The Listening Intervention Team for Equity (LITE) is a college-recognized resource for PCC students, faculty, and staff who have experienced inequity or who are in need of guidance to successfully navigate challenging dynamics at the college across cultures, races, ethnicities, gender identity or expression, sexual orientations, ability, faiths and other aspects of individual and group identity.
Trained listeners serve as key points of contact internally at the college, to offer compassion, share skill-building techniques and connect those in need with other existing support resources. LITE listeners help participants process their experiences, engage in problem-solving and employ conflict resolution best practices.
The effort complements but does not replace the roles and functions of PCC’s Office of Equity and Inclusion and Human Resources department, both of which have been instrumental in the development and guidance of LITE.
- IS college recognized.
- IS compassionate intervention examining how someone was affected (support-based).
- IS for those who have experienced inequity or need support processing a challenging intercultural interaction to receive immediate support.
- IS based on an understanding that inequity is all around us.
- IS NOT fact-finding or formal.
- IS NOT a formal process.
- IS NOT designed to determine if inequity occurred (fact-finding).
- IS NOT a replacement to any of the college’s formal procedures for addressing bias or inequity.
- IS NOT based on an assumption that inequity can be eliminated.
The LITE listening session is based on the principles of support, skill building, affirmation, and referrals. It is tailored to meet the needs of the participant, but the following scenario gives an overview of how a session might look.
Francie works as an academic advisor at PCC. She is meeting with Joe, a second-term transfer student. Joe shares that he’s considering withdrawing from PCC. Francie inquires as to his reasons for withdrawing and he shares that he experienced discrimination in one of his math classes that has led him to feel like he does not belong at PCC. Francie explains the role of the Office of Equity and Inclusion and offers Joe the opportunity to file a complaint, but Joe says he doesn’t feel comfortable filing a complaint at this time as he’s still processing the incident. Francie offers to connect him with her campus LITE coordinator for a listening session and further support. She clarifies that the session is not a formal complaint process, nor an investigation, but rather an opportunity to share his experiences with a college employee and receive support. Joe accepts the invitation and Francie sends an email to the LITE Coordinator cc’ing Joe to connect the two.
The LITE Coordinator responds promptly, asking Joe to provide some basic contact information, availability, and any desires he might have regarding demographics of the assigned listener. The Coordinator connects Joe with a LITE listener who matches the criteria Joe requests in their email exchange (i.e., Latino male) and sets up a meeting time and place for Joe and LITE listener Ricardo to meet.
Ricardo also reaches out to Joe to say hello and provide some information about LITE. The two meet in a small conference room on the campus closest to Joe’s home. Ricardo opens the conversation by explaining to Joe what LITE is and what LITE is not. He also provides information on the privacy of LITE (and its limitations). Using his LITE training, Ricardo starts a conversation with Joe about his experience of discrimination at PCC.
Joe is nervous at first, but Ricardo’s empathetic opening leads him to feel at ease. Before long, Joe is talking openly about his experience. Ricardo, actively listening to the experience of Joe, affirms his experience. This is something Joe had been craving, as he’d tried to tell another student about his experience and had been told that he was probably misreading the situation. Joe shares with Ricardo that he’s open to the idea of exploring ways to address his experience with discrimination. Together, they brainstorm possible options. Joe lands on a decision to offer some feedback to the individual who engaged in the behavior that was experienced as discriminatory. Ricardo and he practice some ways to offer that feedback and possible outcomes.
Ricardo also offers an overview of the formal complaint process. Joe decides he’s not ready to pursue a formal complaint at this time, but expresses that he’s happy to know what the process is in case he decides to report later. Ricardo also offers resources like Counseling and the Multicultural Center to Joe, both of which Joe decides to utilize after the listening session.
The two say good-bye and Ricardo offers a follow-up session should Joe find it useful in the future.
Interested in Becoming a LITE Listener?
The following is required of all LITE listeners:
- Attend all New Listener trainings: 1:1 Pre-meeting to be scheduled prior to group trainings, Discovery Training (5 sessions), LITE Training (all day), Role play/Practice session after Discovery and the all-day training retreat.
- Commit to participating in a minimum of 1 listening session per month.
- Attend a quarterly refresher training.
- One-year commitment.
- Receive authorization from your supervisor to complete LITE work in load, or commit to participating in LITE work outside of workload.
Successful completion of a New Listener training series is required in order to participate in LITE. Listeners are required to complete:
- Pre-training Meeting: A 1:1 information-gathering meeting with the Discovery Training facilitator prior to the launch of the training program.
- Discovery Training: A five-session (4.5 hours each) Level 1 certificate course as part of the social justice series, “Diversity Readiness: A Personal Journey." The series has been developed by the Office of Equity and Inclusion and PCC’s CLIMB Center.
Up-to-date scheduling information for the Discovery training series
- LITE Training Retreat: An all-day (8-hour) retreat focused on LITE-specific techniques.
- Role play/Practice session (approximately 2-3 hours), to take place after Discovery and the all-day training retreat.
Once a LITE listener is certified to participate, a refresher training will be required once per term to maintain certification. At least four refresher trainings will be offered each term to allow listeners multiple opportunities to maintain certification.
Feedback will be compiled from all training activities and role play exercises. Trainers will evaluate feedback to determine if/when LITE listeners have met training objectives before approving their participation on the LITE team.
How to Apply
If you’re able to commit to the above requirements and are interested in becoming a LITE listener, please complete a LITE Listener application.
For more information about LITE and how to become a LITE listener, contact Mary Wells Pope, District LITE Program Coordinator.
Feel free to contact any listener, coordinator, or trainer for a listening session, regardless of location.
- Magda D’Angelis-Morris
- Darilis Garcia-McMillian, SY Co-Coordinator
- Bonni Goldberg
- Jeff Grider
- Jeannie LaFrance, Trainer
- Cherie Maas-Anderson
- Chelsea Martin
- Angela McMahon
- Jeanette Muehleck
- Karen Paez, Trainer
- Mary Wells Pope, District LITE Coordinator
- Miguel Arellano Sanchez, SY Co-Coordinator
- Thomas Songer
- Heiko Spoddeck, Trainer
- Other locations