Dear Angelina College Students, Colleagues, and Friends:
The AC family suffers with our community in this time of pain and anger. The deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were unjust and horrific; yet, they were examples of injustices and violence inflicted upon people of color throughout our history. While lives are taken with impunity, while voices are silenced, while justice and fairness are denied, and while families fear for their children, our nation cannot achieve its stated aspirations to equality, justice, and freedom for all. Angelina College stands with those who are peacefully and passionately demonstrating for change.
As I wrote this letter, I realized simply stating solidarity with the movement for social justice is not enough. We must be committed to hearing our community and to addressing concerns; we must insist on equity in our learning environments; and we must be unequivocally against racism, systemic or otherwise. Examples of this work include:
- Developing programs using best practices to foster a nurturing learning environment that supports the retention and completion of students of color;
- Implementing outreach initiatives through the Marketing and Strategic Enrollment division to students from marginalized communities or groups;
- Creating learning opportunities about cultural competency, engaged citizenship, and nonviolent resistance for AC students;
- Continuing to strengthen diversity recruitment initiatives in the Office of Human Resources
- Formalizing how the Office of Diversity & Inclusion addresses structural racism in the college context as well as student concerns and issues.
I ask you to join me in recommitting to the college’s purpose to be an agent of positive change and to standing for justice and equality. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but it is the right work, and it is good work.
Dr. Michael J. Simon