LACCD Reaffirms its Commitment to the NASEM Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education

May 16, 2024

By Juliet Hidalgo

Office of the Chancellor

May 16, 2024

Dear LACCD Colleagues:

At its May 1, 2024, Board Meeting, the LACCD Board of Trustees voted unanimously on a Resolution to reaffirm our District’s commitment to support the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education. LACCD joined the Action Collaborative as one of the 28 founding member organizations when it was established in 2019 and is a part of the 2023-2027 cohort. 

The Action Collaborative brings together leaders from colleges, universities, and other research and training programs from around the country to develop ideas and solutions to address and prevent sexual harassment across all disciplines and employee classifications in higher education. The group’s goal is to create an active space where academic institutions can move beyond basic legal compliance to evidence-based policies and practices at the individual and system levels for addressing and preventing all forms of sexual harassment and promoting a culture of respect.  

As a member of the Action Collaborative, LACCD, through the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (ODEIA), contributes time and resources to advance these goals:  

  1. Raising awareness of sexual harassment and how it occurs, the consequences of sexual harassment, and developing actions and strategies that can prevent it; 
  2. Contributing to setting the research agenda, and helping to gather and apply research results across institutions;  
  3. Sharing and elevating evidence-based policies and strategies on sexual harassment prevention; and 
  4. Developing a standard for measuring progress toward reducing and preventing sexual harassment in higher education. 

For year one of the Action Collaborative’s 2023-2027 cohort, Vice Chancellor Teyanna Williams and I will support the ODEIA team with identifying and sharing LACCD programs, research, and resources that supports and amplifies the Action Collaborative’s work, and that expands LACCD’s commitment to the Collaborative’s vision and goals.   

LACCD’s participation in the Action Collaborative is also closely aligned with LACCD’s 2020 Framework for Racial Equity and Social Justice goals, which include:   

  1. Addressing unconscious bias and promoting civility, professionalism, diversity, safety, and respect; 
  2. Promoting equity, opportunity, and inclusion to encourage positive behavior; and  
  3. Identifying any metrics LACCD could use to measure the success of training, community outreach initiatives, and reporting resources. 

As part of our first activities, a Districtwide case and complaint audit will be conducted in the upcoming months to further assess our District’s climate to inform training, support, and policy development. The team, consisting of Natalie Mason-Kinsey, ODEIA’s Director, and Victoria Friedman, ODEIA’s Districtwide Compliance Officer, with additional support from Leisa Biggers, LACCD Director of Human Resources, and Dr. Regina Smith, the Chancellor’s Equity and Justice Fellow, will use the results of a Districtwide audit to craft recommendations and serve as a continuing resource for innovative strategies and ideas to enhance a harassment-free educational and work environment. 

Thank you for your attention to this important announcement and initial course of action.  We appreciate all those who are dedicated to preventing all forms of sexual harassment and to promoting a culture of respect at LACCD. 

Chancellor's Rodriguez informal signature

Francisco C. Rodriguez, Ph.D.