AACRAO Caucuses bring members together around common issues

AACRAO has a number of caucuses and committees built around access and equity, including:

  • Asian and Pacific Islander Caucus

  • Black Caucus

  • Latino Latina Caucus

  • Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning and Ally Caucus

  • Native American Caucus

The caucuses provide opportunities for communities to network, influence programming, and seek advice. Some caucuses also have outside initiatives, such as organizing donations for relevant causes. For example, at the 2016 Annual Meeting in Phoenix, the Native American Caucus donated to the American Indian Scholarship Fund.

“The Native American Caucus has given me an avenue to reach out to other Natives in the profession,” said Chair Mechelle Aitson-Roessler, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Registrar, Rose State College. “When we all come together for meeting or outside of a meeting, we have a group of people we can discuss campus issues with and feel comfortable talking about things we might otherwise be silent about.”

Of course, neither caucus is homogenous; each represents communities of people from different nations and cultures. However, these communities can face similar issues on their campuses.

“For example, at last year’s forum -- the Asian and Pacific Islander Caucus in Minneapolis -- there were a lot of questions about professional and personal experiences as colleagues and staff working at a university,” said Chair Bernard Ramos, Director of Evaluations and Vice President at Educational Perspectives. “People were talking about how Asians are underrepresented on campuses, and how few are in leadership positions, and what can be done about that.”

Many of the Caucus chairs, including Cindy Lambert, Chair of the Latino/Latina Caucus, and Kristy Goodwin, Chair of the Black Caucus, will present at the 2018 Annual Meeting in Orlando “Caucus Kickoff” session and join the Joint Caucus Reception. In the session, Chairs will participate in an interactive panel discussion around current and emerging issues and strategies for culturally diverse and inclusive campuses.

Many of these leaders are also holding sessions related to specific issues relevant to their caucuses. For example, Ramos is holding a session titled “Looking Beyond:We Are Not All the Same Asians!” This session will address the lack of culturally-sensitive resources such as English-language services, immigration and/or education consulting that acknowledge linguistic and cultural differences among Asians at colleges where Asian populations are small.

Goodwin will present two sessions -- “Black Women Leaders Managing Work-Life-Balance” (various women leaders in Higher Ed on how they manage work-life-balance and offer suggestions) and “Roundtable: Leading in Inequality” (how to lead with integrity knowing there is inequality in the workplace).

To express interest in the AACRAO Caucuses, fill out the committee application form. And register now for the AACRAO Annual Meeting, March 25-28 in Orlando.