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Rising Up in Unity

Post Date:06/08/2020 5:34 PM

It has been heartbreaking to hear and see the events over the last few days. 

We stand with those in our community—and those across the country—who are hurting and frustrated because of the systemic injustice that still exists in our nation. The senseless death of George Floyd is the latest example that justice is not equally applied. It feels like a pivotal moment in our country's history is upon us. We are in the midst of a horrible pandemic, historic numbers of Americans are unemployed, and now a period of racial unrest has been sparked. The COVID crisis has tested our patience and heightened our anxiety. In some ways, it has more profoundly exposed the injustices and inequities of our society. Now we are faced with days and evenings of strife. It is wearying and saps our strength.

Our role as community college educators will never be more important than it is right now: we are at the forefront of building the critical thinking skills required to work for and effect racial justice. We provide the educational entry point for our most underserved communities, providing students in our region access to the skills and knowledge that will empower them to positively transform their own lives and advance the goal of equity and inclusion.

We need to do the hard work of recognizing that our histories are bound together and imbued with decades of injustices and inequalities. We need to talk about this history openly and reject its structural, embedded nature. More than anything else, we need to embody the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and demonstrate that love conquers hate. We need to break out of our weariness and rise up in a spirit of unity and brotherhood. For though our histories may be imbued with decades of injustice and inequalities, our future doesn’t have to reflect the past.

Yesterday, Chancellor Eloy Oakley released a special video message to all members of the California Community College system. I encourage all of you to watch it and reflect on his call to action. 

Here at MPC, we must ensure that our college is open and equitable for all, a safe and comfortable place for reflection and learning. We owe that to our students, our community, and to the generations to come.

David