Our hearts are heavy during this overwhelming time in our nation. The ongoing issue of institutionalized racism, discrimination, and law enforcement targeting Black people is a grim reality that we must recognize and confront. Now is the time to get involved and take responsibility for creating justice and equity that our country so desperately needs.
George Floyd. Let us repeat his name, George Floyd. His helpless screams, cries, and his repeated last phrase, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,” continue to deeply echo in our hearts and the hearts of Bellevue College. The unflinching video of the brutal killing of George Floyd re-exposed the systemic racism and racial injustice that has plagued our nation since its inception. The attention paid to peaceful protests aimed at ending police brutality and violence against Black people has been distracted by looting, arson, tear gas, and rubber bullets. But we will not be distracted. It is vital to have a space to challenge systems of power for the protection of social justice and equity.
As the Interim President and the Board of Trustees, our priorities are to provide guidance and stability for our students and employees, facilitate a cultural shift, and address equity and institutionalized racism. Bellevue College will look inward and outward in its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are eager to hold deep, uncomfortable conversations and work closely with faculty, staff, students, and the community.
Conflict is a part of addressing a racist system that is in our structural, interpersonal, and behavioral ways of knowing and understanding. We are invested in changing how we acknowledge, appreciate, and represent people in our college community. We can do that by listening more to employees and students, involving employees in budget matters, and engaging the campus in the development of college-wide diversity training.
We must take the necessary steps to support one another and move forward as an equitable nation. We will do our part in Washington State by advancing the conversation and taking action within our sphere of influence toward equity and encouraging a cultural shift at Bellevue College.
We ALL must do better and surpass current standards. Justice and the future direction of the college and our nation depend on it.
Black Lives Matter.
Interim President Gary Locke & the Board of Trustees
Last Updated December 8, 2020