MICCI: Our Goals
Overview: The following are some of the issues the MICCI will address: ensure representation in key decision making positions; develop/implement courses that reflect Mesoamerican, Caribbean or Indigenous cultures; increase faculty of color at all levels, and within the administration; intensify efforts to recruit students from Mesoamerican, Caribbean and Indigenous communities, and increase career related opportunities; and, finally, establish a physical location in which discussions and cultural events can be held.
Title VI Office
MICCI and its members, comprised of students, faculty, and alumni, demand the creation of a Title VI Office. A Title VI office will not only investigate reports of discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, and/or national origin, but will also be essential to the mental, emotional and physical well-being of people of color at The New School.
To ensure that cases of discrimination against people of color are handled properly we think it important that the Title VI office and the newly created EISJ Office work closely. We also think that the presence of a Title VI office will not minimize the mission of the Title IX office, whose goals are to protect people from discrimination based on sex in education.
Central to our demand are two important questions that we at MICCI pose:
- Students of color do not conflate discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, or national origin with sexual harassment, assault, or discrimination based on sex, gender, or disability, so why is our university asking us to? While The New School has a well-rounded and expansive policy on discrimination, the policy suggests that “Individuals who believe they have been subject to discrimination in violation of this policy may obtain redress through the university’s Sexual Harassment and Discrimination complaint procedures, or, where applicable, the collective bargaining agreement, as described in the Guidelines For Dealing With Issues Of Sexual Harassment and Discrimination.” However, when a student/faculty accesses the aforementioned complaint procedures, they are met with the following message: “Information and procedures for filing a Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Violence, Title IX, or Disability Discrimination complaint can be found on this site.” While The New School’s discrimination policy includes the discrimination of people based on race, color, and national or ethnic origin, the directed course of action includes following the same channels as a Title IX complaint. Simply put, Title IX coordinators are not specifically trained to aid in discrimination cases based on race, color, or national/ethnic origin.
- Title VI is included in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and has been adapted by offices dedicated to equity and inclusion at universities and colleges across the nation, so why has The New School not taken action as well? Universities such as Brown, have dedicated their Offices of Institutional Equity and Diversity to the implementation, compliance, and oversight of Title VI in alignment with their action plans to achieve diversity and equity on their campuses. The New School can learn to do the same.
Students, faculty, and staff desperately need a space to discuss, report, and seek support for discrimination, harassment, and/or assault on the basis of race, color, ethnicity and/or national origin. Too many instances have gone unreported, ignored, and brushed aside.
MICCI urges The New School establish a Title VI office with utmost urgency, and speed.
The proper preservation of the frescos in the ‘Orozco Room’ and the appointing of MICCI as the guardians of the space. Upon return to campus, our vision details the complete restoration and professional preservation of the murals in the Orozco Room. We recognize the need to maintain the integrity of the frescos, and the cost of protection is beyond the allocated budget for the University Art Collection.
- The allocation of funds to a more durable preservation process, to ensure the protection of the work, as well as improve its ability to be viewed by The New School community.
- Hiring/Appointing a faculty member of color to act as docent/curator.
The protection, creation, implementation, and fast-tracking of courses focused on Decolonial Studies reflecting Mesoamerican/Caribbean/Indigenous content. The ongoing development courses are vital to the collective health of diverse, equitable, and inclusive education. It is imperative that these courses are included as a part of the Core Curriculum of the university. These courses must include primary sources from the cultures they are studying, work to decolonize westernized versions of these histories and teachings, and emphasize the historical erasure of our people in academia.
The creation of a Latinx Studies Department and Latinx American Studies Undergraduate Major and Minor. In an effort to combat the erasure of Latinx students, cultures, and histories, the University must make an effort to create a department that is dedicated to the study of our histories, current realities, and futures. While there is a Latin American Studies Department at NSSR, we are looking to develop a Latinx Studies Department at Lang that centers Latinx faculty of color and actively decolonizes the current pedagogy surrounding our respective cultures and histories. To develop a department takes time and effort, which is why the process must begin now, and not later. The work done by Lang CESJ and the recent creation of the EISJ Office has created the space to continuously uphold the values of equity and diversity that The New School promotes.
The creation of a Studies Abroad program tied to the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico comprised of a selection of credit courses. Based on what we know so far, Mexico City, and its surrounding regions, is the genesis of culture and civilization in the Americas, as it pertains to agriculture, math, and writing. There is a vast amount of culture and art, including the presence of prehispanic sites in and around Mexico City, such as Teotihuacan, and Tenochtitlan; the many murals developed during the Mexican Muralist Movement of the 1920s and 30s by Rivera, Orozco, and Siqueiros; the presence of museums, concert halls, galleries; and finally, the universities whose histories are deeply imbedded in the culture of the country and its impact on the world. Mexico has a tremendous history, one that is constantly changing and always affecting US politics and culture. Furthermore, based upon its proximity to the US, it can be seen as the “entryway” to the rest of the Americas, as well as a rare opportunity to engage with a culture whose roots are deeply ingrained in the foundations of civilization in the Americas. For students and faculty interested in the origins of agriculture and food, religion and spirituality, language and literature, Mexico City, and its environs offer many opportunities to do so through research, hands-on experiences, and critical thinking.
The organizing of library collections dedicated to Caribbean and Indigenous Studies cross-referenced with Decolonial Studies. Professor Jaime Arredondo formulated a Latinx Studies Collection at the University Center Library (63 Fifth Avenue).
As part of the development MICCI, we believe it is vital to the academic health of Decolonial Studies, in the Caribbean and Indigenous lands across the globe, to have a clear space in the University Library dedicated to this work. We are claiming our space on campus as diverse, decolonial thinkers; the establishment of these collections would not only support our academic endeavours, but demonstrate the University’s support for our people and the academic work we do to recenter our cultures, histories, and practices.
An online forum for the presentation of papers and/or dissertations related to issues such as Immigration, Criminal Justice Reform, Education, Politics, History and Culture pertaining to LatinX/Caribbean/Indigenous people. The development of virtual spaces dedicated to the prominent and profound academic work of intellectuals of color is necessary in order to diversify and decolonize academia. We foresee the creation of such a forum at The New School as a necessity in the growth of the institution as a progressive and inclusive university that will set the standard for others.
The commitment to diversifying and improving the process of expanding The New School community. We are calling for the dedication to decolonizing the process of hiring faculty and staff from LatinX/Caribbean/Indigenous communities, particularly when hiring in Student Admissions, Student Success, and Student Health Services. As we emerge from the celebrations of the Centennial, we urge that The New School promotes itself better in communities of color with varying socioeconomic backgrounds. Furthermore, we need The New School to pledge to improve its holistic admissions process to better support and admit students from LatinX/Caribbean/Indigenous communities (i.e. scholarship and career advising, financial aid, and mental health support).