Official Statements from Leadership on Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

6/29/2020 - Salt Lake Community College ‘s Board of Trustees released a letter against systemic racism and the long-term effects of racial and ethnic discrimination.

June 29, 2020

Dear Community Leaders,

As Trustees of Utah's most diverse higher education institution, we join Salt Lake Community College’s students, faculty, staff and administration in speaking out against systemic racism and the long-term effects of racial and ethnic discrimination. The murder of George Floyd and too many others and the subsequent protests that call for an end to the violence against the Black community have compelled us to reflect and act. We are deeply committed to confronting racial disparities, and we will work to create a more just and inclusive country, state and college.

Some of us have experienced discrimination personally. We have watched family members fight for our Latinx ancestors to be laid to rest in national cemeteries after serving this country in World War I. We have been coached to stop speaking our native language to ensure we wouldn't have an accent that could "hinder" our success in college. We have been stopped by police and questioned without justification. We have felt the burden of code switching between environments to accommodate cultural "norms" while suppressing our whole selves. We have lived in countries where we were confronted daily with the human suffering and consequences created by Apartheid. And some of us, while not directly suffering from discrimination, have witnessed its effects for far too long. The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castille, Ahmaud Arbery, Bernado Palacious-Carbajal and many others have angered all of us and remind us that persistent racism, though at times publicly tempered, is alive and well in our country.

As a board, we have high expectations that SLCC will lead in confronting and dismantling structural barriers that impede equity. While today's focus is on the institutional injustices in policing, we recognize systemic racism is embedded in many long-standing institutions. As leaders in higher education, we commit to listen more intently, speak out against injustices and share our own lived experiences. Most importantly, we will ensure that Black students, Indigenous students, Pacific Islander students, Asian students and Latinx students will see their histories, cultures, contributions and experiences centered in college's curriculum and practices. We will also continue to hold SLCC's administration accountable for creating a learning environment where all can learn and succeed.

We ask you to join us in taking action to transform organizations. Name racist practices and where you can confront, confront. Where you can listen, listen. Where you can act, act. Now is the time to make a sustained commitment to work together to live into our values of inclusion and true community.

Respectfully yours,

SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Board of Trustees

Statement from Board of Trustees