CFA Kicks off Fall 2020 Semester with Virtual Gathering, Anti-Racism Social Justice Progress

On a majority of CSU campuses, fall semester began on Monday. For others, the new year started last week or is set to start within the coming weeks. CFA highlighted the start of the 2020-21 school year this past weekend.

From anti-racism and social justice demands to membership and organizing, dozens of CFA members joined together in support of one another as the year begins. CFA members meet at the start of each semester to support one another as their semesters begin. But this kick-off was in a different setting than in past years as CFA kicked off the semester virtually for the first time.

“This fall semester is much different than in years past. Last Spring, we began the year on campus before the COVID-19 crisis pushed us into virtual teaching and learning environments,” said Charles Toombs, CFA President. “This semester, we begin in a virtual environment, so it’s incredibly important to kick-off the semester correctly, show unity with our members, and make sure, even with the challenges ahead, that we make this the best semester yet for our faculty and for our students.”

Members and leaders alike participated in four workshops on Saturday, August 22, to discuss legislative victories and priorities from this past year, chapter labor management meetings heading into the new semester, membership and organizing in the age of COVID, and CFA’s role with anti-racism and social justice. 

“Fall ‘Kickoff’ is the perfect time to realign our everyday work to our Anti-Racism and Social Justice (ARSJ) goals for Fall,” said Sharon Elise, CFA Associate Vice President, Racial & Social Justice – South. “At our workshop — ARSJ: We Claim Justice — two speakers, Vanessa Lopez-Littleton (Monterey Bay) and Nick Centino (Channel Islands) presented strategies to address anti-Black racism on campus. 

“Members met in break out groups to discuss ways to move our ARSJ demands, including forming campus partnerships with groups like Black Faculty & Staff Associations (BFSA) that exist throughout the CSU, as well as linking with community activists.  Members can turn to their campus Council for Racial & Social Justice (CRSJ) reps for help, and Sharon Elise (AVP CRSJ South) and Chris Cox (AVP CRSJ North) are also available.”