On behalf of the Career Center, we want to acknowledge the racism, hate, and police brutality that has led to the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, among many others. We recognize the pain and violence Black Americans are currently facing and also want to amplify the many voices reminding us that the pain and violence are not new; white supremacy and anti-Blackness have existed throughout the history of the United States. We also support the words from the Vice President of Diversity for Colorado State University.
Racism and discrimination are manifested in career services and the world of work. Occupational segregation, unconscious bias in hiring, and active discrimination are a few of the systemic barriers that Black Americans face in their careers. Research has shown that living in a racially diverse zip code can have a negative impact on job prospects. Black cis-women earn an average of $0.61 to the dollar every white cis-man earns, leading to almost $900,000 of lost revenue over the course of a 40-year career, and this is not okay.
Career centers, including our Career Center at CSU, have been complicit in systems of oppression, doing career-services-work by centering whiteness and maleness. We know that we must do better and recommit to doing our work by embracing and celebrating students’ unique social identities in career development, removing structural barriers that inhibit success, and using our power to advocate for change. The Career Center’s commitment to doing better includes the following:
- Denounce and disrupt anti-Blackness in our space, events, and services.
- We recognize our current physical space perpetuates the whiteness of professionalism. We will be putting a task force together to change our space to dismantle the traditional beliefs of what professionalism should look like and invite students to be part of the redesigning of our space.
- We recognize that our full-time staff is predominantly white and that as a center we have work to do to understand why this is and how we can create a workplace that doesn’t perpetuate that career services is only for white people.
- Continue our commitment to educating students through a social justice approach to career education, including educating all students on the deep systemic injustices related to the career journey, and identify actions that can break down these systems.
- Better center the experiences and needs of Black students, and all students with historically marginalized and minoritized identities, in our work.
- Engage in ongoing staff training designed to guide our learning (and unlearning) of internalized bias and beliefs, including accountability and evaluative expectations for each staff member.
- Use our power to leverage employers’ commitment to anti-racism and social justice generally, including launching our “D&I Toolkit” for employers, engaging our employer partners in social-justice-related conversations, better promoting our “Report an Employer of Concern” website, and defining parameters and expectations for employers when engaging on campus.
To Black Americans and Black CSU students, we see you, we hear you, and we believe Black Lives and Black Rams matter.
-The Career Center