This is an enormously exciting time to be part of the Lancer community as we are at a critical crossroads in our institution’s history. The global health crisis and racial unrest of the past nearly two years has revealed systemic disparities that disproportionately burdened members of underrepresented groups; its highlighted the ongoing violence and policing of black and brown bodies; its unveiled the heightened uncertainty of immigration-impacted students, and has placed a spotlight on the increase in mental health cases associated with isolation and dependency on remote technology. In response, PCC has recommitted itself to championing a trauma-informed, anti-racist campus community centered on equity, inclusion, responsivity and accountability. As such, we have increased our transparency, opened important dialogues about race/ethnicity, inclusion and diversity, and reimagined resource allocation to support the sustained efforts centering the pursuit of equitable learning and working environments. We have risen in response to great difficulty.
As a thought partner in this work, the newly established Division aims to impact equity and inclusion through sustained institutionalized transformation, identifying immediate and long-term expected outcomes, fostering accountability through planning and assessment, and establishing milestones and timelines within the context of the strategic plan influenced by community needs, input and participation. Guided by the pillars of our area, Teaching and Education, Student Equity, Success and Access, Title IX and Compliance and Diversity Engagement and Community Outreach. We are dedicated to the shared work and sustained efforts of reimagining a sense of community for all.
It's an honor to serve alongside outstanding professionals in our collective efforts to make the Pasadena City College community an increasingly welcoming, equitable, diverse, and inclusive place void of bias, discrimination, inequity, and marginalization. We have a great deal of work ahead, but together we will make lasting, positive change.
— Dr. Kari E. Bolen
Associate Vice President, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Title IX Coordinator
“You know my friends, there comes a time when people get tired of being trampled by the iron feet of oppression. There comes a time my friends, when people get tired of being plunged across the abyss of humiliation, where they experience the bleakness of nagging despair. There comes a time when people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life's July and left standing amid the piercing chill of an alpine November. There comes a time.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches
Dear Lancer Community:
After one of the most challenging and painful years in our country’s history, today on the birthday of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. we take the opportunity to reflect on his work, life and legacy. In a time where, as a nation and community, we have been confronted by traumatic events that have called into question whether the attainment of a community free of racial segregation, economic injustice and violence can be realized, that reflection is more necessary than ever.
Like so many of you, I watched in sadness and dismay earlier this month as domestic terrorists violated our democratic institutions with symbols of racism and hate. I also observed the striking contrast between the presence and response of law enforcement during these riots and the largely peaceful protests for racial justice this past summer.
In these difficult moments, Dr. King’s legacy provides a staple model for remaining committed to the work required to become the kind of anti-racist multicultural society he envisioned. His life and teachings are a testament to just how much can be accomplished when advocacy and radical activism are brought to bear on behalf of minoritized communities. However, to do this work, we must acknowledge the depth and breadth of our contemporary racial conflicts, the legacies of our troubled history and the sacrifice of those martyrs who have galvanized communities to make racial justice and equity “the beating heart of this nation.”
As our country remembers the lasting legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this month, I invite you to keep the “unarmed truth and unconditional love” at the forefront of your hearts and minds. Accepting our individual roles in building the “beloved community” is in nurturing the campus community we imagine. Now more than ever, we must recommit ourselves to the urgent call for confronting and ending racism and for a renewed effort to correct historic racial injustices and inequities.
Despite the obstacles, we are an essential part of the solution to bridge what divides us as a nation. Together, we can honor Dr. King’s remarkable legacy by bringing his ideals to life through a relentless pursuit of social justice and liberation for all. As we do so, let us look to his words: “Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”
In unifying love,
Dr. Kari Bolen