Amid concerns over how COVID-19 will impact colleges across the country, issues of racial injustice have also had a massive impact on our country. With the death of George Floyd in May, protests erupted across the country with individuals, companies, and higher education institutions reflecting on ways that they have contributed to systemic racism, while also reflecting on ways to play a leading role in combating and ending racial inequality.
To address racial inequity within higher education, the National Association of Student Affairs Administrators (NASPA), held an entire Racial Justice Day of Action in August with online programing in partnership with 10 higher education associations. The NASPA Day of Action addressed ways student affairs professionals “can make tangible progress in addressing racial justice on American college campuses.”
One of Symplicity’s partners, the National Association of Career Educators (NACE), hosted a session entitled, “NACE & Racial Justice in Career Services” focused on ways career services professionals can be dedicated partners to combat systematic racism and inequity. More than 600 people attended the NACE session which was led by NACE Executive Director, Shawn VanDerziel, NACE Board President, Jennifer Lasater, and NACE Board Vice President, Brian Guerrero.
Below are some highlights from the session:
- Recent data shows that black students are less likely to seek career counseling services. This means that career services professional have to actively reach out to students; don’t wait for them to come to you as Jennifer Lasater said, “Meet with student organizations, groups, and promote the importance of career services and help them in their job search and don’t wait for those students to come to you, black students aren’t going to career services as much on their own, you need to make it a place to come to and come often and make a change to pay scale and equity in the future.”
- It is the role of career services professionals to increase the diversity in employer hiring, increase pay and promotion equity, and provide stronger support for Black students.
- Black students, compared to white students, are less likely to get paid internships.
- Encourage career services staff to be advocates on the campus to gain, reallocate dedicated resources to enhance the pivotal role in the upwards social mobility of black students, because “that is our responsibility” said Brian Guerrero.
- Artificial Intelligence will play a critical role in the future of hiring; therefore, career services professionals should think about ways they can partner with technology partners for increased AI diversity.
We stand with NACE, NASPA, and our other dedicated higher education partners in combating racial and social inequality on college campuses and in the job market. To view the full session, click here.