Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

BTC is committed to promoting and providing a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students. BTC appreciates and honors diversity, equity and inclusion.

BTC’s Strategic Plan includes the following values and goals:

Values: Create a supportive and inclusive community that results in a high level of student competence, professionalism, and success.

Goals: Create and maintain a welcoming campus that supports diversity, promotes a sense of community, provides an effective work and learning environment, and encourages respect for individuals.

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Equity Statement and Land Acknowledgment

Equity Statement

BTC seeks to create an educational experience that prepares all students to live as critical thinkers and engaged members of a global world. Our graduates will be prepared to enter their careers as leaders who honor the importance of diverse communities. BTC is dedicated to the ongoing training and education of our students and employees around topics of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

BTC is engaged in reducing institutional barriers and harm that students of historically underrepresented groups are experiencing daily. BTC is committed to supporting our Black, Indigenous and People of Color community (BIPOC) members and working to define, identify, and dismantle inequitable structures of power, privilege and oppression that have and continue to hinder the education of historically underrepresented peoples. 

Tribal Land Acknowledgment

For official college functions, following is a suggested tribal lands acknowledgement, tailored by location, to use on printed materials and in all opening remarks at public events.

In spoken word:

"Before we begin, I would like to acknowledge that we are here today within the usual and accustomed lands of the Lummi Nation and of the Nooksack Tribe of the Coast Salish peoples, and the original territory of the Samish Indian Tribe. Please join us in respect and for our indigenous neighbors, whose care and protection of the land and water continues to this day."

On printed materials:

Bellingham Technical College would like to acknowledge that our service area today is within the usual and accustomed lands of the Lhaq’temish or Xwlemi (Lummi) Nation, and of the Noxws’a’?aq (Nooksack) Tribe of the Coast Salish peoples, as well as the original territory of the sʔémǝš (Samish) Indian Tribe. Our respect and gratitude go to our indigenous neighbors, whose care and protection of the land and water continues to this day.

Why do we acknowledge the land? 

We acknowledge land to recognize the Indigenous stewards of the lands we reside on. Land acknowledgements are an important act of honoring Indigenous people who have been living and caring for these lands since time immemorial. It is vital that we know the history of the land and the Indigenous communities around us as the BTC community moves toward a more equitable future.

List of Local Tribes

Bellingham: Lummi Nation and the Nooksack Tribe

Anacortes: Samish Indian Nation and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community

Everett: Tulalip Tribes, the Snohomish, the Stillaguamish Tribe and the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe

Kitsap Peninsula: Suquamish Tribe and the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe

Olympic Peninsula: The Hoh Tribe, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, Makah Indian Tribe, Quileute Tribe, Quinault Indian Nation, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe and the Skokomish Tribe.

Seattle: Duwamish, Suquamish, Nisqually, Snoqualmie and Muckleshoot tribes

Resources:

Treaty of Point Elliott

"What About Those Promises?" A performance about the Treaty of Point Elliott 1855, Lummi Nation.

Ferndale Schools Lummi Land Acknowledgement Produced by Ferndale School District, Children of the Setting Sun, and the Lhaqtemish Foundation. 

  • BLACK LIVES MATTER

     

    Dear BTC Community Members,

    BTC stands with Black people. We recognize and acknowledge that Black Lives Matter, and that Black people have been targeted, brutalized and murdered through systematic racist violence. Trayvon Martin in Florida, Michael Brown in Missouri, Sandra Bland in Texas, Eric Garner in New York, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, George Floyd in Minnesota and now Rayshard Brooks in Georgia are just the latest names in a long list of names of Black Americans targeted over the past 400 years because of their race.

    At BTC we must strive towards the goal that every BTC employee and student has an equal opportunity for success. For this to happen, we also recognize that every BTC employee and student needs to be safe in their identity in our community and psychologically safe in their person in order to achieve their best outcomes. We have work to do to achieve that together.

    As BTC’s president, I ask that our campus community come together to rise to the challenge of examining ourselves and our structures for ways that we internalize and perpetuate racist ideas and systems. In addition, we will work to educate ourselves and our campus community in the ways that systemic oppression occurs, from microaggressions to overt racism.

