Juneteenth in San Jose

Colleagues,

We want to wish all of you a happy Juneteenth. Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of Black Americans on June 19th, when freedom was proclaimed for the remaining enslaved people of Texas, the last state of the Confederacy with institutional slavery. 

The National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) has an excellent article about the 150+ year history of Juneteenth, complete with a suggested reading list and resources for discussing the history and importance of Juneteenth with young people. In 2021, Juneteenth was finally consecrated as a federal holiday

Various Juneteenth events are happening right here in our local downtown community this weekend. The African American Community Service Agency’s Juneteenth in the Streets culminates with a festival on South First Street. The Children’s Discovery Museum is hosting a celebration and film festival. If you have time, it’s an excellent opportunity to attend an event with your family and friends. The San Jose Public Library exhibit “Black Spartans,” represents ongoing research from right here on campus about the Black experience throughout SJSU history. Select portraits are on display at local branches, but you can explore the full exhibit online right now. 

While our country still has much to address and progress is slow, Juneteenth is a celebration of how far we’ve come and the impact we can have when we are united. As the NMAAHC article puts it, “The historical legacy of Juneteenth shows the value of never giving up hope in uncertain times.” 

Best Regards,

The SJSU IT Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Bob Lim Maggie Panahi Ryan Campbell
Cindy Scher-Hereth Matthew Loo Tino Cruz
Kara Li Norma Brown Willie Simon

Our Pride

Colleagues,

Pride Month is held in June in the United States to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, when patrons of the Stonewall Inn gay bar in New York fought back against police harassment. For us, it’s an opportunity to celebrate the nuanced diversity of our community, especially here in the Bay Area where we have a rich history of LGBTQIA+ civil rights activism.

We are constantly making conscious efforts to keep SJSU IT an inclusive, welcoming place for everyone to work. During Pride Month, there is a wealth of community resources in our local area. Silicon Valley Pride (@svpride) holds numerous events throughout the month, many just a few blocks off-campus. We also encourage you to look into organizations that support LGBTQIA+ equality efforts in the technology industry. Here’s a Pride.com article highlighting tech-leaning groups like Out in Tech and Lesbians Who Tech.

And of course, our SJSU Pride Center does excellent work throughout the academic year giving our students a safe space, activism opportunities, and hosting events. If you haven’t been there, we encourage you to stop in and say hello. They’re always happy to share information and let you know what you can do to be active or be an ally at our university.

 

Best Regards,

The SJSU IT Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Bob Lim

Maggie Panahi

Ryan Campbell

Cindy Scher-Hereth

Matthew Loo

Tino Cruz

Kara Li

Norma Brown

Willie Simon

Cesar Chavez Day 2022

Colleagues,

Tomorrow, Thursday, March 31, 2021, our campus will be closed in observance of and celebration of Cesar Chavez Day. We are encouraging you to take a moment and walk by the Cesar Chavez Monument (titled the Arch of Dignity, Equality and Justice by Judy Baca) located on the Northeast side of campus. In Baca’s words, “A key element to the monument is to teach the next generation how to choose to live a life in the center of your values and beliefs as Cesar Chavez did.” You can also reach out to SJSU’s own César E. Chávez Community Action Center to explore opportunities for civic engagement and activism in our community. So please enjoy the day off to relax, recharge, and reflect.

Regards,
The SJSU IT Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Bob Lim

Maggie Panahi

Ryan Campbell

Cindy Scher-Hereth

Matthew Loo

Tino Cruz

Kara Li

Norma Brown

Willie Simon

Celebrating Women’s History Month 2022

Colleagues,

Women’s History Month is an excellent opportunity to listen and reflect upon some of our campus and community’s strong voices. It’s significant for those of us working in technology, as IT has historically been a challenging field for women to receive the access, opportunity, and recognition they deserve. We are always striving to achieve equity, and it’s a top priority for all of us. 

Listening and learning have always been integral to equity and inclusion. WIRED magazine has an excellent curated listing of articles about womens’ experience in technology written by women. On campus, the Gender Equity Center hosts a series of events every year. This year’s 2022 Womxn’s Herstory Month series culminates with a 50th anniversary Zoom event for Title IX, focusing on how we can protect women and girls’ access to equal education. 

We also want to encourage you to look into organizations that support education and access for women in technology at all levels. Techbridge Girls provides after-school STEM programs for girls from low-income communities right here in the Bay Area. Women In Technology is an organization that provides resources and programming to empower women from youth to professional career to board involvement. Girls Who STEM has a great list of even more STEM- and technology-focused organizations. Lastly, SJSU’s own Center for STEM Education has a number of programs to encourage girls’ engagement in technology.

Thank you to all of the women working at SJSU IT. Your voices are valued and we’re glad you’ve chosen our campus as a place to build your success. 

Best Regards,
The SJSU IT Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Bob Lim Maggie Panahi Ryan Campbell
Cindy Scher-Hereth Matthew Loo Tino Cruz
Kara Li Norma Brown Willie Simon

February Black History Month

Greetings Colleagues,

I hope this email finds you well.

February is Black History Month, and this has special importance for the DEI team and all of our communities – as higher education employees, as Bay Area residents, and as Spartans. We have the privilege and opportunity to help elevate our students and expand their access to higher education and ongoing opportunities so they and their families can forge new frontiers in our ever-changing workforce and community landscapes. Being named the most transformative university in the country should not merely be a tagline. Instead, it’s the meaning behind our work and the work of all those who have contributed before us, especially those in our black community.

The history of black achievement in the Bay Area is rich, diverse, and valuable, especially so for all sectors of higher education. The first African American Studies department was founded here in the Bay Area in 1968 following the longest student strike in U.S. history. The article below demonstrates an incredible story of how black students fought for what they worked for and deserved. If you’re unfamiliar with those events, here’s some excellent storytelling from a 2019 NPR article.

San Jose State University has a proud history of black excellence and activism. The Olympic Black Power Statue between Clark Hall and Dwight Bentel Hall commemorates the bold salutes of “Speed City” alumni Tommie Smith and John Carlos. Our university’s legacy of black achievement includes incredible stories from James Jones, Dr. Lee P. Brown, and Dr. Harry Edwards.

There are many opportunities on campus and in the community where you can be involved in celebrating Black History Month. The MOSAIC Cross-Cultural Center has curated a calendar of Black History Month events, both in-person and via Zoom, for your convenience. If you’re selecting dining options or spending time on campus looking for activities, you may want to consider supporting local, black-owned businesses. You’ll find some of the best restaurants in the Bay Area on this list. I also want to encourage you to take the month of February as an opportunity to look into non-profit organizations that support and uplift our nation’s black community. I want to highlight two that focus on access to technology and higher education opportunities: Black Girls Code and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

 

Thank you,

The SJSU IT Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Bob Lim Maggie Panahi Ryan Campbell
Cindy Scher-Hereth Matthew Loo Tino Cruz
Kara Li Norma Brown Willie Simon