Message from the President: Response to pernicious racism in our country

Dear Colleague,  

I’m heartened by the continual chorus of voices in our community and around the country demanding racial justice. At the College, we postponed our Campus Budget Zoom Hall meeting last Friday so employees who wanted to attend the community protest marches and demonstrations were able to do so. At the same time, I’m disheartened by the situation leading to the killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday and know this weighs on our hearts as we look for actions to address pernicious racism in our country. 

We are all tired, sickand tired of mere words. I’m grateful to share a good example of taking action on our campus. Last week, I convened a joint conversation with Tom Genest and Dr. Amy Kinsel, Co-chairs of the Faculty Senate, Isaac Tchao, Associated Student Government (ASG) President, and Phillip King, VP for Student Learning, regarding concerns I had heard from students about the impact of the current situations on their studies. As a result, the Shoreline Faculty Senate sent an email to all students letting them know the different ways faculty can support them as they bring spring quarter to a close. I appreciated the Co-chairs and the ASG President meeting with me and the VP of Student Learning which led to a specific communication in support of our students during these most tender times. 

We need each other more than ever as we address two pandemics: an ongoing public health crisis and centuries-long racism culminating in social unrest. We need each other as we focus on dismantling systemic racism. I’m proud that Shoreline clearly states in our Community Standard statement,our College does not tolerate hateful, violent, or discriminatory actions that target any person or group based on their beliefs, customs, identity, or affiliations. I hope you will join me in recommitting for the 2020-21 academic year to a deep examination of our own practices to close the inequities in our students’ experience. In the coming weeks and months, the College will emerge with demonstrations of support that may include: expanded support for affinity groups for staff of color and employees committed to anti-racismimplementing strategies to recruit and retain students and staff of color; and ongoing education that addresses anti-racism.   

During this time of great disruption, if you or someone you know at the College is experiencing distress and is in need of emotional or mental support, please know there are resources for you. Students are encouraged to access free counseling by phone or video chat with the Counseling Center(206-546-4594). Employees may access services and support any time through ourEmployee Assistance Program (877-313-4455). Additionally, we’d like to remind you about the Bias Incident Report Form. 

As we bring spring quarter and the academic year to a close, we have much to do in support of our students, and our students have much to do to prepare to complete their courses. I’m grateful to our students for believing in Shoreline and entrusting their educational experience with us and to our dedicated faculty, staff, and administrators who have answered the call to provide learning and support in a remote environment. 

May we find moments of peace within the support of our campus community.  

With a heart full of gratitude,

Cheryl Roberts, Ed.D.

President

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s