June 1, 2020
Dear SRJC Community,
Today I speak on behalf of myself and the members of President’s Cabinet, all of whom stand in solidarity with you against racism, discrimination, and hate in all of its forms. Our community has been faced with incredible challenges over the last few years and I know that the grief that we share over this latest injustice is almost too much to bear. I have felt anger, guilt, and helplessness. I have readily shed tears as my heart aches for the family and friends of George Floyd and all those who have been the victims of such violence.
As a leader of an institution of higher learning, I feel a moral responsibility to speak truth to power and to use my position to advocate fiercely for positive social change. I wish to see a world that is free from violence, racism, and poverty.
I believe that education is a vehicle for the creation of a more just society. I have seen education enlighten individuals and liberate them from racist viewpoints. I have seen it lift generations of people out of poverty.
And yet, the life-changing influence of education takes time and has not yet reached every corner of our society. In my years, I have witnessed the Watts riots, Rodney King riots, and now the senseless killing of George Floyd among too many other incidents of race-based violence. I believe that Black/African American communities have not always received equitable educational and employment opportunities and that we can do more to create shared understanding and dialogue between communities to provide solutions for these inequities.
I am committed to working with all SRJC employees and students to build a healthier and more inclusive community for Black and African American individuals at Santa Rosa Junior College and in Sonoma County. Towards that end, I plan to work with my cabinet and other college leaders to convene a series of conversations with our college community to continue this dialogue and create better support systems for our Black/African American students and employees.
Together we can shine a light on these injustices.
"No one is free until we are all free,” ~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Respectfully and in solidarity,
Dr. Frank Chong, President/Superintendent
Dr. Jane Saldana-Talley, VP, Academic Affairs
Pedro Avila, VP, Student Services
Kate Jolley, VP, Finance & Administrative Services
Karen Furukawa-Schlereth, VP, Human Resources
Sarah Hopkins, Director, Human Resources
Erin Bricker, Director, District & Community Relations
For additional support and resources, please feel free to contact: