The PCC community is shocked by the killing of George Floyd – another in a series of too many killings of Black/African American citizens through racial profiling and racist aggression. We are angered by the death of another unarmed, noncombative Black man, held to the ground with a knee of a police officer to his neck while three other officers stood by. We grieve for the Black members of our community for whom this death was only the latest in a long trail of death that reinforces inequality and injustice.
We stand shoulder to shoulder because Black Lives Matter.
Many organizations within PCC have passed resolutions or issued official statements condemning hatred and affirming the college’s commitment to the health, safety, well-being, and progress of our Black/African American students, faculty and staff.
Dear Lancer Family:
I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the raw emotions and bitter truths that were shared during the campus-wide listening session yesterday, sponsored by Ujima and Blackademia. I want to express my deep thanks to the African American and Black students, faculty, and staff who showed such vulnerability and authenticity as they relayed their personal experiences for the college to hear. I especially want to thank Dr. Gena Lopez and Dean Rebecca Cobb for organizing and hosting such an impactful event.
I realize that it is an effect of my privilege that I can’t know how it feels to go through what Black people in our community go through. I know the facts of systemic racism and prejudice and I see the outrage experienced in the face of this injustice, but this talk helped me hear the pain and despair that suffuses your daily lives. Hearing your stories filled me with so many emotions -- sorrow for your pain, anger at your treatment at the hands of systems and individuals who are unworthy, and awe at the strength you've shown. And this I know: enough is enough. The pernicious bigotry and outright racism you described has to stop, and it has to stop now, and it will stop here.
I listened carefully to the criticisms you shared regarding the college’s treatment of Black people and other minorities. I offer my heartfelt apologies for any role that I have played in not understanding the depth of the pain. I cannot describe for you how deeply this troubles me. When I came to PCC seventeen months ago, I was drawn to a community that truly valued equity for all of its students, faculty, and staff. I so firmly believed that we are in the best position of any other college to deliver on the promise to eliminate equity gaps that I committed last Fall to being the first community college in California to close 100% of equity achievement gaps by 2027. Your points yesterday demonstrate how far we have to go, and I want to restate that commitment today: PCC will close all equity achievement gaps by 2027.
I know some of you are probably wondering how I am going to make this commitment come to life and be more than just words. Truthfully, I don’t have all of the answers at this point in time, but I have ideas, including an immediate step. In April, in response to the Chancellor’s Office cutting our 2019-2020 budget midyear, the onset of the pandemic, and the current uncertainty about our 2020-2021 budget, I paused recruitment for all open positions. In light of what was shared yesterday, and holding the memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others whose lives have been taken unjustly, I am opening one critically important search immediately: a Chief Diversity Officer. Now more than ever, the college, particularly at the executive level, must drive change for our students and our community.
The conversation yesterday had moments of discomfort. To me, that feeling is a sign that I am learning and I still have much learning to do. As the fight for justice continues, you will find me standing beside you, lending all that I can to help bring about the change that is so long overdue.
I bristle when people insist that "all lives matter." All lives can't matter unless and until Black Lives Matter. I state unequivocally that Black Lives Matter. As long as Black lives are in peril, we must not deflect, we must not dilute, we must not look away, and we must not rest.
The Classified Senate stands in support of Academic Senate Resolution 20.5 denouncing the killing of unarmed Black/African American citizens due to racial profiling and racist ideologies that promote trauma and affirm PACCD’s commitment to the health, well-being, inclusion and progress of Black/African Americans students on our campus and in the greater community.
We commit to working with our colleagues to have the necessary conversations to create change, create spaces to listen to our Black/African American students and colleagues, and educate ourselves to be better.
We stand with our students, staff, and faculty, and echo the sentiments of the Faculty Association, and Academic Senate.
We thank and respect our Black/African American faculty colleagues who have written Resolution 20.5, and acknowledge the importance of making space to authentically listen to our colleagues and our students who experience racial trauma and anti-Blackness specifically firsthand.
