Putting the Mission in Commission: A Word from Our Chair, Laura Arroyo

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Commission for Housing and Residential Life,

It is with much excitement and thanks that I begin my time as your CHRL Chair. For those of you that attended ACPA, you may have heard ACPA’s new and BOLD Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice. However we recognize that many were unable to attend convention and therefore wish to share with you the following important statement:

ACPA Strategic Imperative on Racial Justice

“ACPA will direct resources, energy, and time toward addressing racial justice in student affairs and higher education around the world. Our lens is intersectional, intentional, and directed. The focus is on reducing the oppression of communities of color at the intersections of their identities, knowing that all oppressions are linked and that the work is ongoing. Our goal is to provide leading research and scholarship; tools for personal, professional, and career development; and innovative praxis opportunities for members that will actively inform and reshape higher education. We move towards this goal knowing that the roles and daily tasks of our jobs are important to the functioning of colleges and universities. We also know that racial justice and the tasks of our jobs do not sit on dichotomous poles. Racial justice is at our core; it underlies the work we each must do every day, in every way we can.”

Why racial justice and not social justice? Eradicating racism must be at the forefront of our work at this important moment in time and history. All levels of intersectionality are critical, but it is imperative that we prioritize and focus resources on those who are most vulnerable. Racial justice is social justice, but narrowing our focus allows for clarity of purpose and greatest opportunity for impact.

Know that this is a momentous time in the history of our commission to build deeper competency for equity and inclusion work, and it is with much humbleness that I serve you all in our commitment to fighting racial injustice across all of our communities. I begin my term knowing that it is my responsibility to serve all members of our housing and residential life community to the fullest and richest extent, to open doors for raising competency and understanding of identity, and I move forward with great intent and purpose to greater acceptance, acknowledgement and inclusion of all. I meet this challenge head on and welcome all voices at the table as we redefine ourselves as a commission and as a higher education organization.

Please know that I welcome your thoughts, insight, perspective and questions. As we step forward to a new, BOLD commission, I ask for your help in this journey.


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Laura L. Arroyo
Associate Director for Residential Education
Chair, Commission for Housing and Residential Education, ACPA



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