Activists elect new officers, take action to bolster our anti-racism and social justice mission

CFA delegates welcomed in new faculty leaders, including President Elect Charles Toombs, this weekend at CFA’s 89th Assembly in Los Angeles.

The three-day meeting included the election of officers, board members, and council, caucus, and committee chairs, as well as the passage of resolutions and renaming a council to reflect our social justice unionism.

Assembly delegates elected the following officers: Charles Toombs (President), Kevin Wehr (Vice President), Diane Blair (Secretary), Susan Green (Treasurer), Margarita Berta-Ávila (AVP North), Darel Engen (AVP South), Meghan O’Donnell (AVP Lecturers – North), Leslie Bryan (AVP Lecturers – South), Chris Cox (AVP Racial & Social Justice – North), and Sharon Elise (AVP Racial & Social Justice – South).

Faculty also paid tribute to outgoing CFA President Jennifer Eagan, who was elected to serve as chair of CFA’s Political Action/Legislation Committee. Toombs, who currently serves as Vice President of CFA, said Jen’s leadership was integral to our recent successes, from our Fight for Five contract campaign to increases in state funding for the CSU.

“Jen has long been a fearless advocate for faculty, and while at the helm of our union, has led us through a fierce contract fight, and helped secure huge gains for faculty,” Toombs said. “I have learned a lot from Jen over the years, and in my tenure as president, I plan to continue the great work that we’ve started with our anti-racism and social justice transformation. We are truly a mighty union, and my fellow officers and I will work tirelessly to secure wins for faculty and wins for our students.”

Congratulations to all of those elected to new posts within our union! A list of election results is available here.

Delegates also passed a handful of resolutions intended to strengthen the union and our mission to uphold anti-racist and social justice values, as well as support key issues in the CSU and among our labor allies.

Specifically, resolutions were passed in support of a bargaining model that empowers faculty, urging the Academic Senate support of a CSU Ethnic Studies requirement, and calling on CalPERS to divest from private prisons.

Resolutions also were passed to support student climate action, mobilize support for a May 22 action for public education, and to endorse the “Pay Up Ross!” campaign led by the Garment Worker Center in Los Angeles. Delegates also passed a resolution by the Indigenous Peoples Caucus calling on the Chancellor and Board of Trustees to include land acknowledgements and recognition.

The weekend also included a unique transformation. Delegates voted to change the name of the Council for Affirmative Action to the Council for Racial and Social Justice, a change to the bylaws that immediately went into effect.

“The Council for Affirmative Action has been actively discussing a name change at our meetings throughout the last semester. This issue was first brought up a couple of years ago from the floor at one of our meetings, but we did not engage in a serious discussion of it until this past semester,” said Sharon Elise, CFA’s Associate VP of Racial & Social Justice South. “At that time, members felt that our work has grown beyond ‘affirmative action’ especially given our turn to ‘social justice unionism’ and emphasis on anti-racism and social justice.”