    BTC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEIC) is a deliberative governance body that sets the diversity and equity agenda for the college and monitors its progress towards achieving its goals. DEIC also serves in an advocacy capacity to maintain consistency of major college diversity, equity and inclusion processes and procedures for employees and students.

    DEIC will be facilitating work with our Black employees and students to address bias, to support Black students in their studies by being aware that they may need flexibility and considerations to complete their course work due to the current violence and protests, and we will keep aware and honor that all students have different needs during this time, and to take extra time to communicate grading options.

    Resources available on our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion web page include Identity-Based Virtual Lounges for students across the 34 community and technical colleges; Governor Inslee’s Juneteenth Proclamation; and the Washington Association of Community and Technical Colleges Board of Presidents Resolution Denouncing Violence against Black Students, Faculty, Staff and Communities and Resolution Denouncing Anti-Asian Discrimination Caused by COVID-19 Pandemic in support of Asian American and Pacific Islander Students, Faculty, Staff and Communities.

    I recommend reading "White Fragility", by Robin DeAngelo. "So You Want to Talk About Race", by Ijeoma Oluo—a graduate of Western Washington University—is a guide to how we can begin and carry on the conversation about race in America. The Bellingham Racial History Timeline documents the history of racism here in Bellingham.

    At BTC we will work to do a better job at standing in solidarity with the Black community.

    Sincerely,

    Kimberly Perry (she, her, hers)
    BTC President

     

    Washington Association of Community and Technical Colleges Board of Presidents Resolution

    Denouncing Violence against Blacks in America In support of Black Students, Faculty, Staff, and Communities

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DEI Programming

BTC Current Events 

 Note: Locations are not available if the program is not an event open to the public. 

January:

4th Thursday 12-1 DEI Module 1 (New Employees or those who did not get the certificate last year and have not seen this yet)

8th Monday 12-1DEI and Superbowl Commercials 2023

15th Monday MLK Day Event (more to come)

26th Friday 12-1 Common Read (Ch 3-4)

February:

5th Monday 12-1 DEI: If BTC Students where Characters from Encanto

7th Wednesday 11-12 Common Read (Ch3-4) ZOOM

13th Tuesday 12-1 DEI Module (New Employees or those who did not get the certificate last year and have not seen this yet)

29th Thursday 9-10 Common Read (Ch 3-4) Hybrid Building Hybrid

March:

11th Monday 12-1 DEI and Is Cancel Culture Helpful or Hurtful

21st Thursday 12-1 DEI Module 3 (New Employees or those who did not get the certificate last year and have not seen this yet)

DEI Fund 

Applications for the DEI Fund is closed for this academic year and will re-open in the fall!

What is the Bellingham Technical College (BTC) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Fund?

The BTC DEI Fund has been created to provide funding access to the campus-wide community to advance, support, and/or create engaged community around DEI work. Examples of items that the BTC DEI Fund could support include speaker fees, student/employee participation in training/professional development, student program development, and affinity group materials.

Please note that this is not a scholarship program for individual student tuition or basic needs. Those who need assistance financially for items such as rent, food, or books can find more information by visiting the Student Financial Resources page.

How do I apply for funding? 

Apply using the DEI Fund Proposal form

Proposals must advance, support, and/or create engaged DEI with the goal of bridging the equity gap of historically underrepresented populations in education on the BTC campus. In alignment with RCW 28B.10.145 and RCW 28B.10.149, DEI encourages proposals that advance racial justice and support members of our Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) communities.

BTC community members looking to receive funding must apply for funding at least 30 days in advance of needed funding. The proposal will be reviewed and approved by the DEI Committee at their bimonthly meetings.

The DEI Committee will prioritize the following proposals:

  • Proposals that help to create connection and commitment to working with Lummi and/or Nooksack nations.
  • Proposals that feature collaboration between students and employees, meaning both are involved in the decision-making and planning process.
  • Proposals that engage with local community partners.
  • New projects.
  • Larger impact projects.
  • Projects coming from participatory governance committees. 

