Cover of the 2022 ILEA Equity Institute

The second annual  Illinois Equity in Attainment (ILEA) Initiative Equity Institute was held February 24-25, 2022 with record-setting attendance of nearly 600 participants. Staff, faculty and administrators from all 25 ILEA colleges and universities attended the Institute themed Leveraging This Moment To Sustain Equity-Mindedness in Higher Education.

The Institute kicked-off with opening remarks from Lisa Castillo Richmond, PCC’s Executive Director, followed by a keynote address, Embracing Racial Equity: LBCC’s Journey From Color-blind to Race-consciousness in Leadership and Practice from Dr. Mike Muñoz, President and Superintendent, Long Beach City College.  Dr. Gina Ann Garcia, Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburg and a researcher and expert on Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) led a presentation on Leading for Racial Equity and Social Justice at HSIs.

There were 8 sessions showcasing national thought leaders who have created supports to address student basic needs in the wake of a historic public health crisis, created model practices for delivery of services that promote the health and well-being of students of color and implemented strategies to effectively facilitate the growth and development of professionals of color in higher education.

The student voice was represented via video throughout the virtual two-day event featuring members of PCC’s Student Advisory Council sharing reflections on their experiences as college students.  The Institute wrapped up with closing remarks from Dr. Kim Everett, Managing Director, PCC.

Many thanks to our ILEA members from Richard J. Daley College, President Janine E. Janosky, Patricia Aumann, Erika de la Riva and Silvia Villa for providing the pre-Equity Institute blog, “Mobilizing Holistic Support to Ensure Retention and Success in a Time of Crisis”, Anthony Ramos (Elgin Community College) who participated in our Twitter Chat event titled, “Supporting Students Holistically at Hispanic-Serving Institutions” and to Dr. Brandon Nichols (Olive-Harvey College), Blanca Jara (Morton College), Dr. Claudia Mercado (Harper College), Dr. Stephanie Quirk (College of DuPage), Dr. Kristi Nelms and Emma Hall (Blackburn College) and Erika de la Riva (Daley College) who served on panel presentations at the Equity Institute.

Equity Institute by the Numbers:

  • Total Number of Attendees: 584 virtual seats
  • Highest Session Attendance
    • Welcome & Opening Keynote (247 attendees)
    • Leading for Racial Equity & Social Justice at Hispanic-Serving Institution (215 attendees)
    • Obstacles to Mental Health Treatment in Higher Education (202 attendees)
  • Highest Overall Participation (2-yr): College of Lake County (53 registrations) 
  • Highest Overall Participation (4-yr): National Louis University & Roosevelt University (49 registrations)
  • Top WHOVA Engagers: Yolanda Barnes (Elgin Community College), Jesse Barnes (College of Lake County) and Tracy Morris (Joliet Juniot College)
  • Equity Institute Evaluation, Overall Quality of the Institute:
    • “Thank you so much for creating this space. As an attendee, it was so clear that everyone involved was thoughtful about every part of the experience. The speakers were phenomenal, the topics were relevant, and I am walking away from this encouraged and energized to keep doing the work.”
    • “Will be using the HSI identity info, cultural competence overview & continuum w/my team, excited to add more equity & justice centered language & action within my work & within my team, & looking forward to reaching out to the Black Excellence Project in partnership w/our E.D. of DEI & Compliance.”
    • “Thank you for providing space for us to learn more on how to be brave in our workspaces and leadership with an anti-racist, equity & justice-centered lens. I wish there were more opportunities for break-out rooms to network with fellow participants but this was amazing. It provided a sense of belonging & mental/spiritual food for my soul that I urgently needed at this time.”

Many presentations and supporting materials from the 2022 ILEA Equity Institute can be found in the WHOVA appPlease check the PCC Resource Library for updates on the event playlist and session recordings (in late March 2022).