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Session Title

1119: Praxis: A practical institute on creating sustainable, data driven, systemic change to build an equitable institution

Session Times

Tuesday, May 28: 9:00-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-5:30 p.m.


This session should particularly benefit administrators, faculty, and staff who are engaged in institutional equity planning, student success, diversity and inclusion, institutional research, professional development, or CA AB 705 implementation, as well as anyone interested in planning long-term, collaborative, sustainable systemic change for equity and inclusion at their institution. Intermediate and advanced practitioners can benefit from this session. 

American River College established a shared vision to transform the future of all students and our community through inclusive, equitable educational experiences. The challenge is that the current design of the college is not able to support this vision. The structure and culture of the institution often creates a disjointed and unwelcoming experience for the students whose success we want and need to support. To accomplish our shared vision and transform our community, we needed to redesign American River College.

Our redesign has shifted our governance structure, and student success and equity efforts have moved towards data-driven, race-conscious institutional outcomes. Our presentation team will walk you through our successes and failures in centering equity in institutional priorities and our long-game perspective in creating an intersectional and equity conscious culture. We will work with you through small group activities in order for you to adapt these strategies and actions to your institution.  

We understand that there is no perfect plan, and each institution is different. We are still in process towards our goals. Our working assumption is that the more we share and brainstorm, the better we become at finding ways to create more equitable institutions.

In this session, our team of students, staff, faculty, administrators, and consultants will address how we approached the redesign, created the Equity Action Institute (Faculty Professional Development Initiative), and how we are currently creating our Institutional Equity Plan. As we focus on these outcomes, we will integrate how we use data to support equity and drive our decision making processes. We will discuss transparent and stealth leadership strategies, community building and recognizing stakeholders and constituent groups, student roles in creating institutional change, and the role of faculty and professional development.  We will also address funding, political pitfalls and successes, the long game, and self-care.  We will provide handouts and worksheets so you can brainstorm with us and take ideas and plans back with you to your institution.


Liz Cassanos, PhD, Psychologist

Pamela Chao, MA, Professor and Chair/Coordinator, Sociology/Equity Action Institute, American River College

Lisa  Aguilera Lawrenson, PhD, Vice-President, Instruction American River College

Joshua Moon Johnson, EdD, Dean of Students, Equity Programs and Pathways, American River College

Adam Karp, PhD, Dean, Planning, Research, and Technology, American River College

Jennifer Laflam, MA, Professor, English, Reading, American River College