Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Say It Ain't So Joe: Strategies of Segregation in Ventura County

From the last Democratic debate, we learned that in the 1970s Joe Biden opposed federally mandated busing to desegregate schools because he believed it was a dilemma to be reckoned with by local government.

To be fair to Joe, most people—black, brown, and white—at the time liked their neighborhood schools.
White-collar professionals purchased homes significantly based on the public school that came with them—historically better resourced than those in black and brown communities systematically concentrated in the nation’s inner cities.

Less affluent minority parents, too, simply desired equally funded neighborhood schools with effective teachers friendly to the needs of their children. And for many others, a culturally relevant curriculum that instilled an amour propre in students from diverse backgrounds was a plus.

Largely absent from today’s public conversation on mandated busing is the racism that created segregated neighborhoods in the first place and translated to poorly funded schools for minority children. As Eric Avila in Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight: Fear and Fantasy in Suburban Los Angeles (2004) and Richard Rothstein in The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (2017) detail, in the 1930s, Federal Housing Authority policy, via the Home Owner’s Loan Corporation, created a redlining system that encouraged real estate interests (lenders, developers, and agents) to concentrate people of color away from white homeowners.

This was the history behind the desegregation case of Soria v. Oxnard School District Board of Trustees (1971) in Ventura County, California.

As David G. García details in Strategies of Segregation: Race, Residence, and the Struggle for Educational Equality (2018), since the 1930s, the Oxnard School District accommodated white homeowners who did not want their children socializing with Mexican children, primarily, as they were the largest non-white demographic.

As limited funding and facilities made complete segregation impossible, OSD administrators, upon the direction of trustees, gerrymandered attendance boundaries and schedules to separate students as much as possible.

To maintain this system, during the next two decades the OSD constructed two segregated Mexican schools in the 1940s less than one block away from each other. When these sites overcrowded, the district imported portables classrooms and constructed new campuses nearby.

Ten years after Brown v. Board of Education 1954, the Community Service Organization, an ethnic Mexican civil rights group, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People of Ventura County protested the segregationist practices of the OSD trustees.

The district contended that de facto school segregation was an outcome of residential patterns outside its purview.

As the City of Oxnard grew, the CSO and NAACP persistently petitioned the OSD to remedy racial imbalances in the schools. The board rejected all of the numerous desegregation plans proposed by Althea Simmons, field secretary of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP andits own advisory committee.

Fed up with the intransigence of OSD trustees, black and ethnic Mexican parents filed the Soria case in 1970 in federal court. In May 1971, Judge Harry Pregerson’s summary judgement found that both de facto and “de jure overtones” of segregation consisted of, but were not limited to, the creation of new schools, individual intra-district transfers via busing, and the use of portables to keep black and brown students concentrated in segregated schools.

These were constitutional violations of equal protection under the 14th Amendment. As a result, Judge Pregerson mandated a paired-schools busing plan as a remedy.

That September buses transported children of the barrio to their paired schools in the city’s more middle-class neighborhoods and vice versa. Like Kamala Harris in Berkeley at this time, as a first grader I, too, was bused from an ethnically integrated neighborhood of black, brown, and Asian American families in south Oxnard to Brittell Elementary in the predominantly white, northern part of the city.

In November of 1973, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated Judge Pregerson’s summary judgment and remanded the case for a trial. Subsequently, board minutes of the 1930s surfaced that evidenced the de jure segregation of Mexican children to appease white parents. Former OSD superintendents, including Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Richard Clowes, also testified that up to and throughout the 1960s, trustees maintained segregation.

Based on prior and fresh findings, Judge Pregerson ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and busing continued. The need to bus students faded through the 1980s as the City of Oxnard increasingly browned. Its cause: a middle-class flight of diverse races and ethnicities to the neighboring communities of Camarillo and Ventura.

But as the demographics of these communities shifted over time, flight renewed. People moved further eastward, if able, to Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks.

Hence, a more insidious segregation exists today as people of all colors and creeds troll education and real estate websites for school rankings. The systemic outcome: the segregation of largely black and brown students, again.

If a school’s status dips and the number of brown students rises, some parents, if they can, will take one of the following steps: move to whiter more affluent neighborhoods or commute their children to higher performing and less racially diverse schools.

