Contra Costa Community College District Statement on the Death of George Floyd

It is with deep frustration and sadness that we again denounce yet another instance of racial violence and death inflicted on an African American, George Floyd, a 46-year-old Minneapolis man who died while being held by a police officer. There are far too many examples of discrimination, harassment, and violence against people belonging to communities of color. The national spotlight continues to shine on this ugly time of racially-motivated violence in our country, and it has to stop.

It is more important than ever to stand together to condemn the systemic racism that enables such tragedies to occur.  We must strive to keep straight our moral compass of treating each other with respect, valuing every human life and the unique qualities each of us contributes that make this country great. If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better. But it falls on all of us, regardless of our race — including the vast majority of men and women in law enforcement who take great pride in doing their tough job the right way, every day — to work together and create a renewed society of acceptance, respect, and trust.

The Contra Costa Community College District (District) leadership team encourages your support for students and colleagues feeling the weight of these tragedies. Our community has given us the honor and daunting challenge to provide affordable and high quality higher education for all of our students. Yet, it is during these unsettling times we must realize the injustices that prevent the fulfillment of our mission and contributions to a society of respect, diversity, and inclusion. We remain committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for our students, staff, and community, and recognize that it takes all of us.

Our District cares about the safety and well-being of its students and employees.  In the coming days, weeks and beyond, the colleges will be organizing opportunities for dialogue and support around recent events.  For our students, we also encourage you to reach out to our faculty, classified professionals, and administrators and let us know how you are doing. For our employees, talk to your supervisor or manager and take advantage of the services that are available to help you navigate these unsettling times.

In a civil society, we are all responsible for upholding justice, and we must come together to support each other in these trying times. All in our District, including our colleges – Contra Costa College, Diablo Valley College and the San Ramon Campus, and Los Medanos College and the Brentwood Center – and our Governing Board, condemn racial intolerance, and we will continue to work together to provide a safe, inclusive environment for all of us.  It will take the will and commitment of everyone to stand up against bigotry, intolerance, violence, and injustice, to say enough is enough.

Stay safe, reach out to one another, and we can – and will – come through this together to build stronger communities and to move social justice forward in this country.

Rebecca Barrett, Governing Board President

Gene Huff, Interim Chancellor

Mojdeh Mehdizadeh, Executive Vice Chancellor

Dr. Damon Bell, Interim President, Contra Costa College

Dr. Robert Kratochvil, President, Los Medanos College

Susan Lamb, President, Diablo Valley College