A time to consider who we are, what we are and what we want to be.
For the CSU Center for Community Engagement (COCCE) to be sustainable as an organization, we need to exercise our values of equity and inclusion, sustainable solutions, effectiveness and high-quality, and collaborative relationships toward ourselves, our team, and our partners. We have decided that COCCE is entering Core Operations Mode (COM) from December 13, 2021 through February 28, 2022 to meet our existing commitments while focusing on rejuvenation.
Entering Core Operations Mode is a structural investment in staff wellbeing. It is time for us all to recuperate our physical, mental and spiritual well-being so that we can better prepare for the future. The COCCE leadership team will convene February 25, 2022 to determine if COM will continue into March or beyond.H
WHAT SPARKED THIS DECISION?
The CSU Center for Community Engagement (COCCE) Leadership Team has been reflecting on the past few years, our current context, and preparing to plan and forecast for 2022-2023 and beyond. COCCE has achieved a lot since initial campus shutdowns in March 2020. In reflecting, we realized that at times we have internalized cultural norms that often ask us to move through crisis and difficulties, rather than attend to, or sit with, it. We are challenging ourselves to disrupt a higher education culture, which is rooted in white dominant culture1, that values urgency, over-producing, and quantity over quality.
What has become clear among us is that we all, individually and as a team, are enduring the COVID-19 global pandemic, the #MeToo movement that began in 2016, the increase in the number of hate crimes, the polarization across political beliefs, and the worldwide racial uprisings triggered by the police-involved killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. We have navigated all of this while learning, listening, and pivoting in response to the state of our campus partners, our communities, California, and the country. As Lulu Garcia-Navarro shared in her farewell address to NPR listeners, “Yeah, it has been a lot…[the] takeaway is that it’s forced us to think deeply about who we are and what we are and what we want to be.”
WHAT DOES CORE OPERATIONS MODE MEAN FOR COCCE STAFF & INITIATIVES?
COCCE staff will:
- catch-up on our existing work and support COCCE initiatives;
- follow through on current commitments, reprioritizing when necessary;
- create space for every staff member to reflect and set personal and professional goals;
- dedicate independent and specific work time; and
- table requests for new projects.
HOW WILL CORE OPERATIONS MODE IMPACT OUR PARTNERSHIPS?
The COCCE leadership team has identified existing priorities and when necessary will communicate with our campus partners on the implications of COM. For some COCCE initiatives, we will elicit feedback to inform how existing commitments are prioritized or reprioritized.
While in Core Operations Mode, the COCCE team will reflect and document learnings to inform future programming for the 2022-23 AY and beyond. Our time in Core Operations Mode will enable us to evaluate our current initiatives with clear minds and an eye to investing in strategies that will support our long-term sustainability in alignment with new directions of the Chancellor’s Office. We will plan and forecast for 2022-2023 at the conclusion of Core Operations Mode.