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Minding the Obligation Gap in Community Colleges and Beyond

Theory and Practice in Achieving Educational Equity


Jeremiah J. Sims, Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza, Lasana O. Hotep, Jeramy Wallace and Tabitha Conaway

It is difficult to find justice-centered books geared specifically for community college practitioners interested in achieving campus wide educational equity. It is even more difficult to find a book in this vein written, exclusively, by community college practitioners. Minding the Obligation Gap in Community Colleges and Beyond is just that: a concerted effort by a cross-representational group of community college practitioners working to catalyze conversations and eventually practices that attend to the most pressing equity gaps in and on our campuses. By illuminating the constitutive parts of the ever-increasing obligation gap, this book offers both theory and practice in reforming community colleges so that they function as disruptive technologies. It is our position that equity-centered community colleges hold the potential to call out, impede, and even disrupt institutionalized polices, pedagogies, and practices that negatively impact poor, ethno-racially minoritized students of color. If you and your college is interested in striving for educational equity campus-wide please join us in this ongoing conversation on how to work for equity for all of the students that we serve.

"This book will serve as a guide and invaluable resource to educators at community colleges who seek to create pipelines to opportunity for students who have historically been under-served and poorly served by these institutions. With a keen understanding of the obstacles many students face, the authors draw upon their knowledge and experience to show how barriers that presently limit access to education can be disrupted and knocked down. Inspiring and engaging, this book is a must-read for educators who truly seek to make a difference."—Pedro A. Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies

"Grounded in a strength-based perspective, Minding the Obligation Gap in Community Colleges and Beyond makes a compelling case for educators to recognize the power and impact of their words on students’ lives. The authors not only interrogate common educational perspectives, but they deconstruct common practices of the academy that often perpetuate inequities. This book compels educators to look within when considering needed change so that typically marginalized and minoritized students can share the sheer majesty of their intellect and talent—and be recognized for it."—Regina Stanback Stroud, Chancellor, Peralta Community College District