HSS Equity Speakers Series:
A Call To Action

Why Now?  

Systemic racism has been an issue in the United States since the founding of our country. So, why are we only starting these conversations now? This is a question many have asked, and there is no satisfactory answer—we should have taken more action sooner.  While many have been fighting for equality throughout their lives, the culmination of many events demands urgent public attention to focus on fixing the undeniable inequities experienced by people of color.  We must use this moment to kickstart long-needed conversations, critical self-reflection, and strategic  action. 

The HSS Equity Speakers Series is one way we hope to engage in this process.  It is a space to have action-based dialogues between not only faculty within departments, but across departments and with staff, administration, and students. It is not the end, but merely one beginning to the actions we must take to dismantle systemic racism.  

The mission of the HSS Equity  Speakers Series is to broaden the Mt. SAC community’s awareness of equity issues and develop action plans that we each can use to enact change against racism.  

Let’s heed the call to action! Join the HSS Equity Speakers Series to get involved in our community and take steps before another headline is splashed across our screens

To request reasonable accommodations and/or for further information, please email

Featured Events

A Call to Action is on hiatus. 


 View or revisit previous talks by scrolling to
the bottom to access recordings and the speakers' resources.


If you have any questions, please email 

A recording of the discussions will be available 1-2 weeks after each event in the drop down menu below for closed-captioning purposes.

    • September 21: Mt. SAC's "Decolonize Justice: Bad Hombres"

      El Centro, Rising Scholars, MMI, RAICES, & HSS Equity Speaker Series Present: Mt. SAC's Decolonize Justice: Bad Hombres

      El Centro, Rising Scholars, MMI, RAICES, & HSS Equity Speaker Series present the 30-minute film, "Decolonize Justice: Bad Hombres" and a panel with Mt. SAC Alumni about a Latino male experience from colonization to criminalization. 

      "This film explores the roots of criminalization of the Latino community in the United States. Stretching from the colonization of Latin America and the Caribbean, the film tracks the stereotypes and the policies used to cast Latinos as suspicious “others.” It takes a deeper dive into the policies, public narratives and personal testimonies that expose a system that associates crime with the Latino identity and explains how Latinos have become the fastest growing minority in the U.S. prison system." Latinojustice PRLDEF YouTube Channel

      Director: Carlos Sandoval

    • May 25: Asian Communities and White Supremacy

      Asian Communities and White Supremacy

      This event will feature a panel of Mounties in different roles across campus, including Trustee Gary Chow, Vice President of Student Services Dr. Audrey Yamagata-Noji, and Academic Senate President Chisa Uyeki! The panel will be moderated by Dr. Meghan Chen, Dean of The Library and Learning Resources Division. Please come to hear our panelists’ stories about racism against and within Asian communities and what they are doing to serve Asian and Asian American Mounties. There will also be time for Q&A and a short discussion after the panel. All are invited!

    • April 20: The Talk: How Oppressed People Socialize Their Children to Survive Law Enforcement

      The Talk: How Oppressed People Socialize Their Children to Survive Law Enforcement

    • March 23: How to Be a Co-Conspirator at Mt. SAC

      How to Be a Co-Conspirator at Mt. SAC: Making Action Plans Out of Dr. Bettina Love's Ideas

      HSS featured a panel of Mounties in different roles across campus! The panelists shared their stories and ideas for change, the participants joined a breakout room conversations to determine action steps that administration, faculty, staff, and students can take to be co-conspirators against racism and systemic inequity.

      Michelle Sampat, J.D. , Associate Dean, Instruction Services

      Betzabel Martinez, Program Specialist, Student Equity 

      Susana Cevallos, Professor of Sociology 

      Lizet Hernandez, Mt. SAC student  

    • October 13: Dr. Alexander Jun 

      Diversity and Nicety Are Not Enough: Systemic Causes of Racial Injustice in American Higher Education 

      As a scholar on equity and justice in higher education, Dr. Jun has conducted research around the world. More recently, he has coauthored a trilogy book-series on systemic racism: White Out (2017), White Jesus (2018), and White Evolution (2019). In this talk, Dr. Jun will discuss the historical roots and logical outcome of racial injustice in America, and by extension U.S. higher education. 


      Event Recording

      Recording coming soon!

    • September 15: Peter Kao, Professor of Sociology

      "Racism 101"

      Join us as we explore these concepts, which are often misunderstood and misused, and discuss how they operate in our society to shape our identify. Peter is currently an adjunct faculty at Mt. SAC in the Sociology department. His research focuses on White supremacy in Protestant Christianity. 



    • HandshakeAugust 4: Dr. Eric Lara, Associate Dean, Student Success and Equity

      Dr. Eric Lara is the Associate Dean, Student Success and Equity at Mt. San Antonio College. He brings with him over fifteen years of higher education experience, through three levels of the California Higher Educational system. Eric has worked as the Director of the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) program at College of the Canyons, the Director of Student Affairs in Electrical Engineering at UC San Diego, and he started his career as the Retention Coordinator and Academic Advisor for the Maximizing Engineering Potential (MEP) Program at Cal Poly Pomona.

      Dr. Lara holds a Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Higher Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California, as well as a Master’s in Education and Bachelor’s in Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology, both from Cal Poly Pomona.


      Community Comments and Questions 


    • MobileJuly 21: Dr. Mica Stewart, Sociology Professor and Social Justice Studies Coordinator
      “Managing the Minefield of Cross-Racial Discussions about Race"

       Do you avoid talking about race because you are worried about saying the wrong thing? Or worse yet, does the fear of being labeled a “racist” make you hesitant to speak up or ask questions in cross-racial circles? If so, you are not alone. In this presentation, Dr. Mica will offer some clear guidelines for what you should (and should not do) when discussing race and other issues of diversity.

      **Captions will be added shortly. **


      Community Questions 

    • July 7: Student Panel 

      “I think this fall will be one of the most turbulent semesters of the past 50 years on college campuses,” said Muhammad, a historian of racism and criminal justice. “Because that energy that has been in the streets is also part of the on-campus work of college-educated students who have engaged in this national antiracist reckoning.” 

      "Colleges Are in for a Racial Reckoning. Name Changes Are Only the Beginning." The Chronicle of Higher Education, 5 July 2020. 


      Community Action Items 


      Katelynn Coleman has been a student at Mt. SAC since 2017. Her major is international business and she will be attending Clark Atlanta University, Howard University or Fisk University in the Fall of 2020. She is first generation Bahamian and the first in her family to pursue a degree. ​ At Mt. SAC, Kat was also secretary for the Black Excellence Union. She was an active  member in the Arise and Aspire program.

      Charles Biddle is a Business major, and he is transferring to Cal Poly Pomona this Fall 2020. He has been a student ambassador for Mt. SAC for over 5 years and he has enjoyed working in student services!

      Sharon Castellanos is a recent Mt. SAC alumna who is attending UC Riverside in the Fall. She is a Sociology and Psychology major as well as the former Mt. SAC BSU President, M.E.C.H.A. Gender and Sexuality Co-Chair, and most of all, an Afro-Latina.

      Tracy Herrera just graduated from Mt. SAC with two AAs! One in Liberal Arts, emphasis in Social and Behavioral Science and one in Psychology. She is the first person in her family to earn a college degree, and she worked full time while completing her degrees at Mt. SAC. Tracy will be transferring to Cal Poly Pomona this Fall, 2020. Her plan is to obtain a master's degree and work with children, perhaps as a school counselor.



    • HandshakeJune 23: Dean Karelyn Hoover

      HSS Call to Action Statement: 

      Dear Faculty, Staff, Administrators, and Students,

      On the first Thursday of June, as we do on the first Thursday of every month, we held our HSS Department Chairs meeting.  It has been our practice this year to begin our meetings with issues of equity.  Two of our psychology faculty members made a presentation to us on trauma.  It was very helpful to everyone to understand the impact trauma has on not only our students, but fellow faculty as well.  Following the presentation and a lot of discussion about how we and our students have been impacted by the global pandemic and the killing of George Floyd, our discussion turned to broader themes of justice and equity.  We talked about how our students of color are impacted every day by our practices, what they must go through to navigate our classes and life.  As one faculty member said, “My eyes have been opened.” 

       After that powerful conversation, I wanted to turn to action.  I did not want the moment to be squandered.  The global pandemic is not a once in a lifetime event; it is a once in a century event.  This is in stark contrast to the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer, which is something our Black students and colleagues have experienced all too often and live in fear of happening to them or their loved ones.  One of the hallmarks of community colleges is their response to the needs of their community, and one of the roles now is to work together to create a just, equitable, and inclusive education for all. 

       Now that our eyes are being opened, how do we turn this moment into action?  How do we move this moment beyond talk?  How do we make systemic change?

      I did not believe, as a white woman (and to keep it real, an old white woman), that I should lead the call to action.  However, everyone needs to heed the call.  Asked if white people should just get out of the way, rapper and activist Killer Mike (Mike Rendon) responded, “But what I need white America to do beyond right now, is understand that right now is always.  It isn’t just helping in the now – it is being a part of fixing it always.” 

      Then five HSS faculty members contacted me and asked for a meeting.  During the meeting, they challenged me to support a bi-weekly series of talks where administration, faculty, staff, and students come together as a community to broaden our awareness of equity issues and develop action plans that we each can take to enact change against racism.  The intent is to move from conversations to action and improved outcomes for students. 

      Welcome to the launch of a bi-weekly series, beginning next week, focused on “fixing” issues of equity.  Come be part of the conversation and the solution.  Next Tuesday, I will be the inaugural speaker, talking about what it means to be equity-minded.

      Event Recording