Vision for an equity-centered strategic plan Illustrations scribed live during a planning retreat helped build engagement for a college's equity-centered strategic plan.


Columbia Basin College was undergoing a strategic planning process to guide the College through the year 2025. Because CBC is committed to educational equity they asked: “How do we ensure that all students receive what they need to develop their full academic and social potential?”


The process involved community listening sessions and interviews that gathered the experiences of the campus community. Based on this valuable input, as well as the analysis from an environmental scan that reviewed all existing data in key categories, the Strategic Planning Committee was getting set for a one-day virtual retreat with the 25-member committee in order to dive into the data and begin to sort it into proposed themes and priorities.

I was brought in to support this meeting with graphic recording by visually scribing several themed conversations including: SOAR, Dream and Design, part of the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) framework. Everything was bilingual, including my images, which were subsequently translated into Spanish.

AI is a vision-based approach of open dialogue that was used to help create a shared vision for their future and a mission to operate in the present, and which centers equity to design the plan:

  • Discover: the best of what is; barriers and challenges
  • Dream: creative, transformative ideas; reframing barriers into adaptive strategies

In lieu of a traditional SWOT analysis the team conducted a SOAR analysis:
Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, Results.

All of these activities brought information together to allow goals for the plan to emerge.


Columbia Basin College’s Strategic Plan, Inclusivo: Hawks Soaring Together, is now available and will guide the College through the year 2025. This Equity-Centered Strategic Plan provides a vision in which all voices are heard, all people are represented, and all students are provided their best opportunity for success.

Once the illustrations were complete from the live scribing session they were translated into Spanish and included in the strategic plan.