DRC Anti-Racist Values
The Disability Resource Center (DRC) is firm in our commitment to taking anti-racist action and interrupting racism. We are committed to interrupting systems of oppression and marginalization that are often tied to racism including ableism, ethnicism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, ageism, xenophobia, body shaming, and other systems of oppression and marginalization. Together, we demand justice and remain in solidarity with all members of the Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
DRC staff are engaged in a process of collaborative education around anti-blackness and racism. Additionally, DRC staff are taking concrete actions that align with our values and commitments to anti-racism and racial justice as it pertains to our office and other spaces on campus. As a team, we acknowledge that, as those in positions of power, we have a responsibility to make significant improvements that lead to a more just Disability Resource Center and campus for students of color.
Not everything that is faced can be changed but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
- James Baldwin
DRC Commitments to Anti-Racism and Racial Justice
- Applying an Antiracist Framework to Office Policies and Internal Processes
- Deepening Relationships Across Campus
- Recruiting and Retaining a Racially Diverse Staff
- Supporting the Retention of BIPOC Students
- Elevating BIPOC Voices and Experiences
- Aligning Our Spending with Our Values
- Expanding Learning Opportunities and Expectations of Professional and Student Staff
We recognize that the work is complex and that meaningful change doesn’t happen overnight. We will follow an ongoing learning and assessment process. We will use assessments that we have access to, such as the PSU African American, African, and Black Student Task Force and PSU Task Force on Asian-American, Asian and Pacific Islander Student Success, and we will remain open to and continually encourage feedback from PSU students and employees. We will continue to consult about our work and plans during DRC staff meetings. Directors from our division (Diversity and Multicultural Student Services) have agreed to review our work. We understand that dismantling systemic racism takes daily reflection and actions from us as individuals and from the DRC as a collective entity of Portland State University.
Actions in Progress
- In Progress: All DRC full time professional staff are engaged in the personal reading and reflection work associated with the book, Me and White Supremacy, by Layla F. Saad. The work, which Saad prescribes as daily work, is being completed weekly by DRC staff so that there is time to discuss content together as a team (see below).
- In Progress: DRC full time professional staff meet once a week to discuss the weekly readings of Me and White Supremacy. Specifically we discuss the following:
- how the week’s topic shows up at PSU, in higher education, in Disability Services, and in other professional organizations where we are members.
- how the topic shows up in the Disability Resource Center.
- how we can work to interrupt or prevent the topic from becoming an issue of concern at PSU or in the DRC and how we can work to address it when it does come up.
- In Progress: Supervisors are in final stages of the development for an ongoing student staff action plan around anti-racism. The plan includes one-off learning opportunities along with longer retreats and working meetings to reinforce anti-racist concepts and more fully integrate them in the work student staff do within the DRC.
- In Progress: The Values Statement initially associated with the DRC Safe(r) Space is being recrafted to more clearly express the expectation of demonstrating respect for fellow human beings when anywhere within the DRC space. These values will be more prominently displayed in the office, and more often mentioned before events, meetings, and whenever appropriate.
- In Progress: DRC staff have created a plan for specific ways we will more actively and intentionally support BIPOC students that will be periodically updated based on feedback we receive from BIPOC students. The DRC will create a workshop series on topics that intersect with disability, race, gender, and culture, focusing on issues affecting BIPOC students and staff. We plan to volunteer and collaborate with PSU Cultural Resource Centers to support their ongoing work. The DRC staff will use engagement data and assessment of need to assist students in creating BIPOC/Disabled Support Networks/Groups.
- Completed: Documentation practices have been reassessed to align more closely with the professional guidance of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) and with more closely with our antiracist values. We now ask students for documentation which could come from a number of sources, dramatically increasing the likelihood that they will be able to register more quickly and without additional barriers.
- Completed: Starting on August 13th, DRC student staff were paid to engage in one hour of professional development around anti-racism for four weeks.
- Completed: There is a newly articulated expectation of all full time professional staff to engage in a minimum of one formal professional development activity each year on the topic of anti-racist practice.
We will continue to work toward the goals described above and move forward with new goals as well. We will review and reassess our antiracism work at least once each year. We will be sure to keep this space updated with our actions and progress.