Irvine Valley College (IVC) will
open a new Equity and Inclusion Center in March 2020. The center is part of
IVC’s efforts to increase services geared towards serving students from
backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented in higher education,
and to celebrate the diversity of the institution.
When Erin Pollard, IVC Interim
Coordinator of Student Equity Programs and Services, asked for ideas on what
should be included in the future center, Ziyah Jordan, a creative writing major
at IVC, suggested painting a mural. They immediately jumped on the idea and brainstormed
on what this mural would look like.
Ziyah not only suggested the idea
but volunteered her talents and painted the mural herself. Her inspiration came
from her recent trip to Austin, Texas, where she became fond of the postcards sold
at various souvenir stores. One postcard in particular that caught her attention
read “Greetings from Austin” in a giant block font. Ziyah pitched the idea of IVC
having its own “Greetings from IVC” postcard design.
After the mural proposal was
approved and the paint and materials purchased, the project took a total of 4
days over a one-month span to complete. Ziyah incorporated different elements
that not only represented IVC but showcased its diversity. She painted various
groups of people representing the LGBTQ, African American, and Middle Eastern communities,
as well as many others. She also integrated IVC’s official color, blue.
Ziyah added a chalkboard area in
the painting that made the mural interactive. With this addition, the painting becomes
never truly finished, as the messages in the chalkboard area can continually
change with the students who enter the new center. Ziyah said she wants
students to “be part of the mural as well.”
Ziyah shared the importance of the
new center as a “place where students can feel comfortable and be themselves,”
she said. “They shouldn’t stop being themselves.”
One striking element of the mural
is the phrase “We Are IVC.”
“I found a lot of my identity at
IVC and learned a lot about myself through different classes and working for Student
Equity,” Ziyah said. “We Are IVC
is part of my identity, and if you become a student here, it’s going to be part
of your identity. I’m happy that I found a place where I can be included and
leave my mark."
The new Equity and Inclusion Center,
which will be housed in the Student Activities Center, will welcome students of
different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. They will be invited to
relax, feel comfortable, have fun, and feel included, while feeling represented
and welcomed at IVC.