Without the segregationist mentors who Joe Biden proudly worked with as U.S. Senator in the 1970s, this is the new face of de facto school segregation.
History News Network

Saturday, March 2, 2019

50th Anniversary El Plan Conference Paper

Frank P. Barajas
UC Santa Barbara
February 22, 2019

El Plan de Santa Barbara: Accountability and the Development of Leaders at California State University Channel Islands

From the inception of the idea of a Chicana/o Studies BA program at CSU Channel Islands, the CHS departments at the neighboring public universities of the University of California at Santa Barbara and Cal State University Northridge served as translocal examples of the possible. In addition, Chicanx alumni of el movimiento from these two universities and others, such as UCLA and Cal State LA, took interest from the start in 2000 in CSU Channel Islands’ development as Ventura County’s first public four-year institution. They also served as the energy of advocacy and support for the establishment of CI’s Chicana/o Studies baccalaureate program.

As the discussion for Chicana/o Studies advanced, it was important to me that the degree, with a commitment to self-determination, be exactly that rather than as a component of an Ethnic Studies program. Considering the history and proportion of ethnic Mexicans in Ventura County, it was imperative that this program be discrete to self-determine its relevancy to the community. In fact, circa 2003/04, the university leadership sought to have in its place an ideologically neutered Multicultural Studies degree, with Chicana/o Studies being a module and minor, and, most likely, not controlled by Chicana/o Studies trained faculty. To convince me of the Multicultural approach, an administrative functionary stated that Chicana/o Studies would eventually germinate from a Multicultural Studies program as the number of ChS minors grew with it. From my reading of El Plan, I knew this path would ensure that Chicana/o Studies, as an independent degree program, would never develop into the vibrant cultural and political campus repository that it is now.

Takeaway. Self-determination is key.

Furthermore, as detailed in El Plan, Chicana/o Studies at CSU Channel Islands recognizes the transgenerational character of university faculty, students, and staff. Hence, CI Chicana/o Studies has been the basis from which ChiLFSA (the Chicana/o Latina/o Faculty and Staff Association) emerged and where additional faculty, administrators, and staff support each other and advocate for the inclusive and equitable employment of fulltime colleagues. As a field of study, we are in the third generation of Chicana/o Studies. So there needs to be this transgenerational referencing, mentorship, and advocacy, especially in the retention, tenure, and promotion of faculty.

In fact, in preparation for this panel, I was struck, again, by the veteran insight that El Plan extends in relation to the Machiavellian intrigue characteristic of higher education. In short, experienced educators schooled students, many who were naïvely indoctrinated into an Americanist ethos, like me, and activist in how colleges and universities functioned.

We also recognize that senior faculty, as privileged tenured employees, need to role model, both, tactical and, when necessary, disruptive resistance to the machinations of academe. Senior faculty must provide also wide berth for assistant and associate professors to take risk and pursue their professional visions, in terms of teaching, scholarship, and service. Otherwise, Chicana/o Studies gambles with the production of lackeys and sycophants concerned only in their own self-aggrandizement, usually into administration, over the interests of students.

By way of MEChA, the CI Dreamers, ChiLFSA, and other campus organizations (student, faculty, and staff) Chicana/o Studies, as poignantly detailed in El Plan, makes students conscious of the underlying politics and tribalism involved with university appointments, the tenure-track faculty in particular. This is critical as many, if not most students, do not understand the dissimilar power between tenure-track faculty versus temporary instructors—who dominate the teaching ranks—in terms of program development and overall campus representation on behalf of the Chicanx community. Chicana/o Studies at CI breaks down to students the political importance of it increasing tenure-track Chicanx faculty across disciplines. And only recently, again, in the spirit of self-determination, has Chicana/o Studies at CI focused more attention on the recruitment and development of homegrown Chicanx administrators. In this case, Chicanx administrators need to be held accountable, specifically by students, to the interests of the community not the institutional powers that be, as El Plan admonishes us.

The establishment of curricular programs and the articulation of Chicana/o Studies with community colleges will increase the pipeline of Chicanx and Latinx students into the university. To follow this charge of El Plan, CI Chicana/o Studies spearheads Chicana/o Studies Summits in the Ventura County Community College District and Ethnic Studies Now in the Oxnard Union High School District. Both initiatives with Title V/HSI funds.

In relation to Title V funds that range in the millions of dollars on campuses, over 30% of UCSB’s 20,000 students are designated Hispanic. And over 50% of the 7,000 students at CSU Channel Islands are such. These students are largely ethnic Mexicans, with an ever-increasing proportion of Central and South American ethnic students. This being the case, how are these grant monies spent, is the important question. And how do Chicanx students/Latinx students benefit. Or, are they just pimped to augment the waning budgets of universities and colleges?

