After a somber summer that was marked with international outrage, mourning, and calls to unite; last week we learned of the tragic and untimely deaths of Keith Lamont Scott in North Carolina, and Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma. On Tuesday, another life was lost as Alfred Orlango died in El Cajon, California. In the case of Terence Crutcher, it hits close to home as he was a community college student. Our deepest sympathies go out to their families and loved ones.
We want students, staff, and faculty to know that the multitude of feelings that come with these difficult events; sadness, frustration, anger, and uncertainty, to name a few, are very real and shared by many.
These most recent shootings highlight that the times remain difficult and dangerous for African-American/black communities. It is important to reflect on the complexity of our justice system—a system that is based on the principles of equity, fairness, and integrity; but is clearly not without its flaws.
As an educational institution that values and promotes equity, access, and success for students from all contexts and backgrounds, this affects every one of us.
While we process what these events mean for us individually and collectively, we encourage all members of the College community to engage in open dialogue on critical issues of race, biases, fear associated with difference, and justice. These tragedies compel us to come together and strengthen our efforts to create a campus environment where the interests, aspirations, success, and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff are recognized, respected, and celebrated.
We want everyone to know—especially those whose personal experiences encountering violence or exclusion may make them particularly vulnerable to the emotional effects of recent events—you are not alone. As colleagues, we must support each other and help strengthen a weakened social fabric. As mentors, we must communicate the availability of on-campus resources such as academic counselors and psychologists, as well as outside resources.
As a community college we all have a role to play in building and sustaining an inclusive campus culture. We hope you will join wholeheartedly in that effort. On Wednesday, October 5, the College will hold an open forum in the Student Services Center, Deedy Lounge from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. The forum is open to everyone; those who would like to speak further about the incidents, about race and ethnicity, or just need a supportive space. We are all in this together.
Wednesday, October 5
1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Student Services Center, Deedy Lounge