Equity and Accessibility
Changing the Equity Conversation
Committing to Equity
At Bunker HIll Community College (BHCC), we have a long history of rooting our policies and practices in equity, inclusivity, and respect for the diverse cultures represented in our community. In recent years, I’ve seen a renewed dedication and commitment to those values, both in action and in language.
Developing and implementing equity-minded practices and institutional policy reform are among our primary objectives at the Center for Equity and Cultural Wealth (CECW). Because our work touches all members of our college community, from students to administrators, the CECW serves as a vehicle for promoting diversity, inclusion, and equity at a fundamental level.
Whenever you see a policy or procedure that negatively impacts one group of campus members differently than another, that isn’t a problem with the group, the problem is an inequitable policy or procedure. The CECW makes inequitable policies and practices visible and challenges and supports the college community to dismantle systems of inequity to create a more inclusive and equitable learning environment where all students, and college members can thrive.
The CECW engages active participation and ongoing support from our BHCC community members and partner organizations, including local colleges and universities, community-based organizations, K-12 educators and cultural institutions. The feedback and insight of faculty, staff, students and partners informs and shapes our programs. Local and national quantitative and qualitative research serve as the cornerstone of strategic plans, concrete action steps, and toolkits and specific action items our community members can utilize and share.
We also offer a variety of opportunities for continued engagement and discussion to advance equity, including:
- Hosting an annual Center for Equity and Cultural Wealth Institute
- Creating spaces for conversation forums, focus groups, workshops, and panel discussions
- Providing curricular and co-curricular integration trainings for faculty and administrative staff
- Supporting equity-focused professional development programs and coaching seminars
Recognizing and Valuing our Cultural Wealth
BHCC is proud to represent one of the most racially and ethnically diverse campus populations in the United States. We have been nationally-recognized for our culturally-inclusive learning environments and our continuing work in promoting accessibility scholarships, equity-minded practices, and advocacy for Boston’s underserved populations.
For over a decade, the CECW has worked to reshape the equity narrative employed by higher education institutions in Boston and elsewhere by utilizing asset-based language and practice. This means shifting the focus from the things our students lack to the tremendous skills, strengths and knowledge they contribute to our communities, our campus, and our learning.
In acknowledging all students as valuable members of our community, BHCC draws on the scholarship of Tara Yosso and others to support and build structures that enable students and community members to leverage their linguistic, familial, social, aspirational, navigational, and resistance capital to achieve success and advance equity. Specifically, the cultural wealth learners of color bring to BHCC grounds much of our curricular and co-curricular redesign to promote equitable outcomes. Changing our conversations to recognize and center the resources and knowledge our diverse communities bring to the college ultimately results in learning environments that are rooted in accessibility and success.
Amplifying Diverse Voices
“The CECW creates spaces for honest and challenging discussions of equity, accessibility, and racial justice to move us collectively towards true equity in all areas of the College”.
One of the CECW’s primary goals is to listen to and respond to community members who raise questions about our policies, practices, and pedagogy. Our annual CECW Institute, Drop-In sessions, and professional development trainings all provide spaces for community members to share their concerns and engage critically in forums that are supportive, informative, and timely. The CECW then amplifies these voices by drawing attention to issues raised and channeling concerns to decision makers at the College. Collectively, with broad, college-wide input, we are reshaping conversations about diversity and shifting institutional paradigms to center and prioritize equity and cultural wealth.
The Center for Equity and Cultural Wealth
BHCC’s Center for Equity and Cultural Wealth (CECW) draws on the college’s nationally-recognized work to design culturally-inclusive learning environments that value the strengths of our diverse students, faculty, staff, and local communities. The CECW, led by Lee Santos Silva, Director of the CECW, engages the campus in culturally relevant scholarship, practice, and advocacy focused on achieving equitable outcomes for all students.