By Jack Beresford
Dear San Diego Community College District Colleagues and Friends:
We, the members of the Chancellor’s Cabinet, are sending a special message regarding recent and continuing events in our nation and local communities.
Like you, we feel pain, sadness, and frustration in the face of the senseless murders of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Sean Reed in Indianapolis, and Tony McDade in Tallahassee. Like you, we are shocked at the weaponization of race against Christian Cooper in New York City and the acts of intolerance in our own San Diego community, such as the wearing of white supremacist paraphernalia in grocery stores. We realize that there are many more victims of racial violence whose experiences never make headlines and whose names will never become public. We also understand that grief for victims both named and unnamed, both local and distant, weighs heavily on many members of our community, and we, too, struggle with our own sense of anger, heartbreak, and concern.
Our nation is divided by racism and inequality, which has only been compounded by the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current civil unrest in our country is directly related to the level of systemic oppression of Black Americans and other marginalized communities. We encourage everyone to take a stand for justice and to use their voice while remembering the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
We remain steadfast in our commitment to equity and equality. Just as the San Diego Community College District stands in support of our immigrant, undocumented, DACA, Muslim, LGBTQ+, and Asian members who have come under attack in recent years and months, we will continue standing to prevent a return to the darkest and most hateful days in American history.
Our nation cannot and should not tolerate such dehumanization, hatred, and denigration of any of its people. We ask if you cannot understand the civil unrest occurring throughout our country that you understand the cumulative cause of it. As we continue to fight for systemic change, we reflect on the words of civil rights activist Angela Davis, who said, “I’m no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I’m changing the things I cannot accept.”
Our work is not done, and now more than ever we must continue to act forthrightly with our shared values.
SDCCD Chancellor’s Cabinet
Dr. Constance M. Carroll, Chancellor
Dr. Ricky Shabazz, President, San Diego City College
Dr. Pamela T. Luster, President, San Diego Mesa College
Dr. Marsha Gable, Interim President, San Diego Miramar College
Dr. Carlos O. Turner Cortez, President, San Diego Continuing Education
Dr. Bonnie Ann Dowd, Executive Vice Chancellor, Business and Technology Services
Ramon L. Knox, Interim Vice Chancellor, Student Services
Dr. Stephanie Bulger, Vice Chancellor, Instructional Services
Will Surbrook, Vice Chancellor, Human Resources
Christopher Manis, Vice Chancellor, Facilities Management
Jack Beresford, Director, Communications and Public Relations