President’s Letter to the College: A Community in Mourning
Monday, June 1, 2020
Dear College Community,
I am writing today with sorrow and anger, as our nation mourns yet another senseless death in the tragedy of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN. The oppression and pain of systemic racism, unrelieved by the imperceptible progress towards equal justice and social equity, has boiled over in many communities across the nation. Marches and demonstrations of solidarity are happening in cities and towns, including our community of Greater Boston. The oppression and heartache are only compounded by the miseries of the COVID-19 outbreak, which disproportionately affects people of color, and magnifies the inequities in the communities served by the College.
In this moment of grief, and in the face of these unrelenting acts of racism, let us hold one another close and renew our College’s values and commitment. We say to one another: we see you, we hear you, we are with you. We will commit, in our collective actions and in our individual capacity, to speak boldly, and to call one another and our systems to account.
Last week, a thoughtful team of colleagues planned and convened the third annual Institute of the Center for Equity and Cultural Wealth. For two days, we worked to identify and dismantle master narratives in higher education that permeate our work, perpetuate racism, and harm BHCC community members of color. We listened to one another and began crafting new narratives through the disruptive power of hope. Even as we experience the hopelessness in the killing of innocents, we must also believe that the concrete work we do each day as learners and educators will transform and reshape our future.
For faculty and staff who seek assistance during this time, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to you at 888-267-8126; more information is available on the BHCC Intranet under Human Resources.
For students who need emotional support, our Counselors are here for you; please contact the Dean of Students Office at 617-228-2408 or the CARE Team.
As a community of educators, we must come together to create educational spaces that expose and disrupt racism. I welcome your feedback and input about the work the College needs to do to advance this critical mission. Please also reach out to our African American and Black students and colleagues in ways that offer hope, empathy and love. Let that be our common action to mark this day of sadness, and the beginning of hope.
Pam Y. Eddinger, Ph.D.
Bunker Hill Community College