At CSUCI Chicana/o Studies faculty, staff, and administrators develop and participate in programs subsidized by Title V/HSI grants. This is done to create a more inclusive and equitable campus culture. Furthermore, Chicana/o Studies in tandem with ChiLFSA request university support for initiatives such as Noche de Familia (that educates family to the university life of their student loved ones), Si Se Pudo! Chicana/o Graduation Recognition (fundamentally a Chicanx commencement), the Michele Serros Learning Community, and a Raza Bienvenida (welcoming) event that brings together students, members of the community, faculty, staff, and administrators at the start of each new academic year.

These are just a few examples of the relevance and life of El Plan de Santa Barbara at CSU Channel Islands via faculty, staff, and administrators who they themselves, in one way or another, are the progeny of Chicana/o Studies courses, degrees, and minors as envisioned by the people el movimiento.


Saturday, January 12, 2019

Oxnard’s Civil Gang Injunctions: A Personal Inquisition

Prompted by a spike in homicides, in March of 2004 the Oxnard Police Department and the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office embarked upon a public relations campaign that terrified the bejeezers out of residents to support its debut of a civil gang injunction. In their showcase of the criteria and putative effectiveness of this law enforcement tool, the two agencies interspersed within their PowerPoint presentation graphic portrayals of menacing, tattooed, Mexican-origin street gang members complemented by sanguineous crime scenes.

As Oxnard Police Chief Art Lopez introduced the injunction to Oxnard residents with bombast, I recoiled as I knew that his campaign to juice the powers of his department embodied the potential to unleash the wanton prosecution, if not persecution, of young brown people.

As a result, I joined a cadre of concerned Ventura County residents that evolved into the formation of Chiques Organizing for Rights and Education (CORE)—an acronym that channeled the civil rights era spirit of the Congress of Racial Equality.

Within the Mexican-origin community, Chiques serves as a cultural epithet for Oxnard. After a brief discussion, we agreed to embrace the Chiques moniker to take back control how the city, in general, and its Mexican-origin community, in particular, was defined by its police department and the DA.

Since the start, CORE, wary of expanded police powers, doubted the constitutionality of the initially proposed injunction against the Colonia Chiques street gang. And over time, a select and fluctuating number of educators, students, Colonia residents, and social workers worked under the CORE name not only to challenge the necessity of this blunt instrument but also petitioned city and county officials for alternative initiatives of prevention and rehabilitation.

Throughout the 14-year history of the City of Oxnard’s two civil gang injunctions (the second against Southside Chiques), I have asked myself why I oppose this law enforcement device. I, like most, if not all, people am for public safety so that my community thrives, especially its youth.

As I recognize the multifaceted, and often perilous, service police officers perform to ensure community peace and safety, I also hold an informed skepticism toward the general impartiality of law enforcement agencies toward the poor and people of color.

The Sleepy Lagoon case of 1942, that entailed the Los Angeles Police Department’s mass arrest of 500 young Mexican Americans, predominantly, who fashioned the era’s zoot suit for the mysterious death of one person, provides one such lesson.

In April of 2006, Lopez’s successor, Police Chief John Crombach, validated my instincts when he publicly bemoaned his department’s gratuitous use of force with the injunction’s implementation like an “invading army in the community.” When I listened to Chief Crombach’s extraordinary admission first hand at a Cal Lutheran University forum in which I was a participant, along with a DA representative, I imagined stormtrooper-like tactics of harassment, the front doors of homes kicked in, and a general abuse of power such as I have studied as a historian in the archives of California.

In fact, CORE listened to such testimonies from Colonia residents as the OPD and DA premiered its injunction. So, I serve as a conduit of their perspective.

These are just a sample of the reasons for my continued opposition to the civil gang injunctions. Others involve the City of Oxnard’s disproportionate allocation of resources to police suppression over independent community-based programs such as the KEYS Leadership Academy that provides proven transformative support for troubled young men and women.

Therefore, I do not favor street gang activity in no shape or form; I support sound, constitutional policing as well as an engaged citizenry that debates the policies of city officials.

