In Fall 2018, a group of five H&SS faculty, including Patricia Literte (Sociology), Gabriela Nuñez (Chicana/o Studies), Patricia A. Pérez (Chicana/o Studies), Jamila Moore Pewu (History), and Bonnie J. Williams (English, Comparative Literature, and Linguistics), were convened to serve on an ad hoc committee charged with beginning the college conversations on successful outreach and retention of students and faculty from underrepresented communities. The H&SS Committee on Equity and Diversity (COED) met through Spring 2019 and presented a list of recommendations to H&SS Chairs at the end of the term. Among the recommendations was that this critical work continue.
In light of the recommendations from the H&SS Committee on Equity and Diversity and the long-standing College commitment to equity and diversity as they relate to teaching, scholarly and creative activity, service, and access, Dean Sheryl Fontaine announced the creation of the H&SS College Office of Equity and Diversity (COED) in Spring 2019.
CoJET was originally known as the College Office of Equity and Diversity (COED). Dean Fontaine intended to create a purposeful, structured college entity with a designated physical space to advance the College's evolving equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives. She invited and supported COED's initial cohort of four tenured faculty members to create their own vision of this office's potential. The 2019-2020 COED faculty fellows included Xhercis Méndez (Women and Gender Studies and Queer Studies), Patricia A. Pérez (Chicana/o Studies), Michael Perez (Sociology), and Jennifer A. Yee (Asian American Studies).
To this end, the COED faculty fellows convened a year-long series of conversations in Fall 2019 through Spring 2020 to learn from one another, understand the landscape of equity and diversity issues at CSUF, link to various equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives both on- and off-campus, and determine the issues most salient to H&SS. The COED team met directly with the H&SS Dean's team during the year and facilitated the H&SS Council of Chairs retreat in January 2020. As a result of this formative year, the COED faculty fellows recommended in May 2020 to alter the H&SS initiative's name to the Collective for Justice, Equity & Transformation (CoJET) in order to reflect its values, vision, and mission. CoJET—a work in progress—now offers this statement as the foundation for its current activities and future recommendations.