San Jose State University
Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
February 2021 Newsletter
Welcome to Our Newsletter
Find out what ODEI has been up to!
Photo of Kathy taking a selfie with the Belong@SJSU committee
Catching Up with Kathy

As I write this piece I am cognizant of the very important work that many people on our campus are doing to support Black students, faculty and staff. From the leadership of the Black Spartan Advisory Group and The Solidarity Network to the many employees and students who have for many years taken on the hard and often unrecognized work of identifying inequities, lifting up students and colleagues, and pressing institutions to change, there has been a visible and palpable shift on campus to identify systemic anti-Black racism openly and to enact and expect impactful change. 

As we celebrate Black History Month at SJSU this month I am reminded that in addition to addressing anti-Black racism and the historical racism still baked into our everyday relations and systems, it is equally important to make visible the innovation, creativity, courageous leadership, richness of traditions, and talent that attest to the power of Black and African American people and their rich legacy and impact on our world.

Our Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) seeks to build individual, organizational, and institutional capacity to enact systemic change on issues of equity and social inequality. We do this by coordinating, collaborating, amplifying and consulting on DEI work across campus with students and employees to create a more just and welcoming University for learning, working, and living. We serve as educators, and consultants who believe in the development of lifelong learners in the capacity to shape equity in their work and learning. The current most pressing goals for our campus are to:

  • address anti-Black systemic racism in terms of processes, protocols, and distribution of resources and opportunities as well as distribution of discipline and power.

  • prioritize the well-being and sense of belonging of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) students, staff, and faculty.

  • empower and resource our campus to center frameworks and epistemologies of historically underserved communities to change not only what we teach and how we teach but also how we support and engage our students and employees--understanding that all of this benefits everyone in terms of campus, local, and global values of equity and inclusion. 

  • provide opportunities for connectedness among our campus community during the incredibly difficult and challenging times as many remain separated from our coworkers and students during the pandemic as we shelter at home while essential workers also labor on campus in isolation under current protocols. Additionally many are suffering staggering economic and personal loss. 

In late Fall semester we hired a director in a new role in leadership, Dr. Patience Bryant, Director of Black/African American Equity who joined ODEI in December 2020. She brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, expertise, and capacity to understand organizational processes, structures, and assessments necessary to do the work of creating systemic equity. Patience is an incredible and valued member of our small team.

In other parts of this newsletter we will share ODEI’s many initiatives, collaborations, and consultations. We will provide links for ongoing initiatives so that you can enroll or participate and links to resources so that you can explore or learn. We hope that you enjoy this newsletter. Please take care and be safe. 

Welcome Our Newest Team Members!
pb newsletter - Patience Bryant-resize2.jpg
Dr. Patience D. Bryant (she/they) joined ODEI as the Director for Black/African American Equity in December 2020.
Photo of Felicia McKee-Fegans
Felicia McKee-Fegans (she/her) joined the ODEI team as the Executive Assistant and Diversity Program Specialist in July 2020.
In Their Own Words
Learn about the ODEI Team from the experts... Us!
Take Up Space with Dr. B!

I am so excited to be at SJSU as our campus' inaugural Director for Black/African American Equity. I am enjoying connecting with the campus partners and San Jose community as we build and strengthen relationships. I am looking forward to integrating restorative justice/practice concepts on our campus as we collectively address racial equity and anti-Blackness.

Though we celebrate and honor Blackness every day of the year, Black History Month remains relevant and necessary because like the National Museum of African American History and Culture stated: Knowing the Past Opens the Door to the Future. Throughout the month of February, members of the ODEI staff will be sharing their favorite books, podcasts, artists, movies, and more that center Blackness via our department’s Instagram. These posts are a way for the SJSU community to get to know us, but also a way for us to show the community that Black culture is not a monolith. Black history is a part of American history and is something that we all should know.

We all have a role in actively addressing systematic racism and inequities and I am happy to be a part of the work that is happening on our campus.


Thought Bubble
Vibin’ on Jay-Z’s Public Service Announcement:
Allow me to reintroduce myself, my name is [beat drop]

When I was trying to think of what to say after a team conversation about a department newsletter, what kept coming to my head was Jay-Z's PSA because I felt like after 14+ years in Advancement I needed to reintroduce myself and my new role because I know so many people across campus. Even after more than 200 days in my current role I still run into people who didn't know I’d moved. There are also several people who I haven't had a chance to talk to since the change so I'm writing to you as well. And for those who don’t know me at all…

My name is Felicia McKee-Fegans and I am the Executive Assistant and Diversity Program Specialist for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI).

What does it mean for me to be in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion? What does my new role mean to me? When the opportunity came to change departments and not only advance in my career but also expand my reach and impact across campus it was an easy yes. It was easy because not only would I be taking advantage of a rare growth opportunity (and we know how difficult it can be for staff to advance within the university), I would be making a more meaningful contribution through my interactions with the people I work with, students, and to the atmosphere on campus. This new role gives me the opportunity to learn more about diversity work, which is an ever-expanding field not only in education but across all industries, and also have influence and shape what takes place on our campus by providing a voice for people like me: Black / African-American, women, alumni, people who grew up here in the Bay Area. And much of the work I already did on campus as a volunteer serving on committees, task forces, etc. became a vital part of my regular work. Having my transition take place right after the murder of George Floyd when the profile of DEI work grew immensely and publicly because everyone, not just black people, began to look for a change-- meaningful, substantial, long-lasting change-- only confirmed my decision. This is important vital work that our small but powerful and dynamic team does. I hope to grow and challenge myself in this role and make a lasting impact on our campus community.

