Bakersfield College

Social Justice Institute

The Founding and Purpose of the Social Justice Institute

The Social Justice Institute was founded by Bakersfield College President Sonya Christian and fellow administrators in collaboration with local community leaders, including Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall and civil lawyer and philanthropist Milt Younger. A non-partisan entity at Bakersfield College, the Social Justice Institute explores issues of equity that affect BC students and the diverse local communities that the college serves. The Social Justice Institute hosts public speaking engagements and events featuring scholars, authors, and cultural bearers whose work and experiences speak to both equity and the significance of local cultures, histories, and narratives in the broader state and national contexts.

A photo of Bakersfield College administrators, community leaders, and faculty at the founding of the Social Justice Institute.

Attendees at the 2015 kick off for the Social Justice Institute included founders BC President Dr. Sonya Christian (5th from left), BC Professor and philanthropist Dr. Jack Brigham (2nd from left), Milt Younger (7th from left), Mayor Harvey Hall (next to Younger), and special guest Dolores Huerta along with Bakersfield College administrators and faculty who participated in the Institute's inaugural Leadership & Equity Academy. Also pictured is the current director of the Social Justice Institute, Dr. Oliver Rosales (3rd from right).

Educational Equity Statement

Educational equity—that's the focus of the Bakersfield College Social Justice Institute. Their mission: to create a collaborative space for the BC community to engage in conversation and analyze issues of social justice, equity and pedagogy in the community college. They'll also study the impact of biases—both intentional and unintentional—in instruction, as well as other professional teaching and service contexts.

Upcoming Events

AAPI Heritage Month Conference

Join us on Thursday, May 13, for events celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. All events will be held virtually on Zoom, and prior registration is required. This program is free and open to the public, and it is co-sponsored by the Levan Center for the Humanities, the Office of Student Life, and the Equal Opportunity & Diversity Advisory Committee of Bakersfield College.

4:00 - 5:00 PM

Conference Welcome: Sandy Woo-Cater, Anti-Trafficking Expert
AAPI Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Joseph Tipay, Professor of Art

Join us for a discussion with Joseph Tipay (Filipino/Chicano-no order), an artist born in Fresno, California who currently teaches in the Bakersfield College art department. He received an M.F.A. from Academy of Arts University, San Francisco in Fine Arts-Printmaking. His prints deal with the struggles of his family and the beauty that comes with adversity. They are also a reflection of the economic, cultural, political, and social climate. Joseph currently works on large-scale woodcuts that investigate the effects of incarceration. He is an award-winning artist, and his work as been exhibited internationally.
(Register to attend "AAPI Faculty & Staff Spotlight)

5:30 - 6:30 PM

The Delano Manongs and a Post-Viewing Discussion

Filmmaker Marissa Aroy, director of the documentary, Delano Manongs: The Forgotten Heroes of the UFW, will join Alex Edillor and Roger Gadiano from the Filipino American National Historical Society and Alex Fabros, retired professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University, to discuss the film and the Filipino/a American experience.
(Register to attend this panel discussion)

To watch the documentary any time before this event, you will need to follow the link below and create a Vimeo account. Select the Rental option and enter the promotional code "21BC" to stream the documentary for free.
(Watch Delano Manongs on Vimeo)

7:00 - 8:00 PM

Readings and Conversation with Portia Choi

Portia Choi is a Bakersfield-based poet who immigrated to the United States at the age of 8 from Korea. She lived through the Korean War, and she and her family experienced homelessness and other hardships during and after the conflict. Much of her poetry is autobiographical, and her 2013 book of poems, Sungsook: Korean War Poems, speaks to her early childhood and surviving the war.
(Register to attend this event)

All three events will be recorded and made available for future viewing on the Bakersfield College Social Justice Institute YouTube channel.