26 Mar 2024

How can educators integrate Black student voices into institutional decision-making processes? What challenges do educators face in implementing Black student-centered pedagogies, and how can they be overcome?

In a breakout session at the 17th Annual A2MEND Student Success Summit, CLP and Black community college leaders partnered to engage the field in a discussion of these questions and more. The session, titled Lift Every Voice! Listening for Transformation: Black Voices Leading to Action, focused on how educators can be intentional and unapologetic in uplifting Black student voices to inform practices and policies.

A2MENDCLP Director Byron Reaves facilitated the conversation with panelists Nakysha Cummings from Cerro Coso Community College, Tommy Reed from Chabot College, Regina Mahiri from Santa Rosa Junior College, and Dr. AK Sterling from Santa Monica College.

Key insights shared by the panelists:

    • Interrogate your own filters to develop deep, active, action-based listening. Ask students about the type of feedback they want and listen with curiosity and love, and not to react. (Regina Mahiri, Santa Rosa Junior College)
    • “Listen to Transform”: When Black students talk, meet them where they are by validating their experiences. (Tommy Reed, Chabot College)
    • Educators benefit from leading with empathy. Instructors that are empathetic create spaces for students that allow for engagement to occur. (Dr. AK Sterling, Santa Monica College)
    • Validate our students. In the action of validating, you are stating that you understand and are acknowledging a student’s experience. (Nakysha Cummings, Cerro Coso Community College)

Panelists shared how they’ve been able to incorporate Black student voices to transform the classroom. Attendees learned more about Black student-centered pedagogies and student success approaches. And they developed action plans to support Black students, leaving the session with new ideas and tangible action items to incorporate.

In case you missed us at the A2MEND Summit, CLP will be facilitating a similar session on April 8, 2:10 – 2:55 p.m. at the Pathways to Equity Conference in Anaheim.