How much funding can someone apply for?

There is no set amount that someone can apply for. Funds are limited, and the DEI committee would like to distribute funds to as many DEI projects/programs as possible. The suggested amount is up to $2,000.

Who is eligible for funding?

All current BTC employees and students can apply for funding.

Assessment/Effectiveness 

An end-of the year assessment describing the impact and effectiveness of the use of these funds will be required by all recipients. The DEI Committee will compile these assessments including the funding amount and will submit to PLT. 

 

BTC Employee DEI Certificate 

DEI Training Certificate Requirements 

Certificate requirements must be completed between Fall – Summer Quarter. Completion requires Module 1-3 and attendance to two other optional DEI hosted/approved events, for a total of five trainings. Once completed you will fill out a certificate request stating the dates of your trainings and events, and answer assessment questions. Utilize the DEI Tracking Form to help participants keep track their work and apply for the certificate when they have completed requirements. 

Training Outline

Module 1: Unlearning 

Learning outcomes:  

  • Participants will examine perceptions of self and people different from themselves.  
  • Participants will identify areas where they would like to grow in DEI work. 
  • Participants will recognize how socialization has created structures of power, privilege, and oppression.  
Module 2: Re-learning 

Module 2 will build on Module 1 by asking participants to take what they learned about socialization and applying it to anti-bias work and how we move into the Cycle of Liberation. This training asks participants to delve into intent, impact, and consequence. Participants will consider what macro and micro aggressions are and how they impact the education and work environment. Participants will consider how language is an integral part of DEI work.  

Learning Outcomes: 

  • Develop an understanding of cultural humility and how intent, impact and consequence functions in relation to bias.  
  • Recognize macro and micro aggressions and the everyday lives of people.
  • Use tools given in section to better handle conflict that arises around issues of difference. 
Module 3: Allyship and Solidarity 

Module 3 will build on both unlearning and relearning practices to move toward developing concepts of allyship and solidarity. This session will develop an understanding of how to enact allyship and solidarity with an emphasis on continued learning.  

Learning outcomes:  

  • Determine the place of allyship and solidarity in building a DEI based community. 
  • Utilizing skills to enact allyship and solidarity when confronted with issues of power, privilege, and oppression. 
  • Recognize the need for continued learning as a part of cultural humility, allyship, and solidarity. 

DEI Programming (certificate requires attendance at two within the academic year)

(Student DEI Certificate Training Program will be forthcoming)

 

Employee Affinity Groups (EAG) 

What is an Employee Affinity Group? Benefits and Uses 

BTC’s vibrant employee community helps make our institution a welcoming and inviting place. Employee Affinity Groups (EAGs) are employee recognized groups of people with similar backgrounds or interests that strengthen BTC’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and promote belonging. EAGs are a valuable resource to provide opportunities for connection, networking, peer mentoring, and personal and professional development. EAGs support BTC's strategic themes and goals such as strengthening the college's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness as well as cultivating an environment that contributes to employee engagement and satisfaction. Additionally, EAGs can help attract and retain highly qualified candidates for employment and may provide helpful feedback to managers and administrators.  EAGs increase a sense of belonging amongst employees at BTC and the collective insights and ideas that arise from EAGs can help promote an inclusive, equity-minded campus community culture. 

Procedures for forming an Employee Affinity Group 

Employee Affinity Groups are employee formed and led. Membership and participation in such groups is voluntary. Employee Affinity Groups must: 

  • Be formed around a shared characteristic or common interest that can positively affect professional development, employee retention and/or strengthen BTC’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Examples include (but are not limited to):  
  • a) national origin, b) race, c) gender, d) sexual orientation, e) gender identity, f) being a working parent, g) veteran status, or h) caring for aging family members while working. 
  • Be open to all college non-student employees and non-student volunteers. As required by state, federal law, and college policy, EAGs may not discriminate based on race or ethnicity, creed, color, national origin, citizenship, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, disability, genetic information, or veteran status. 
  • Adhere to all college policies. 
  • Comply with the Executive Ethics Act, by not using college resources to support or oppose any ballot proposition or candidate running for or elected to a public office. Additionally, EAGs may not be formed to promote or benefit any private company, organization, or individual business. 