Indeed, the OPD, to its credit, admitted to the city council on December 18th, 2018 that CORE’s critique of the gang injunctions influenced its decision to amend this tool to protect the rights of the innocent while ensuring public safety. This resulted in the opportunity for enjoined persons, and those to be served in the future, to challenge with greater ease their identification as active gang members of Colonia or Southside Chiques in and out of court.

Hence, recent judicial rulings deeming injunctions unconstitutional due to their violation of the due process rights of enjoined persons, impelled the OPD to stop the enforcement of its injunctions, amend them, and reduce the number served from an original 1,000 plus people, to 362 earlier this year, to presently some 24 individuals.

While dialogue between the OPD and CORE continues, a recent police department survey that purports the community’s support for the injunctions at over 90% similarly begs interrogation. Only in totalitarian states such as North Korea, or with such unscientific assessments, can such a high approval rate be alleged.

As in the presentation of suspect data for the implementation of the initial injunction in 2004, such statistical sleight-of-hand undermines extant trust among residents.

Furthermore, wariness manifest in contradictions between stated promises of the OPD and its actions. One that stands out in my mind was the department’s promise to the community early in this tale that juveniles would not be served with the injunction. Another consist in the assertion that the injunction, under civil law, would not impinge on the right of those served to enjoy legal representation by a public defender as is the case under criminal law. In both cases, the OPD vacillated in words and deeds.

So as the city council continues to support the OPD’s continued civil gang injunction strategy, it must adopt the novel tool of the Youth Justice Coalition: LA For Youth-1% Campaign that calls for one percent of Los Angeles County’s law enforcement budget to be dedicated to prevention and rehabilitation programs. In the City of Oxnard, a 1% Campaign would translate to $580,000 out of a $58 million OPD general fund budget. Imagine the safer Oxnard this fiscal tool could bring.

Amigos 805 LatinoLA

Saturday, December 1, 2018

A New Wave

I attended this morning’s LULAC Ventura County District concourse at the Clinicas del Camino Real, Inc. health center in Saticoy and learned the information below, in summary, about the honored guest speakers.

(Left in image) Gabriela Basua, Oxnard City Councilperson Elect. Works for the City of Port Hueneme, grew up in Oxnard, and attended Channel Islands High School. She served as a leader in the student high school walkouts in protest of the xenophobia of the 1990s—yes, little has changed nationally. A specific concern of hers is public safety and social justice.

(Center in image) Sofia Rubalcava, Ventura City Councilperson Elect. Works for the Santa Barbara School District. She grew up and lives in the Avenue barrio. She vanquished a carpetbagger candidate who moved into her council district specifically to win that seat. The electorate of the Avenue community responded with a decisive, “hell no!” A concern of hers is bilingualism as part of education and public policy.

(Right in image) Gabriela Torres, Ventura County Community College District Trustee Elect. She, too, grew up in Oxnard, attended Ventura College, and graduated from UC Berkeley. Like many proud Cal alumni, she echoed the Berkeley brand several times. Go Bears! She worked in the TRIO program of Cal State Channel Islands before her counselor appointment at the Oxnard School District. A main concern of hers is the reduction of the achievement gap among students.

All three persons expressed their appreciation of Chicana/o Studies in their higher education and support for Ethnic Studies. Two gave shout outs to the late/great Ventura College educator Professor Mayo De LA Rocha in this regard. They believe that the power of Ethnic Studies must be a core aspect of the K-16 curriculum.

These three awesome persons also championed the principles of equity and inclusion for all.

As I advocated on behalf of Chicana/o Studies within the VCCCD, due to its systematic evisceration, I connected this area of study to Cesar Chavez’s Community Service Organization leadership in resistance to police violence (particularly in relation to the notion of public safety and the City of Oxnard’s Civil Gang Injunction), the promotion of bilingual education, a tenure-track college faculty that reflects the community it serves, and the recruitment, retention, and graduation of students, especially the historically underserved.

From the countenances of the honored guest speakers, I gathered that they supported these ideas.

In closing, a big congratulations to the electoral victories of Gabriela Basua, Sofia Rubalcava, and Gabriela Torres. Ahua! Y gracias to the leadership of LULAC-Ventura County District for the sponsorship of this event. I left the meeting hopeful.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Academic Jargon

I registered below theoretical jargon that impedes my comprehension of historical narratives. And to their right, I placed words that express ideas more clearly, particularly for non-academics in the community—people that most historians wish to influence.

