Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College



LITE: listening intervention team for equity

The Listening Intervention Team for Equity (LITE) is a resource for students, faculty, and staff members who would like to have an identity-related conversation about their experience at a PCC location. Listeners are trained to respond to challenges in the following areas:

  • compass culture
  • sign language ability
  • heart sexual orientation
  • flag national origin
  • users ethnicity and race
  • calendar age
  • bell faith
  • transgender gender identity and expression
  • tags veteran and service member status
  • user other aspects of personal identity

Who can use this service?

  • You want to talk about a recent experience
  • Your experience happened at a PCC location
  • You are a current staff member or student
  • You are not sure who can help
  • You want to brainstorm solutions

What do LITE listeners do?

  • We offer validation
  • We share skill-building techniques
  • We help you process your experiences
  • We connect you with other support resources
  • We support you in problem-solving
  • We listen for your solutions

quote bubble: They asked me if I was a legal citizen. Can they do that?

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.

LITE Scenario

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 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.

Come talk to us

Feel free to contact any listener directly, or use our form to set up an appointment.

Make an appointment with a LITE listener

quote bubble: If he calls me honey or sweetie one more time I'm afraid I'm going to lose it. And then my job.

Resources for staff

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More about 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 designed to determine if inequity occurred.
  • 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 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.

quote bubble: My teacher hates my service dog. I think my grade is affected.