Employee Affinity Group Application

Apply to start an Employee Affinity Group using our EAG Application From 
  • Employees identify at least two employees to serve as the organizers of the Employee Affinity Group and complete an EAG application. 
  • The application will be reviewed by the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEI Committee) for preliminary approval using the following criteria.

EAG Evaluation Rubric 

Proposed EAGs must have a “Yes” in boxes 2 and 5 plus at least one other “Yes” in one of the other boxes to be moved forward to the College President for a final approval. 

 

1. Does the proposed EAG support and strengthen BTC’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion? 

Yes

Maybe

No

2. Will the proposed EAG be formed around aspects of shared identity and/or experience that are aligned with Federal and WA State protected classes?    

Yes

No

3. Does the proposed EAG help support retention of historically/systemically underrepresented communities? 

Yes

Maybe

No

4. Does the proposed EAG support the DEI Equity Statement? 

Yes

Maybe

No

5. Are there 2 employee organizers? 

 

Yes

No

 

  • The College President formally approves all EAGs. 
    • If approved, the group will be welcomed as an Employee Affinity Group and be bound by the BTC policies and use of BTC resources as outlined below. 
    • If the EAG is denied, the employee(s) who submitted the application will be notified by email and provided feedback about how the decision was reached. The employee can accept the denial, revise the application based on the provided feedback and resubmit, or follow the college’s general grievance and appeal process. 

 

  • If approved employees must then:  
  • Attend an orientation meeting organized by the DEI Office that will review best practices and facilitation training. 
  • Create a charter document that articulates how the group’s formation aligns with the purpose of Employee Affinity Groups at BTC.

DEI Archived Events from 22-23 Academic Year: 

“Now is the time” MLK Day Special Event: Monday, January 16, 2023, Western Washington University (Viking Commons/Performing Arts Center)

BTC collaborated with partners in our community, in higher education and PK-12 to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a “day on” starting with a full breakfast and community building around the theme, “Now is the Time.” We heard from local social justice advocates alongside keynote speaker, LaTosha Brown, an award-winning organizer, philanthropic consultant, political strategist, jazz singer and co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund.

Please visit Western Washington University's webpage where a recording of the event will be made available.

Keeping the Fire Burning: Celebration of Indigenous Peoples' Day 2022

On October 10, 2022 400 members of our community commemorated Indigenous Peoples' Day by sharing a traditional Coast Salish dinner while listening to Kendra Mylnechuk Potter share her journey as she and producer Brooke Pepion Swaney presented a screening of Daughter of a Lost Bird.

The video of the event can be viewed on our community partner Western Washington University's webpage for Indigenous Peoples' Day.

 

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Equitable Bathrooms

Equitable Bathrooms at BTC

Our goal is to provide multiple options for safe, comfortable access to facilities for all students, employees and visitors. BTC provides all-gender bathrooms, consistent signage, increased the number of  changing tables, and accessibility for all bathrooms across campus.  

In alignment with Washington state legislation, all-gender bathrooms provide access to facilities by individuals that are consistent with that individual's gender expression or gender identity. All-gender bathrooms also provide access for people with disabilities who have an attendant or a caregiver of a different gender who want or need to accompany someone to the bathroom. 

Providing equitable bathrooms at BTC has been a collaboration with the DEI Committee, DEI Office, Facilities Planning Committee, Facilities, and Marketing department.