Discursive≈ symbolic, emblematic, illustrative, interpretative, subjective, representative

Imaginary≈ dream, fantasy, invention, fiction, idea, narrative, critique, histories, ideas, perspectives, narratives, critiques.

Neo-liberal≈ merciless, cruel, brutal. A term often used so repeatedly by mediocre scholars in an essay that it loses all significance. Takeaway: when employed do so sparingly.

Subjectivity≈ agency, personhood, belonging, individual, particular reality.

For the record, in the past I queried academic acquaintances and friends who employ such mumbo jumbo only to discover that many themselves can’t define their own use of such terms.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

El Mercado

(Oxnard grocery market of the past, 1972. Notice Spanish mispelling for "prices")

An excerpt from manuscript 2.

Grocery stores of Ventura County reinforced the Mexican culture of the home. Particularly on weekends, markets, large and small, named Santa Cruz, Bob’s, Grandpa's, and Raines bustled with parents, grandparents, and a chingo (a whole bunch) of children. Mexican shoppers of diverse residency, races, and citizenship that crowded such spaces often referred to themselves, sometimes disparagingly and at other times affectionately, as la chicanada—the hoi polloi of Mexico.

Pleated and sunbaked skin marked the countenances of adults, especially the old; men often walked with gruesome bloodshot eyes overexposed to the sunrays reflected from the soil. The sinew and veins of the arms and hands of women and men exhibited not only a worn strength but also the sacrifice made to purchase the anticipated manna to delight themselves and their brood.

Patrons jostled each other as they scooped rice and pinto bean from giant bins into brown paper sacks, fingered through fruits and vegetables, and stood in front of the butcher section to select fresh cuts of pork, beef, and poultry.

Meanwhile, niños cried and screamed; children, well, acted as such as they teased each other, pleaded for toys and treats, as well as lane-split grocery carts. All throughout, a Spanish-language cacophony of parental admonishments (apaciguasen,vas a ver,ven aqui!) radio music, conversations, and debates filled the air.
(Los Angeles Public Library)

And to complete el mandado (grocery shopping) family parties serried the checkout with furtive glances of wonder, frustration, and desire.


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

¡Campeón!, ¡Campeón!: Everyone Needs a Champion Now and Then

Two-car garages gauntlet the alleys of the Levittown-like Oxnard neighborhood of Bartolo Square. As I washed my Datsun 280 Z2+2 behind my childhood home one weekend in 1984, Chicanita and Chicanito kids played. As the brood of Mexican immigrant parents, they spoke Spanish while they chased and ribbed each other, noisily. Then a lone Doberman Pincher approached us from down the backstreet. Once they noticed the hund, the children shrieked and screamed, “¡Campeón!, ¡Campeón! ¡Ayudanos, Campeón!” Then from their backyard came a handsome black and tan German Shepherd. As their pastor alemán spied the menace that was his Germanic cousin, Campeón growled and rushed away the Doberman. The Chicanitos cheered, “Yeahh, Campeón! Yeahhh! Campeón!” In triumph, their champion pranced back to his yard. A few minutes later, the Doberman returned and the feat reran.

The kids adored Campeón, their defender.

I think of this story as I obsess over the recruitment and selection of potential tenure-track faculty peers from historically underrepresented groups (HUGs), particularly those of Mexican origin. For HUGs applicants to survive the salmon run of a tenure-track opening, at least one member of a search committee must serve as their champion. Without such an advocate, faculty less attuned to the dire need for more HUGs peers dismiss, or even cull, their applications. Some of these faculty simply don’t comprehend the rarity of HUGs scholars; others, I suspect, hold a conscious or unconscious concern to the notion of people of Mexican origin or other HUGs serving in equal number to their European-origin selves. Then there are a small minority of colleagues who view people of color as never their equal, much less superior.

Due to this reality in many, if not most, institutions of academe, the effective recruitment of HUGs tenure-track professors hinges on champions within a recruitment committee to counter the traditional sponsorship of prospective colleagues that mirror the historically dominant within the ranks of not only teaching but also administrative. To protect group control, a foe or foes of HUGs applicants play the role of assassin who stalk and chip away at the competitiveness of threats to their demographic doppelganger, often a person within their social network. Faculty not committed to diversity beyond rhetoric seek out chinks in the armor of HUGs applicants from the start to advantage their furtive, but often suspected, choice. If the elimination of a stellar HUGs applicant is not accomplished by the end, the agent of the status quo embarks upon a crude coup de grace. Then when he or she is questioned by an outside person why a HUGs candidate was not recommended to the administration, the assassin will reply, “Well. You know we look for them but they did not appear in the applicant pool. Umm, maybe next time.”

