IDEA Initiative 2016-2017 Report

The IDEA Initiative, under the sponsorship of the Office of the President, continued to align resources, programs, and events to advance inclusion, diversity, equity, and access in partnership with members of the Scripps Community.

Fall 2016

Two workshop sessions were offered at the beginning of the semester for staff: What’s the “T”?: Supporting Trans and Non-Binary Students. Al Forbes, director of the Queer Resource Center, led the training as participants learned about current language around gender and gender identities, information about trans protections under Title IX, and some ways to best support trans and non-binary people. The attendees discussed current issues within higher education and actionable ways to be more inclusive of trans and non-binary students at Scripps.

Panel Discussion
An IDEA-sponsored panel: Religion, Politics, and the Presidential Election was held prior to the presidential election, on Oct. 26. The 7C discussion about the presidential candidates’ interactions with religious communities and how their approaches might shape the outcome of the election was well-attended. The panel featured Gary Gilbert, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Director, Jewish Studies Sequence, Claremont McKenna College; Omid Safi, William and Bettye Martin Musham Director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center, Duke University; and Imam Adeel Zeb, Muslim Chaplain of the Claremont Colleges.

The Scripps IDEA initiative launched a series of ConverActions on the national climate on race, community, and change. These events incorporated community conversations leveraging the Scripps Presents public programs, as well as opportunities to be civically engaged at school and beyond.

Melissa Harris-Perry, Sept. 8  Focus on social justice through intersections of race and gender
The Melissa Harris-Perry discussion created a space that allowed for questions, exploration, and possible solutions to the never-ending journey of how to create a community where everyone has a sense of belonging. Facilitated by Assistant Professor of Politics Vanessa Tyson, SCORE Assistant Director Yuka Ogino, and RA Shanisha Coram.

Jeff Chang, Sept. 22  Author of We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation
The ConverAction about Jeff Chang’s presentation “We Gon’ Be Alright” was interactive and well-attended by students and faculty. It covered a number of issues, including political activism through hip-hop and other art genres, cultural appropriation, Asianness and the proposition that things are getting better. Multiple perspectives were expressed, and the centrality of understanding and respecting difference was articulated in terms of approaching subcultures in the USA. Facilitated by Bessie and Cecil Frankel Endowed Chair in Music and Professor of Music Hao Huang, with Director of Parent Engagement Natalie Adams, SAS Diversity Chair Monika Lee ’17, and student Phoebe Shen ’17.

Maria Hinojosa, Oct. 4 Award-winning news anchor and reporter for “Latino USA”
Maria’s words reminded attendees that one could speak up in any context; that it doesn’t have to be in the front lines of a mass of protestors. It could also be a newspaper commentary or a radio show, something that voices your concerns and refuses to be dismissed. Participants commented that this was very empowering, because it reminded them of their ability to find voice and pursue their passions. Facilitated by Gabriela Bacsan, assistant professor of Spanish, Latin American, and Caribbean literatures and cultures; Jackie Legazcue, digital marketing specialist in the Office of Marketing and Communications; and Gaby Ochoa ’19.
Elizabeth Hubert Malott Public Affairs Program: The Future of American Politics

On Thursday, November 17, Norm Ornstein spoke about the outcome of the recent election. Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and a frequent contributing writer to The Atlantic and the National Journal. He is the co-author of It’s Even Worse than it Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism. He served as co-director of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project and serves as a senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission. A ConverAction was held prior to his talk with students, staff, and faculty. Facilitated by Visual Arts Instructor Jonas Becker.

Spring 2017

Change Fair

Change Fair (Co-sponsored by IDEA, Laspa Center’s Up for Discussion, and SCORE)

On February 15, representatives from NGOs, political action groups, human and civil rights organizations, and other social justice groups in the greater Los Angeles area were on campus to share information on how to get involved with change. The goal of the fair was for students, faculty, and staff to build connections with groups organizing around important issues and learn ways to contribute to their causes by volunteering or attending related events. The event was held during Wednesday Tea to maximize exposure and attendance. Participating fair organizations included Planned Parenthood, Food Forward, Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance, Grand Performances, Uncommon Good, and the Chinatown Community for Equitable Development. Grace Reckers ’18, Gaby Ochoa ’19, and Cienna Sorenson ’19 collaborated in the organization of the event.

Chris Hayes, March 25
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes (of “All in with Chris Hayes”) on “A Colony in a Nation”
The ConverAction scheduled for the Hayes event was postponed and rescheduled after the death of Tatissa Zunguze ’18. Unfortunately the rescheduled date coincided with a student protest and the anticipated participation was not realized. Facilitated by Associate professor of Psychology Jennifer Groscup and Ariel Leavitt ’17.


People’s State of the Union, February 1

In collaboration with OBSA, the IDEA initiative participated in the People’s State of the Union. The event is annual and engages people across the country to come together in Story Circles to reflect on and take part in shaping the current state of our union. Stories were shared back online, inspiring commentary from the USDAC National Cabinet, and the creation of the Poetic Address to the Nation by a diverse group of poets. The event was held on the Scripps campus.

Information Sourcing

The IDEA website continued to serve as a resource tool for information on campus messages, events, programs, and resources related to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access. Examples include the 7C Diversity Committee programs and news, the President’s Updates on Diversity and Inclusion, and links to the College’s harassment policy, administrative departments, and student organizations.