All-Gender Bathroom Locations
Building Room Single Stall Multi-Stall Accessible Changing Table
Campus Center (CC) CC136     Y    N        Y
Campus Center (CC) CC137      Y    N        Y
Campus Center (CC) CC228C     Y    N        Y
College Services (CS) CS107     Y     N       Y
Desmond McArdle Center(DMC) DMC139    N    Y        Y       Y
Desmond McArdle Center(DMC) DMC140    N    Y       Y      Y
H-Building (H) H23D     Y    N       Y      Y
Haskell  Center (HC) HC218    N    Y       Y      Y
Haskell  Center (HC) HC221    N    Y       Y      Y
J-Building (J) J8B     Y    N       Y
K-Building (K) K1D     Y    N       Y
Morse Center (MC) MC113     Y    N       Y
Morse Center (MC) MC114     Y    N       Y
Morse Center (MC) MC214    N    Y       Y      Y
Morse Center (MC) MC215    N    Y       Y
Perry Center (PC) PC102     Y    N       Y
Perry Center (PC) PC103     Y    N       Y
Perry Center (PC) PC201     Y    N       Y
Perry Center (PC) PC202     Y    N       Y

 

Did you Know?

WA State Laws that address issues involved in All-Gender Restrooms:   

  • U.S. Department of Education and Justice May 13 2016 Dear Colleague Letter  
  • WAC 162-32-030 Employee benefits and privileges  
  • WAC 162-32-040 Harassment  
  • WAC 162-32-050 Dress and Grooming Standards   
  • WAC 162-32-060 Gender-segregated facilities   
  • The Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD)   
  • Title IX  
Safety and all-gender bathrooms

Often there is a concern that all-gender restrooms or bathroom nondiscrimination laws for Trans individuals create a safety issue for women by giving access to predators. The linked Times article addresses this concern as a “red herring,” stating “the nation’s leading organizations dedicated to stopping violence against women signed a letter saying that this argument is a myth.”  

The following statistics show a need to increase bathroom safety for Trans people; all-gender bathrooms are a step toward addressing this safety concern. According to the U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS), the largest survey of Transgender people (27,715 respondents): 

  • 59% [16,351 respondents] have avoided bathrooms in the last year because they feared confrontations in public restrooms at work, at school, or in other places. 
  • 12% [3,325 respondents] report that they have been harassed, attacked, or sexually assaulted in a bathroom in the last year. 
  • 31% [8,591 respondents] have avoided drinking or eating so that they did not need to use the restroom in the last year. 
  • 24% [6,651 respondents] report that someone told them they were using the wrong restroom or questioned their presence in the restroom in the last year. 
  • 9% [2,494 respondents] report being denied access to the appropriate restroom in the last year. 
  • 8% [2,217 respondents] report having a kidney or urinary tract infection, or another kidney-related medical issue, from avoiding restrooms in the last year.   
Resources

Inclusive Bathroom Signage Recommendations by Rainbow Alliance Inclusion Network (RAIN), State Human Resources Office of Financial Management, and the Washington State employee LGBTQ+ Business Resource Group

More Than Just Bathrooms Inside Higher Ed. 

FAQ: Answers to Some Common Questions about Equal Access to Public Restrooms by Lambda Legal

Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Organizations Debunk 'Bathroom Predator Myth' by ABC News

Transgender Teens in Schools With Bathroom Restrictions are at Higher Risk of Sexual Assault, Study Says by CNN

Trans Teens Face Higher Sexual Assault Risk When Schools Restrict Bathrooms, Study Finds by NBC News

Terminology

Bellingham Technical College utilizes definitions for DEI work based on the DEI- Glossary of Equity that was created by Washington State Department of Enterprise Services in an effort to keep BTC aligned with larger state agencies and work around DEI initiatives. 

Gender Identity 

A person’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither – how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. A person’s gender identity can be the same or different from their biological sex.  

Agender - Without gender. When a person feels they have no gender at all and have no connection to any gender.  

Cisgender - Describes a person whose gender identity and gender expression matches the gender typically associated with their biological sex. Often abbreviated to “Cis”.  

Gender Non-Binary - A term of self-identification for people who do not identify within the limited and binary terms that have described gender identity: male or man, female or woman.  

Genderfluid - Individuals whose gender varies over time. A gender fluid person may at any time identify as male, female, agender, any other non-binary identity, or some combination of identities.  

Genderqueer - Describes a person who identifies outside of the binary of male/man and female/woman. It is also used as an umbrella term for many gender non-conforming or non binary identities (i.e. agender, bi-gender, genderfluid).  

Transgender - An umbrella term used to describe a person whose gender identity and sex assigned at birth do not correspond. 

