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AFT 1521 introduces 10-point platform for social justice

The L.A. College Faculty Guild addresses systemic inequities and works to promote inclusivity.

Star Eisenberg, Editor-in-Chief

The Los Angeles College Faculty Guild’s executive board passed a motion aimed at advancing racial equity and social justice within the Los Angeles Community College District. The Valley Star stands behind the union’s 10-point platform.

The AFT Local 1521 will present this plan to the chancellor and the Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles Community College District for consideration.

According to a statement by the Los Angeles College Faculty Guild, “The success of our students is directly tied to the success and efforts of our faculty, campus staff, and administration.  This motion supports those efforts.”

Individuals attend the Sherman Oaks farmers market, ope every Tuesday from 2-6pm. Photo taken on Feb. 27. Astrid Cortez | Valley Star

One of the primary demands is the establishment of food banks at every LACCD campus to address food insecurity among students.  Additionally, the platform advocates for the introduction of weekly farmers’ markets accepting snap/EBT payments.  It also calls for an end to budgetary constraints hindering student success and equity initiatives, proposing specific funding allocations for foundation directors and grant writers at each campus.

(L-R) Juliana Stein, Angel Chiawa, Candice Price are showcasing their half-completed canvases at the Umoja Rhythm and Paint event at Valley. Photo taken on Feb. 27. Astrid Cortez | Valley Star

Furthermore, the platform emphasizes the institutionalization and funding of programs like Umoja and Puente across all campuses, with a minimum annual funding of $400,000 per campus to promote racial equity programs.  An emergency response fund of $1.8 million ($200,000 per campus) is proposed to address financial hardships faced by students and part-time employees.  The platform also calls for equal funding for student tutors across all campuses to enhance academic support services.

In addition to these initiatives, the platform includes advocacy for parity between instructional and non-instructional faculty, triple funding for gateway housing programs to address student homelessness, pursuit of racial parity in faculty recruitment to reflect campus and community demographics, and implementation of comprehensive health and mental health services five days a week on all campuses.

The proportion of LACCD students experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness is higher than average. Fifty-five percent of the district’s students experience housing insecurity, 18.6 percent of the district’s students have experienced homelessness, and 82 percent of higher education professionals in California said housing is the biggest unmet need of their students that the campus is currently unable to provide, according to a report by Southern California Association of Non-profit Housing.

The Faculty Guild added, “We demand actions with measurable outcomes.  Statements, symbolic gestures, and lofty rhetoric will no longer be accepted.”

The AFT Local 1521 serves as the exclusive bargaining agent for over 4,000 full-time and adjunct faculty members across the nine community colleges within the district.  With over 40 years of advocacy and representation, the guild continues to lead the charge for progress in California’s community colleges.  Standing behind the union’s initiatives reaffirms a dedication to advancing equity, opportunity, and student success.

The path forward is clear, and it starts with embracing the principles outlined in this transformative plan.

1 Comment

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2 days ago

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