Our country is at a tipping point. The senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many African-American men and women is a reflection of the racial prejudice and injustice that continues to exist throughout our nation. While we cannot directly influence what happens in Minneapolis, Louisville or Brunswick, we can, and will, positively impact our own community which is CCBC.
As the leader of a community college that prides itself on diversity, I am deeply disturbed by recent events. CCBC is an institution committed to diversity, and we celebrate our rich diversity as a strength. But, the current climate demands that we speak to each other as a community through a sharper lens, to listen to those who bring a different voice to the conversation, and to commit to do better. Good words are not sufficient; it is action that matters.
To that end, I am committing our college community to the following actions:
- Provide an ongoing forum for uncomfortable conversations about race utilizing the talents and resources of the Offices of College Life and Intercultural Engagement to engage students, faculty and staff in a series of continuing discussions.
- Support and expand the professional development efforts of CCBC’s Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning initiative to influence classroom pedagogy and methodology.
- Face squarely the data that show the deficiencies in academic performance and completion of African-American students, especially African-American males, and develop active retention and completion initiatives to close those gaps.
- Analyze CCBC’s hiring patterns across all categories of employees and determinedly craft improved recruitment, retention and professional development strategies to increase the number and presence of African-American colleagues at all levels of the organization to keep pace with the changing demographics of Baltimore County.
- Commit to using our vast workforce training capacity to help improve skills training and career opportunities to the region’s African-American communities.
- Foster a college climate of equity, civility, and inclusion that embraces all students, faculty, and staff across the broad spectrum of CCBC’s diverse communities.
There is no place for racism and injustice in our society, and definitely not at CCBC. We are better, stronger and smarter than to allow the differences that make us unique tear us apart. We will continue to work toward being a part of the solution, not the problem. And, we will continue to strive to be a place where everyone feels safe, respected and valued.