Dr. Bennett Expresses CCC's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Jun 3, 2020

Dr. Bennett's Letter to Students

Dear Clovis Community College Students,

We send this message with hurt in our hearts as we mourn the senseless death of Mr. George Floyd, a 46-year-old Minneapolis man who was killed by a police officer last week.  His name is added to a list with Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others as reminders of the work we still need to do in our country toward social justice and equity.  We understand that these continued acts of unjustified violence can affect our students of color, specifically our Black students. 

We empathize with the range of emotions that many of our students and employees have felt over the past week – anger, outrage, fear, trauma, and sadness.  We want you to know that we stand in solidarity with those who choose to express their emotions and support the call for action by participating in peaceful protests. We want you to know that Clovis Community College is here for you.

We are proud of our cities and the powerful message sent by the community members who participated in this weekend’s peaceful demonstration organized by Fresno State’s NAACP.  We want to acknowledge the members of our campus community who marched in solidarity at this event.

At Clovis Community College we are working together to organize several events to allow you, as students, to have courageous conversations in a safe space to express what you are feeling during this time.  Our Psychological Services office has organized a Justice and Healing Circle that will be held this Thursday, June 4th at noon via zoom. You can register for the event by clicking on this link: https://justiceandhealingcircle.eventbrite.com.

Clovis Community College has a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We will continue to work together to expand our list of actions, events, and resources. It is important now, more than ever, to unite as one against systemic and historical racism. It is our responsibility to stand up and speak out for racial justice and equitable change.

In Solidarity,

Ms. Jendayi Auque, President, Clovis Community College Black Student Union
Mr. Elijah Banda, President, CCC Associated Student Government
Dr. Lori Bennett, President, Clovis Community College


Dr. Bennett's Letter to Employees

Dear Colleagues,

I’m sending this message with a heavy heart as we mourn the senseless death of George Floyd, the Minneapolis man who was killed by a police officer last week. His name is added to a list with Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others as reminders of the work we still have to do in our country toward social justice and equity. Over the last few days, I have listened to many people share their stories, their pain, their fear, and their anger not just about this tragic incident, but about the ongoing cruelty of racism that they or their family members have faced over the years. Some of us, myself included, will never fully understand these feelings, but we can listen to our colleagues, offer support and kindness, and serve as allies in the work toward a more just society.

Together, we must work to stop these continued acts of unjustified violence against members of our community.  As educators, we can affect change through teaching and modeling.  As a college, we can participate in courageous conversations and provide safe spaces for our students to do the same.  As the Crush family, we can promote respect, tolerance, inclusion, and trust through our actions and words.  As mentors, we can help our students become critical thinkers who are open to new ideas and different points of view, and who are empowered to stand up for what they believe is right.  Together, with our students, we can make a difference right here in our own community.

I want to reinforce our college’s commitment to equity and inclusion. As a unit, we revised our College Mission and Values Statement this past year, to begin with, this acknowledgment: we honor diversity and serve all students in our community. Over the last few years, we have provided a variety of events designed to educate and promote discussion related to cultural competency.  Our guided pathways work is grounded in equity.  Data analysis is helping us to understand barriers to success and focus on the specific needs of our students. We need to continue this work.

In response to the events of this past week, we are organizing a variety of events, including “Talk Circles” which are a safe space for students and employees to express what they are feeling during this difficult time. Our Psychological Services office is organizing the Talk Circles and developing a list of resources to provide information and support systems.  Details will follow soon.

Going forward, it is important - now more than ever - to unite as one against both overt and subtle racism. Our students and our peers need us to stand in solidarity.  I ask you to join us as we work together to expand our list of actions and events that will help us bring about real change.

In Solidarity,

Lori

Lori Bennett, Ed.D.
President
Clovis Community College

 

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