Require Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion training for higher education employees
May 2, 2020

Resolution

Whereas, discrimination contributes to the underrepresentation of historically marginalized groups;

Whereas, conscious and unconscious bias can affect the learning and teaching environment — both online and offline — in a detrimental way and create a hostile working and learning environment;

Whereas, students may discontinue attendance at a class, discontinue their education at a particular district, or discontinue their education at any higher educational institution, as a result of being victim to conscious or unconscious bias;

Whereas, academia serves as an entry point for nearly all professions, and, in which —according to the U.S. Department of Education — the majority of postsecondary degrees are awarded to white students, bias in academia has an impact on the demographics/diversity in fields that require higher educational degrees;

Whereas, the majority of California’s academic leadership roles are filled by white individuals, and the majority (60 percent) of full professors of U.S. postsecondary institutions in California are Caucasian males, while 28 percent are female, 7 percent are Asian, 3 percent are Black and 3 percent are Hispanic, according to the U.S Department of Education;

Whereas, the state of California takes a firm stance against discrimination in its constitution, which states, “The State shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting (Article 1 Declaration of Rights, Sec. 31);

Whereas, the California Federation of Teachers holds a strong position against discrimination in its Policies and Positions Handbook when it states, “all children, regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and social, political, or economic status, must be afforded the right to a high-quality education”;

And whereas, the CFT supports “equitable efforts to eliminate the ethnicity gap in student performance and achievement,” “supports the elimination of…gender barriers to education opportunity,” and “supports the vigorous enforcement of all current state and federal anti-discrimination laws…as well as their development and expansion to protect [employees of higher education] from intentional and unconscious bias.”

Therefore, be it resolved that the California Federation of Teachers work with the California Legislature to develop legislation that would require all higher education employees to participate in and complete Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) training;

And, be it finally resolved that the CFT work toward requiring that such training be compensated.

  • Passed by the CFT State Council on May 2, 2020