During the 2019-2020 academic year, the Race, Bias and Equity Initiative solicited a call for proposals open to all faculty, staff, and students at CSU. The response was outstanding with 147 full proposals from all 8 colleges submitted.

Many proposals had similar themes and ideas and were reviewed by the RBEI Core Team, 9 working groups, and multiple student groups. Three major proposals/themes were approved for funding and updates on those projects are provided below.

Suggestions and ideas in the proposals were also shared with applicable departments, committees and working groups, and divisions across the university to incorporate into existing and new initiatives.

Funded Projects

Project Leads: 
Shannon Archibeque-Engle, Assistant Vice President, Office of the Vice President for Diversity 
Ryan Barone, Assistant Vice President for Student Success, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs 
Steve Dandaneau, Associate Provost and Executive Director of the Reinvention Collaborative 

Project Overview:  
Among the Fall 2020 cohort of CSU students, 22% are first generation, 18% come from a limited income background, and 29% hold one or more racially-minoritized identities.  Building off of the First Generation University Initiative, the First Scholars project aims to fill college transition, personal development, academic support, engagement, wellness, and career preparation gaps. 

Progress to Date: 

  • May 2020: CSU signed an MOU with NASPA First Scholars Integrated Network; this national framework utilizes data and best practices to assist universities in holistically centering and supporting first generation students. 
  • November 2020: An Insights Tool Survey was distributed; the data collected will be analyzed and shared in a report in April 2021. 
  • January 2021: A Steering Committee, known as the First Generation University Initiative, with representatives from across the university was launched to help guide next steps. 
  • January 2021: The First Generation University Initiative Steering Committee voted to utilize $15,000 in funding from RBEI to directly support first-generation students. The allocation will be matched by the Student Success Initiatives in the Provost’s Office. The combined $30,000 will be awarded to first-generation students through continuation and completion grants and financial aid packages as identified by the Office of Financial Aid.

Next steps: 

  • March 2021: NASPA First Generation Student Success Conference and First Scholars Meeting with university partners across the country 
  • April 2021: Insights Tool Report will be returned to CSU by First Scholars. 

Project Leads: 
Susana M. Muñoz, Associate Professor, School of Education 
Louise Jennings, Professor, School of Education 

Project Overview:  
Part 1: Design a CSU Leadership Equity Cadre for faculty and senior administrators on how to facilitate transformation change through equity-based leadership models. The first cohort is Executive Leadership Team as well as college deans, who will participate in a 9-month program including regular meetings, an intensive retreat, and action/assessment plan development.   

Progress to Date: 

  • Summer 2020: Funding was secured through RBEI for hiring Dr. Sumi Pendakur, Chief Learning Officer & Director of Equity Institutes at the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center.  
  • Fall 2020: Dr. Sumi Pendakur worked together with Dr. Susana Munoz to develop the leadership cadre curriculum, which will include unpacking racism and fragility, power dynamics, equity-minded leadership, and more. 

Next Steps: 

  • Set a date for first cohort to launch with a retreat over the course of two days.  
  • Cohort will participate in regular meetings (once every three weeks) focusing on equity frameworks; asset and deficit-minded thinking and leading; case studies for transformation; de-centering Whiteness in organizational change; and self, sustainability and growth. 
  • Cohort will collect data and begin action and assessment plans.
  • Cohort will wrap up with leaders sharing their experiences and their developed plans.

Part 2: Develop an Equity & Justice Critical Pedagogy Graduate Certificate Program that targets graduate students interested in higher education including faculty careers, student affairs, and public policy. The program will provide a theoretical foundation in race, racism, anti-racism, intersectionality, social justice, critical pedagogies, and critical transformative practices to allow participants to apply theory in their teaching practices.  

Progress to Date: 

  • Project leads have been meeting with interdisciplinary partners in Department of Ethnic Studies and Women and Gender Studies Program to develop certificate program.
  • Graduate certificate is proposed as 10 or 12 credits with two required courses – the existing EDUC 651: Education for Diversity, Equity & Anti-Racism and a Capstone Course featuring a community education project. Elective credits would be selected from a menu of existing MA/PhD courses in Ethnic Studies, Women & Gender Studies, and Education. 

Next Steps: 

  • Curriculum approval process is underway; if approved, certificate program will launch for Spring 2022. 

Project Leads: 
Gwen Gorzelsky, Executive Director, TILT 
Ria Vigil, Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Office of the Vice President for Diversity 
Mary Stromberger, Professor, Graduate School Flo King, Equity Educator, Office of the Provost & Executive Vice President 

Project Overview: 
At CSU, more than 1,000 GTAs instruct course sections and labs each semester, often for first and second year students. GTAs play a crucial role in shaping the academic experience of students. Current GTA training includes a brief overview of diversity, equity and inclusion, active learning, student relations, classroom management, and growth mindset.While current training touches on inclusive topics, it needs to be expanded to meet the needs of the changing classroom. This project aims to integrate deeper knowledge and impact through a three-week Inclusive Pedagogy Course focused on connecting social identities to teaching practice, recognizing implicit bias in the classroom, incorporating inclusive pedagogy into course planning and instruction, and fostering a classroom climate of positive, inclusive and supportive relationships.  

Progress to Date: 

  • Fall 2020: Deans and Department Heads were asked to nominate GTAs they felt would be strong participants for the pilot course. 
  • November 2020: Pilot version of Inclusive Pedagogy Course was offered to 20 GTAs and assessment was collected from participants. 

Next Steps: 

  • Spring 2021: Up to 200 GTAs can take the course. 
  • A second three-week course could be developed on an additional  

RBEI Proposal Decisions and Summaries