The last two years have taken a toll on students: job and housing loss; lack of opportunities to engage in social settings; slowed educational progress; and—most sadly—the loss of loved ones. California’s Community Colleges have stepped up in remarkable ways to support our students and each other. And we will continue rebuilding, with healing and hope as our foundation.
Fostering requires action – not just articulating an expectation or desire for change but taking meaningful steps toward bringing that desire to fruition. How will we nurture healing and hope in a time of loss, as we continue to help students (re)engage in their college educations and progress toward their academic and career goals?
Once again, this year’s theme is a call to action for the faculty, staff, and administrators of our system. While our community colleges have facilitated educational and career mobility for millions of students, that hope has also died for those left out of that dream – especially those left behind through our own inequitable structures, processes, and practices. This work means more than acknowledging racial disparities. It means advocating actively for change, which requires courage and compassion.
We know our colleges can be safe harbors of healing and hope that allow students to thrive. Let’s gather and share the many ways we are transforming our institutions to ensure students see our colleges as a worthy investment, experience our campuses as a place for authentic belonging and healing, and realize the hope of a better life for themselves and their families.