Worker Equity at Pomona

Rachel’s Blueprint addressed inequalities along lines of race, class, and gender created by the U.S. educational system, immigration procedures, and labor markets. Rachel recognized that each of these systems deny many people (often poor people and folks of color) access to the full educational opportunities, fail to recognize the educational attainment of people who have migrated to the U.S., and exploit workers’ time and security and make it difficult for them to advance their positions, and she could see this occurring on a local level within Pomona College where many workers did not even have high school diplomas or GEDs as a result of these institutional barriers. Her Blueprint sought to surmount these issues by covering the costs for workers to take certification tests and offering customized tutoring tailored to workers’ schedules. Through this, she helped circumscribe some of the anxieties that were often associated with being in a traditional classroom setting, and made it possible for workers to study for the exam. Pomona College service workers and students collaborated to address these educational inequalities that have prevented many workers from accessing better career opportunities and job security, creating an exchange between students and workers that granted workers access to the immense and usually unshared resources of Pomona College, and which gave students an ability to develop greater self-awareness and teaching skills. This, in turn, helped strengthen the Pomona College community by dissolving barriers between workers and students.