Black Lives Matter Statement
The systemic racism in our country has caused persistent social, economic, educational, and health inequities that have tormented and traumatized our Black communities for hundreds of years. The current pandemic has, once again, put a spotlight on racial discrimination. Worse yet are the recent shocking and brutal deaths of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and countless others from the past. Such needless and terrible deaths underscore the reality that racism is still—tragically and fatally—alive and pervasive across our nation.
Black Lives Matter
We, the Chancellor’s Executive Cabinet, recognize there is a real and everyday danger of being Black in America. Our Black faculty, staff, and students are significant and integral leaders and contributors to our mission. We stand in solidarity with them now, through our existing commitments to equity, diversity, and inclusion as well as our ongoing commitment to foster understanding and acceptance; we oppose racism through teaching, learning, policy-making, and accepting collective and individual responsibilities. Black. Lives. Matter.
We Insist on Police Reform
It is a tragedy that we, as a nation, continue to see very real examples of race-driven violence from our police forces. Police brutality is an intense demonstration of the legacy of racism, and its violence continues to erode trust of the police within Black as well as other communities of color who are consistently victims of discrimination, racial profiling, oppression, and acts of violence from those who are supposed to serve and protect all citizens. We—as an institution, community, and country—must unite to educate, eradicate discrimination, and dismantle systemic racism and racism in all its forms. This involves denouncing race-related violence and police brutality as well as insisting on police reform.
What We Plan to Do
Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Community comprise one of the four key goals of our strategic plan. We firmly establish equity, diversity, and inclusion as a human right for all; we frame our decisions and actions with this lens; and we are accountable to the community. To that end, we are:
- Expanding our Social Justice curriculum across the district.
- Developing anti-racism courses in our continuing education program.
- Firmly declaring our support for student and staff affinity groups.
- Expanding scholarships targeting African American students.
- Focusing institutional resources, human or financial, to make measurable progress in metrics of success for Black, Latinx, Pacific Islander, Native American/Indigenous, and other marginalized student populations.
- Working to ensure our search and selection processes are standardized and without racism and bias.
- Reevaluating our policies and procedures to ensure Black and other employees of color have equal opportunities to lead, to manage, to influence, and to contribute at all levels.
- Using Seattle Pathways, Seattle Promise, Center for Working Adults, and other initiatives to close the equity gap.
Diversity Is One of Our Most Important and Cherished Values
As an institution of learning, our work is best when it builds new understanding with representation from a diversity of people with a diversity of views and experiences. As college leaders, we take issues of safety, equity, and belonging especially seriously since many of us know, firsthand, the challenges so many face in these areas.
We will continue to work with our colleges and civic partners to provide our students, faculty, staff, and communities with the support they need to feel safe, welcome, and respected on our campuses. We will work with our greatest effort to embody, nurture, and support those values and ask our employees and students to do the same.
Our Hope Lies in Our Students, Faculty, and Staff
We find inspiration in the great numbers of our students, faculty, and staff taking part in peaceful protesting. As a district, we fully support the right of our students, faculty, staff, and all citizens to engage in peaceful protests calling for an end to racism and police violence and brutality.
We find hope in our students, staff, and faculty involved with the leadership of Seattle Colleges. We also recognize that our colleges can and should be part of the solution. The knowledge and expertise of our faculty and staff, along with the passion and energy of our students, will enable us to develop meaningful steps towards eradicating racism and inequality—both in our communities and our larger society.
Seattle Colleges Chancellor's Cabinet
June 22, 2020