Faculty to Participate in Ground-breaking Course on Racial Equity
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Faculty to Participate in Ground-breaking Course on Racial Equity

El Camino College Mathematics professor Arturo Martinez, Ed.D., was invited to participate in the inaugural class of the Racial Equity in Mathematics Leadership Institute scheduled to begin later this month. The six-week institute is sponsored by the University of Southern California (USC) Race & Equity Center and Bensimon & Associates.

The Institute mission is “to provide necessary professional development to make racial equity in mathematics a reality in California Community Colleges (CCC),” in the wake of the 2018 passage of Assembly Bill 705—State legislation mandating that community college students must complete transfer-level English and math courses within a year.  Historically, students of color have had lower completion rates in these courses, thus the Institute was created to address the concerns with a focus on improving racial equity within the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields of education and industry.

“El Camino College faculty and staff continue to focus on closing persistent equity gaps in achievement outcomes for students of color,” said El Camino Superintendent/President Dr. Dena Maloney. “Dr. Martinez is an excellent representative of the level of commitment we all share in securing successful outcomes for all students, particularly students of color enrolled in mathematics.”

Dr. Martinez, a co-coordinator of El Camino’s Scholarly Inquiry for Teaching Excellence (SITE), has been exploring equitable teaching practices in various grant-related roles for several years.

“For too long, mathematics has been a gatekeeper for many students, but most especially for students of color,” Dr. Martinez stated. “I look forward to exploring equity-minded pedagogical practices to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics. I plan to share what I learn at USC with a series of SITE workshops in the Fall.”

Dr. Martinez and the other participants in the Institute will be provided with strategic “equity-minded practices” that can be implemented in STEM classrooms.  These include: 

  • Cultivating an awareness of race and racism and its manifestations in the math classroom,
  • Practicing race-consciousness in an affirmative sense when interpreting data,
  • Taking responsibility for “seeing” classroom practices as racialized, and
  • Taking the actions necessary to dismantle practices that perpetuate racial gaps in classroom outcomes.

Upon completion of the six-week Institute’s rigorous coursework, Dr. Martinez will receive a certificate from the USC Race and Equity Center, endorsed by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, the California Acceleration Project, and The Campaign for College Opportunity.

May 24, 2021