June 03, 2020

A Message of Solidarity

Dear Students and Colleagues,

We write to you today because we know that many of you are hurting as a result of the recent murder of George Floyd and the violent acts imposed on the Black community across our nation.  We strongly oppose and condemn the actions of the police officers in Minneapolis who murdered George Floyd, as well as the countless others impacted by the dehumanization and devaluing of Black lives. We stand against police brutality and all forms of violence against Black/African-American people and we acknowledge the pain and trauma that these incidents have caused today, and for generations before.

Many have been traumatized by the systemic institutional racism that permeates our nation and our lives. We acknowledge that in the past, SBCC hasn’t always gotten it right. As an institution, we have struggled to effectively respond to incidents of racism on our campus, in the city of Santa Barbara, and in our country and these failures have negatively impacted Black students, staff, and faculty as well as other people of color.  We don’t want to make those mistakes again. We know that we cannot let this moment pass us by, we must do something, and we are making a commitment to do better. 

We have developed the following support and learning resources to help us in this moment and to further our collective commitment to antiracism:

  • A healing and support space for Black/African American students staff and faculty on Thursday, June 4th at 1:00 pm. Presented by Umoja, The Well, and Student Health Services. Register here.

  • A healing and support space for students, staff, and faculty of color on Thursday, June 4th at 5:00 pm. Presented by the Well and Student Health Services.

  • A healing and support space open to all allies on Friday, June 5th from 10:00 - 11:30 am. Presented by the Well and Student Health Services. Register here.

  • “The America We Know: Thoughts on Racism, Law Enforcement, and Protests,” a panel discussion presented by the Center for Equity and Social Justice and the Department of Communications, moderated by Dr. Donte Newman, SBCC Professor of Communications. Wednesday, June 18th at 4:00 pm. For more info and to register, click here

  • Disrupting Racism: Foundations for Allies Seeking to Be Accomplices. A workshop presented by Dr. Carrie Hutchinson, SBCC Professor of Communication and Co-founder of the Santa Barbara chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), on Monday, June 29th at 4:00 pm. Register here.

  • “White Online Behavior in Response to Police Violence,” a discussion with Dr. Donte Newman, SBCC Professor of Communication on Wednesday, July 1st at 4:00 pm. Register here.

Our pledge is this: We will work tirelessly to confront the systemic inequities and injustices at SBCC and in our society by recognizing and confronting racist policies, procedures and actions that negatively impact Black/African-American and other marginalized communities.  We will listen to you, develop better measures to respond to systemic inequities and personal experiences of racism, we will take personal and institutional responsibility to build our race-consciousness by examining the social and historical context of exclusionary practices, and we will confront racism in all forms.

In solidarity,

Roxane M. Byrne, Interim Coordinator of the the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Cultural Competency

Dr. Christopher Johnson, Associate Dean of Student Affairs

Arturo Rodriguez, Dean of Student Services