An Agent for Change
Kevin West considers himself a global citizen. And he's working hard to make sure Oakton takes a global point of view.
When people of color come to Oakton to get an education, they don't always encounter people who look or talk like they do. Sometimes, they turn around and walk right out the door.
A group of us at the College wanted to change that dynamic. We formed a committee, the Next Step, to guide Oakton's efforts to become an anti-bias, anti-racist college. Our goal is for Oakton to reach the point where people of color don't confront attitudes or actions that are based in stereotypes.
Getting to that point means scrutinizing everything we do-from the textbooks we use to the way we hire staff to our advertising strategies to how meetings are scheduled. People do things blindly-with the best of intentions-that can have a real impact. Our goal is to start an awareness.
It's a slow and painful process, but our efforts have the wholehearted support of Oakton's president, Margaret Lee, and our committee has been funded and publicized. Our goal of becoming an anti-bias, anti-racist college is an integral part of the College's strategic plan.
This is what keeps me at Oakton: the diversity, and the commitment to doing the right thing. I consider myself a global citizen; I'm not a person who believes in borders. As an institution of higher learning, Oakton absolutely must be globally minded-and we're working hard to make that happen.
Coordinator, Enrollment Center/Enrollment Services