By Nicholas Trujillo
It was a plan that was already three years in the making.
Pima Community College started talking about its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan in hopes to be an “extension of the College’s ongoing Strategic Planning Process …,” according to the executive summary of the plan.
Hilda Ladner, the new diversity and inclusion officer, was hired to support the new plan.
“It’s a one-person shop but I’m really trying to get information about where we are as an organization,” she said.
Ladner has a deep understanding of inclusion and multiculturalism. She worked at University of Minnesota Morris where she developed a LGBTQ program at the university after 15 years.
After that, she was at Northern Arizona University for 10 years, where she worked as the director of the Multicultural Student Center.
“Working in multicultural affairs at Northern Arizona is translatable to working here as well as my work at University of Minnesota Morris,” Ladner said. “They created this position as a beginning astep.”
The endgame of the plan includes several different goals that should to steer the college in the right direction. For example, Strategic Direction 3 states, “Foster partnerships to strengthen educational opportunities in response to community needs.”
This goal is one of the things students look forward as well.
Brandon Hodges, president of LaFe a student-run group at PCC, attended the community forums that talked about the plan and its relation with Pima.
“I think more diversity will bring an environment where every student feels valued, every student feels seen,” Hodges said. “That can only mean students will have a better learning experience and environment. I just think students learn best when there are lots of voices and perspectives to hear from.”
The plan doesn’t focus solely on diversity in race. The plan also has a goal to implement diversity in all areas like age, race, sex, gender, educational status, sexual orientation and more.
“I think you have to look at the different communities and what specific needs they have and how are they represented here at Pima Community College,” Ladner said. “And what do we need to be successful.”