How do I know this? In my 25 years in higher education, I witnessed peers nitpick the bona fides of HUGs applicants, strategically advance the person under their sponsorship, trash a gem of a HUGs candidate, then, at the end, champion with ferocity, or plead for, the “most qualified” person they desire to join the exclusive club of tenure-track faculty.

Indeed, it is not unusual for applicants in general to have little chance from the get go. When key faculty members want to bring on board a ringer, they craft a job announcement centered on that person’s cv. Hence, the makers of an advertisement eliminate language that casts a wide net inviting just as, if not more, qualified HUGs applicants. And even when HUGs do apply, guardians of the status quo will declare in a committee deliberation, “This person is qualified but is not really what we’re looking for.” “This person does not have publications.” “This person does not have teaching experience.” Or, when invited onto campus, “This person had an (uppity) attitude.”

Individuals who cull the applications of HUGs hopefuls employ such grammar. So it is imperative that HUGs champions be more cunning. A campeón or campeones of HUGs applicants highlight the assets, not the deficits, in such applications as well argue the professional promise a person from the historically underrepresented holds, maybe a future university president. After all, how much teaching experience did most of us have for our first faculty job? How many publications did most of us carry within our scholarly belt upon the completion of our doctoral programs? Most of us, none. So why create arbitrary litmus tests that we did not face at the commencement of our careers, especially at a comprehensive system such as the California State University (CSU).

Within most faculty departments white professors, men and women, dominate. Hence, they reign over recruitment committees that serve as the judges that screen applications for a tenure-track position. Sure, a token HUGs member or two will be included to assert the inclusivity of a search. Such tokens, especially those without tenure or not fully promoted, will rarely, out of self-preservation, challenge the direction of a search in the control of white senior colleagues. To counter this situation, recruitment committees must include an equal or dominant number of HUGs members, ideally with one or more who are fully tenured and promoted to transform the dynamic of the process. Otherwise, it is highly unlikely that a HUGs assistant professor will chance career martyrdom, real or imagined, in the face of those who will serve also as the jury of their own tenure and promotion.

So what’s the takeaway?

Unless, administrative functionaries partner with the campeones of HUGs recruitment, a sinister tokenism will continue to prevail, at best, in the form of only one person of color in a department. The tacit message conveyed, “We have “our black,” “our Mexican,” “our Asian.” We’re in control. No more diversity needed here.”

Although faculty drive the recruitment process of tenure-track faculty, administrators must actualize the principals of equity and inclusion, i.e., Affirmative Action. This must be done by the inspection of job announcements to ensure that they invite the greatest number of applicants from all backgrounds. This administrative oversight, moreover, must police minimum and preferred qualifications that exclude fields and specializations often important to HUGs scholars. Deans, provosts, and campus presidents must also demand that recruitment committees recommend two or more finalists, with a least one being a HUGs; if not, the search will be declared a failure.

In fact, the Chancellor of the CSU must implement the Rooney Rule of the National Football League that commands team owners to interview HUGs candidates when head coaching and senior management positions open. This way CSU presidents who issue letters of appointments can base their decisions on the comprehensive needs of their institutions.

But to advance the number of HUGs within college and university departments everyone must be actively committed to the transformation of a campus culture to one that embraces the representative inclusion of people of color beyond the token one or two. To achieve this, department chairs, deans, faculty, presidents, provosts, and staff must articulate a consistent message that prizes the best practices of equity and inclusion to recruit, retain, and promote HUGs faculty. In this regard, extant faculty of color—especially CSU professors of Mexican origin as Hispanic students are the largest within a HUGs plurality, at 38%, in the system—must communicate to executive administrators that they will back them 100% in the hiring of HUGs candidates when they receive push back from the defenders of the status quo.

This support is crucial as the number one consideration of at-will functionaries is the preservation and the advancement of their individual careers. Managers calculate the political costs and benefits of every decision they make. Due to this fact, the feet of functionaries must be held to this transformative fire as they often issue bromides on the importance of diversity and exploit photo ops with brown faces without the sacrifice of political skin in order to safeguard their progression from chair to dean, dean to provost, provost to president, president to chancellor.

In closing, with every advancement achieved, being a campeón for the underrepresented becomes easier as HUGs begets HUGs.