Gender-Expansive  

An umbrella term used for individuals that broaden their own culture’s commonly held definitions of gender, including expectations for its expression, identities, roles, and/or other perceived gender norms. Gender-expansive individuals include those with transgender and non-binary identities, as well as those whose gender in some way is seen to be stretching society’s notions of gender. See Gender Identity and Gender Expression. 

Gender Expression 

External appearance of one's gender, usually expressed through behavior, clothing, haircut or intonation, and which may or may not conform to societal expectations of a person’s sex assigned at birth or their gender identity.  

Gender Non-Conforming - A way to describe a person whose gender expression does not correspond with their sex assigned at birth. It is not used as a personal identifier. 

 

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Bias Incident Reporting

Bellingham Technical College (“the College”) is committed to maintaining a welcoming, safe, and accessible campus environment by strengthening the diversity, equity, and inclusivity of its campus community. The College recognizes this commitment as essential to a healthy educational climate.

 The College considers bias incidents to be incompatible with a healthy educational climate. The College will respond in a timely manner to bias incidents involving individuals affiliated with Bellingham Technical College.

 The College defines a bias incident as any act, behavior, conduct, or communication, regardless of intent, reasonably understood to be an act that, in whole or in part, demeans, intimidates, degrades, threatens, or harasses an individual, members of a group, and/or community, based on an actual or perceived characteristic, including but not limited to any race, color, creed, religion, sex, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, or national origin, citizenship or immigration status, or genetic information under any of its programs, activities and services.

 Bias incidents may be reported using the Bias Incident Form.

 

What anti-discrimination laws apply to BTC?

The College complies with all Washington State anti-discrimination laws (RCW 49.60) and the following federal laws relating to equal opportunity:

Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Age Discrimination Act of 1975
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990

 

Who to contact regarding non-discrimination, equal opportunity, affirmative action or the ADA policies?

Executive Director of Human Resources, 3028 Lindbergh Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225, 360.752.8354. For Title IX/504 compliance, contact: Vice President of Student Services, 3028 Lindbergh Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225, 360.752.8440.

Resources: 

Accessibility at BTC
Accessibility Resources
Undocumented Students
International Student Admissions Info
TRIO Program
Veteran’s Admission Info
Veteran’s Support Services

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BTC Campus Climate Survey

Bellingham Technical College (BTC) in alignment with Washington State RCW 28B.10.147 (Diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism— Campus climate assessment), is required to conduct a campus climate survey every 5 years and listening sessions in between survey years. BTC initiated its inaugural campus climate survey in spring of 2022 and listening sessions in spring of 2023. 

Spring 2023 Campus Climate Listening Sessions 

As part of a continuing commitment to create a more equitable, safe, and just campus environment,
BTC  convened the 2023 Listening Sessions to deepen understanding of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)-related experiences and perceptions at BTC’s campus. The sessions emphasized input from the respondent and demographic groups facing greater exclusion, discrimination, or lack of personal safety, based on the Spring 2022 Campus Climate Survey findings.

Campus Climate Listening Session Report Links: 

Campus Climate Listening Sessions Report

Spring 2022 Campus Climate Survey 

In spring 2022,  BTC surveyed students and employees with the goal of developing a baseline understanding of perceptions, experiences, and perspectives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus.  

These reports show survey results segmented by respondent groups, including faculty, staff and students, as well as by demographic characteristics such as race/ethnicity and gender identity. By studying these results, we are able to see where BTC’s strengths lie as well as opportunities for growth. 

We held several in-person and online forums to invite employees and students to join us to learn more about the DEI Campus Climate Survey, its results and next steps.

This past spring quarter, we hosted listening sessions with stakeholders throughout campus to help further inform how we will use these results to build a stronger and more supportive campus climate.  

Campus Climate Survey Report Links: 

Campus Climate Survey Executive Summary 

Campus Climate Survey Executive Summary and Full Report 

 

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DEI Definitions

DEI Definitions

Bellingham Technical College utilizes definitions for DEI work based on the DEI-Glossary of Equity-Related Terms that was created by Washington State Department of Enterprise Services in an effort to keep BTC aligned with larger state agencies and work around DEI initiatives.