Meet the Rest of Our Team
photo of Craig Alimo
craig John Alimo (he/him/his)
Diversity and Inclusion Trainer/Educator
photo of Fernanda
Fernanda Perdomo-Arciniegas (she/her/ella)
Deputy Diversity Officer

What's Up with craig?

With the love, care, patience and compassion of his colleagues and friends, craig has stumbled and fumbled his way through the past 20+ years as a social justice educator. As an administrator, craig has worked in a variety of College Student Developmental settings such as Residential Life, Orientation Programs, Living/Learning Programs, and Multicultural Affairs. As a teacher, he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses focusing on social justice educational content and process. He has designed, administered, facilitated and researched social justice educational and leadership programs around the country. Additionally, craig has consulted with a variety of government, public, private and not for profit organizations. Originally from New Jersey, by way of Massachusetts and Maryland, craig loves most things outdoorsy, loves to hike and camp when it’s warm and snowboard when it’s cold.  He annoys his partner and dog as he pretends to play the drums or the guitar in his free time.  Be careful not to ask him about Frolf, the New England Patriots, Cornhole, the Boston RedSox, or Intergroup Contact Theory as he may bore you for hours on end.

Conversaciones con Fernanda

Hola a todes, my name is Fernanda Perdomo-Arciniegas (she/her/hers/ella) and I co-lead the university's efforts in community and campus partnerships in intergroup dialogue program development with the technology sector of Silicon Valley and SJSU students, faculty and staff. I also work collaboratively with the ODEI team to create presentations that are used in trainings, consultations, and informative sessions for colleges, units, and /or departments. One of the unique things that I bring to ODEI is my knowledge of the institution since I have been the longest at SJSU -22 years if you count my three years as a student- and I have worked in areas ranging from large academics departments, to undergraduate admissions, to campus and community relations. Reflecting on the importance of Black History Month and its meaning as well as in the work I have been doing in ODEI for the past 4 years, I feel that my collective reality has also helped contextualized and reevaluate my own experience with colonization, patriarchy and White supremacy as a White passing immigrant Latina with an accented speech, who understands her power and privilege but who also had to deal and process years of internalized oppression manifested in impostor syndrome, perfectionism, and gender constraints. I bring and use all of these experiences, plus my academic training, to help address issues of social justice, accessibility, equity, and inclusion when it comes to co-develop presentations and trainings as well as to provide solutions to campus challenges. My hope for 2021 is to explore and research equitable opportunities for SJSU staff that would help them (us) thrive and shine while feeling that their work is appreciated and valued. Stay tuned for developments in this area as we share ODEI's initiatives and programs in our newsletter.

Banner for Lightning Reads

The readings and resources in this section are designed to help our campus learn about theories, frameworks, research and resources that are helpful in addressing our key goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion by building our intellectual muscle to help us see our world, analyze our world, and apply this learning from where we are to increase equity. The readings are chosen because they are able to overview or introduce complex concepts in ways that promote understanding among a wide variety of readers, occupational foci, and time constraints. We hope you enjoy this regular posting.

Metacognition and Math - examples of metacognitive exercises that can help close equity gaps and increase resilience in learning

Social Psychology of Attribution Errors and Bias

Association of the Study of African American Life and History - talks about origins of BHM and this year's theme and past themes

infographic titled ODEI in Action
banner reading belong@SJSU Campus Fora
Last November, Rankin and Associates presented to the Campus Community, in two different sessions, the results of the belong@SJSU Campus Climate Survey, an endeavor led by the Campus Climate and Belonging Committee (CCBC). Due to the voluminous amount of data, ODEI, determined that the results needed to be presented to each constituency in a separate fora that allowed for discussion and a Q&A. So this January and during the first week of February, we conducted six fora for students, faculty and staff (two each) and presented the results of the campus climate survey highlighting data that pertained to each group. The comments, questions, concerns, and suggestions that resulted from those discussions are being added to the campus climate process and are being shared with the appropriate offices, student organizations, and employee groups, among others.
Flyer for employee connections. Click the picture to register for the March session
Employee Connections is a monthly meeting created by ODEI for staff, faculty, and administrators where they can share a virtual lunch or coffee break with their colleagues and talk about anything and everything that may be of interest to them and/or the group. This initiative was born last year as a result of the feedback received during the pre and post election sessions that ODEI held in partnership with University Personnel, Center for Faculty Development and LifeMatters EAP by Empathia where attendees suggested the creation of a space where people could meet over zoom and connect with each other since the pandemic had limited our interpersonal interactions. The intention of the Employee Connections sessions is to help facilitate meeting new people, learning from each other, and creating community. These sessions are for all SJSU employees, including those who work for our auxiliaries. We have held three regular sessions since December, and a special session during the Presidential Inauguration. Sessions are on the second Tuesday of every month at noon. Our next Employee Connections session will be on Tuesday, March 9 at noon. Come and join us!
Register for March 9
Black History Month Calendar page 1
Black History Month Calendar page 2
Black History Month Calendar page 3
Flyer for ODEI Meet and Greet
CONTACT US     â€¢     408-924-8168
Kathleen Wong(Lau), PhD
Felicia McKee-Fegans, MA Ed
craig John Alimo, PhD
Patience D. Bryant, PhD
IG: @pdb_phd
TW: @pdb_phd
Fernanda Perdomo-Arciniegas, MPA
facebook     twitter     instagram     youtube  
San Jose State University
Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192-0007

Last Updated Feb 1, 2023