Student equity highlighted at City College Spring 2019 Convocation

Dr. Debra Crumpton addresses the crowd at the City College Spring 2019 Convocation. Photo by Niko Panagopoulos | Staff Photographer |

The beginning of a fresh semester is underway and as we enter into this new season, the weather isn’t the only thing that is changing around City College.

“A new day has come to Sac City College,” business professor Dr. Debra Crumpton told nearly 400 City College faculty, staff and administrators who met in the Performing Arts Center yesterday morning for the Spring 2019 Convocation.

After a tumultuous fall semester, City College administrators are banding together to help generate a lasting positive change on campus.

“It’s really been galvanizing this past semester in a really positive way,” said City College President Michael Gutierrez.

Keynote speaker Dr. Luke Wood, Associate Vice President of Faculty Diversity, Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer and Dean’s Distinguished Professor of Education at San Diego State University, gave a 90-minute lecture on how to foster racial equity in education.

“A rising tide does not lift all boats,”

said Wood in a closing statement, prodding administrators, faculty and staff to think outside the box and brainstorm ways to maximize success for all City College students.

“It’s about creating awareness, identifying what our perceptions are, potentially changing perceptions and knowing that this is step one,” Gutierrez said, “Our work with Dr. Wood is just step one. He will continue to be working with us this next year. It’s going to take time but its the commitment to it and knowing that it’s not a one-and-done.”

Crumpton moderated the town hall and panel discussion with a Q & A portion that followed the keynote address.

Gutierrez, City College president; Dr. Wood, keynote speaker; Dr. Khalid White, professor of ethnic studies/African-American studies at San Jose City College; Dr. Lisa Gunderson, registered clinical counselor in Canada and licensed psychologist in the state of California; Dr. Margarita Berta-Avila education professor at California State University, Sacramento; and Nzingha S. Dugas, program manager of African-American Female Excellence (AAFE) made up the panel.

Faculty and staff were given the opportunity to anonymously write in questions, concerns or comments to the panel and have them addressed.

In response to a question asked that touched on an individual being skeptical of getting involved to help make changes because that individual feels they are being blamed for the issue, Berta-Avila stated, “What is it at the core of what we are discussing that is hurting you right now? Don’t be reactionary, get to the core of that pain of feeling blamed and at fault.”

The ongoing discussion during convocation challenged faculty and staff to look inward, check their bias and get creative about ways to bring equity home to stay at City College. Crumpton invited everyone to exercise their agency and privilege.

The conversation around ways to increase equity at City College will continue. Administrators, faculty and staff plan to work collaboratively this year to bring a sweeping wave of positive change through City College.

“We are going only into the future,” Crumpton said in her closing speech. “We are going to learn the things that we need to learn by unlearning the stuff we need to unlearn.”


Originally published at

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