Diversity

Describes the presence of differences within a given setting, collective, or group. An individual is not diverse – a person is unique. Diversity is about a collective or a group and exists in relationship to others. A team, an organization, a family, a neighborhood, and a community can be diverse. A person can bring diversity of thought, experience, and trait, (seen and unseen) to a team — and the person is still an individual.

Equity

The act of developing, strengthening, and supporting procedural and outcome fairness in systems, procedures, and resource distribution mechanisms to create equitable (not equal) opportunity for all people. Equity is distinct from equality which refers to everyone having the same treatment without accounting for differing needs or circumstances. Equity has a focus on eliminating barriers that have prevented the full participation of historically and currently oppressed groups.

Inclusion

Intentionally designed, active, and ongoing engagement with people that ensures opportunities and pathways for participation in all aspects of group, organization, or community, including decision making processes. Inclusion is not a natural consequence of diversity. There must be intentional and consistent efforts to create and sustain a participative environment. Inclusion refers to how groups show that people are valued as respected members of the group, team, organization, or community. Inclusion is often created through progressive, consistent, actions to expand, include, and share.

Culturally Appropriate

Not to be confused with cultural appropriation, in the educational context, culturally appropriate describes school practices that foster congruence between the home cultures of historically marginalized students and the dominant culture of the schools they attend. In a broad sense, such practices, also described as culturally congruent, relevant, or responsive, are designed to ensure that teachers and other school staff understand the cultures of the students they serve and draw upon students’ cultural strengths to enhance their learning and empowerment (Gay, 2000; Ladson-Billings, 1994; Yosso, 2005). (Definition from the following website https://www.olympic.edu/about/administration/diversity-equity-inclusion/equity-inclusion-toolkit/glossary-common-terms)

Cultural Appropriation

Theft, exploitation, or mimicry of cultural elements for one’s own personal use or profit – including symbols, dress, art, music, dance, language, land, customs, medicine, etc. – often without understanding, acknowledgment, or respect for its value in the original culture. In the United States, it results from the assumption of a white dominant culture’s right to take other cultural elements.

Cultural Competence

An ability to interact effectively with people of all cultures and understand many cultural frameworks, values, and norms. Cultural competence comprises four components:

  • Awareness of one’s own cultural worldview
  • Attitude towards cultural differences
  • Knowledge of different cultural practices and worldviews
  • Cross-cultural skills

Cultural Humility

Approach to respectfully engaging others with cultural identities different from your own and recognizing that no cultural perspective is superior to another. Cultural humility may look different for different people or groups. For example, in a white dominant culture the practice of cultural humility for white people includes acknowledging systems of oppression and involves critical self-reflection, lifelong learning and growth, a commitment to recognizing and sharing power, and a desire to work toward institutional accountability. The practice of cultural humility for people of color includes accepting that the dominant culture does exist, that institutional racism is in place, to recognize one’s own response to the oppression within it, to work toward dismantling it through the balanced process of calling it out and taking care of one’s self.

Community Organizations

Community organizations, or community-based organizations, refers to nonprofit or grassroots organizations that operate in and for the benefit of a specific community. (Definition from the following website https://www.olympic.edu/about/administration/diversity-equity-inclusion/equity-inclusion-toolkit/glossary-common-terms)

Low Income communities

A student or community member who is eligible for need-based financial aid. (As defined by BTC Data & Research Office)

Marginalization

The social process of relegating a particular person, groups or groups of people to an unimportant or powerless position. This use of power prevents a particular person, group, or groups of people from participating fully in decisions affecting their lived experiences, rendering them insignificant or peripheral. Some individuals identify with multiple groups that have been marginalized. People may experience further marginalization because of their intersecting identities. (historical marginalization is based on the historical context of marginalization as defined above). 

People of Color or Communities of Color

Collective term for referring to non-white racial groups.

 

 

 

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Hours & Contacts

DEI Office Hours

Office hours may vary during summer, please contact the Director for in person appointments

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