Miguel Zepeda Torres