MA not only stands in solidarity behind this resolution, but we also plan on having further discussions, like you are having today, at our next MA meeting about how we can support our managers of color and continue to work as a campus community on the needed actions that come with supporting this resolution.
The death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement has emphasized the lack of equity in our minority communities, particularly the nation’s African American citizens, in the areas of education, health care, employment, housing and justice. The mission of the Pasadena City College Foundation is to develop funding and community support for the enhancement of teaching and learning at Pasadena City College. The Foundation has a strong commitment to our college, our students and to the values of equity and racial justice that underlie our mission.
Our students, and especially our students of color, have challenges beyond the classroom that affect their academic success including: food and housing insecurities and access to technology. In response, the PCC Foundation has restructured our financial support for students to include these areas of need on an ongoing basis, in addition to our continuing support for scholarships. Because the funding for these needs is endowed, this support will remain in perpetuity. Financial support without supporting dialogue is insufficient.
We believe that important issues such as equity and racial justice can only be adequately addressed by social engagement and a thoughtful exchange of ideas that lead to real, permanent solutions. Therefore, we have made a commitment to focus on how the issues of racial justice and equity have impacted our community, and how we create equitable life experiences for the whole of our community that makes it a better place to learn and live.
As we live through one of the most unprecedented times in history, the Pasadena City College Foundation will seize this moment to ensure we are a Foundation that works for equity for our students and our community. We will do so with urgent commitment.
Thank you for your continued support,
The Pasadena City College Foundation
In solidarity and following the leadership of our sister Dr. Gena Lopez the executive board of The Association of Black Employees (TABE) of the Pasadena City College District we support and seek to broaden the dialogue. Higher education IS the location for this dialogue to occur and creating space(s) at the College for students to engage and grow and become is central to our mission. Our students are impacted by the events of the globe, the nation, the state and the local and providing them the critical thinking skills to navigate this complexity is what has made and makes Pasadena City College a unique community.
As colleagues we ask you to take the energy of the moment and begin to reflect and listen to voices of Black colleagues on the campus regarding the lives of OUR students at Pasadena City College. TABE members are often the front line of response for Black students on the campus and a respectful request for dialogue with your TABE colleagues one on one is a step in the direction of healing.
We are educators and our own learning will help to create an environment of informed discourse, consider this site as a location to begin FACT based research that provides you context and a beginning point on what has occurred and to hear voices of the African Diaspora.
Standing together as a community matters and TABE supports the resolution (attached) crafted by Dr Lopez and Vice President of TABE Armia Walker and inspired by the voices of our students. We ask that this move swiftly to support by the college and disseminated as a statement of this college community regarding the events of the moment.
Finally, we ask the campus community to take the energy of this moment and translate it into short term and long term policies, procedures with the right sized fiscal and administrative support for Black students at Pasadena City College. Let us take this moment to innovate as a community, embrace OUR students and create spaces of dialogue and healing.
TABE Executive Board
Dear PCC Community,
The Robert G. Freeman Center For Career And Completion stands in solidarity with Black/African American students, alumni, faculty and staff, just as the college stated, “shoulder to shoulder because Black Lives Matter”.
As a team, we wholeheartedly share and echo the stance expressed by our Superintendent- President and the Chancellor’s Office “Call to Action” webinar and “Vision for Success” reform. The Freeman Center staff has listened to our students as they courageously shared their difficult experiences as Black/African-American students, watched as faculty and staff responded to injustices occurring in our society, and have grieved with and for our friends that have suffered through these tragic events.
As we plan for a successful 2020-2021 academic year and beyond, we believe that our response and actions we take will demonstrate the Freeman Center’s commitment to providing students a career development experience that further prepares them for a diverse, inclusive, and globally competitive world of work.
This is the Freeman Center’s commitment to the Black/ African American community:
We recognize that we cannot meet our commitments alone. The Freeman Center will be looking to our PCC students, alumni, faculty, and staff in order to help us achieve these objectives in the days and months ahead.
Robert G. Freeman Center for Career and Completion
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