Message to the College Community
Dear faculty, staff and students:
I have spent the last few days like many of you, compelled to consume news I can hardly bear to read or watch. Once again, America’s original sin – racism – has reared its ugly head. The events unfolding in Minneapolis after the death of another Black man – George Floyd – is a reminder that our plea for social and racial equality continues to fall on deaf ears. Knowing that racism permeates our culture and civic life is hard enough to accept, but seeing it carried out and sanctioned by a justice system that purports to serve and protect makes us all hold our breath, waiting for the next tragic murder of a Black person for driving, jogging, sleeping or living a normal life. Yes, none of us can breathe until we are all allowed to breathe freely from the horrors of racism. Those of us with Black children and grandchildren are forced to live with this pain, and fear, as part of our daily lives.
I want to offer my sympathies, prayers and the compassion of our entire college community to George Floyd's family, and all of those who are mourning his murder. I also want to echo and amplify their fury. As we say Mr. Floyd's name, he joins Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray and far too many others on this appalling list of murder victims to racism.
It is important for every citizen to demand justice and for all of us to learn how we can hold our leaders to account. As we process our pain and repeat that Black lives matter, I want to invite all Philadelphians to a virtual teach-in and town hall sponsored by Community College of Philadelphia in the coming days. More details will be announced shortly. Until then, go in peace, be safe, be well and be strong.
Donald Guy Generals, Ed.D.
Environmental Racism: Is it Safe to Breathe?
Our latest discussion was held on Oct. 19 at 11 a.m. Hosted by Dr. Generals, panelists led a conversation that examined new ideas and solutions that address inequalities within urban communities. Environmental justice calls for equal access to a healthy environment for all. This convesation empowered and encouraged the community to become a changemaker to promote environmental hazard awareness and improve our neighborhoods. Education and training must be part of the solution for change, and we as individuals must band together and commit to act.
Maurice Sampson, Eastern Pennsylvania director, Clean Water Action
Saleem Chapman, Deputy director and chief Resilience officer, Office of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia
The Honorable Donna Bullock, Pennsylvania State Representative, 195th Legislative District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Moderator: Jasmine E. Sessoms, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs, Hilco Redevelopment Partners
Colleges in the Philly area and elsewhere are pledging to address national unrest and criminal justice inequalities
CCP teach-in looks at where to go from here