Members of the Peninsula College community,
Like so many others, the events leading up to and following the murder of Minnesota’s George Floyd have left me heartbroken, angry, and unsettled. Frankly I haven’t found all of the words yet to describe how I am feeling about what is going on in our country. As I write this, I am reflecting on a social system which perpetuates a culture of privilege for white males like me, while at the same time perpetuating violence and injustice for so many others in our society. I am wondering what I can do to facilitate long overdue change.
What I do know is this: The principles that guide our college community compel us to operate with equity, fairness, and justice and to stand up to the racism, sexism, and classism that are tearing at the fabric of our society.
This tragic and senseless event, and others like it, must strengthen our resolve to engage others with the utmost respect and dignity, through meaningful dialogue and transformative action. Each and every one of you deserves to feel safe and comfortable enough to make your voice heard when injustice occurs.
Our mission states that Peninsula College educates diverse populations of learners through community-engaged programs and services that advance student equity and success. This is not just lip service: this is an imperative that we seek to model each and every day. Fostering equity and inclusion and strengthening communities is the heart and soul of all of the work we do. In this regard, our college is a work in progress; now is the time to redouble our efforts to create a college that welcomes and supports all students.
The weekend’s events, the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, and the economic stress in our community can take a toll on your mental wellbeing. If you are struggling to cope with these stressors, please get the support you need:
Students: Receive free and confidential mental health services. To schedule an appointment call (360) 417-6340
Employees: The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees. Call the EAP to set up a confidential appointment at 1.800.648.5834.
Peninsula Behavioral Health in Port Angeles
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
(800) 273-TALK (8225) (24 hours a day)
Tonight, I ask you to remember George Floyd, his family and loved ones, and all who are suffering today because of ongoing, systemic injustice in our society. Think about how we can all be agents for change in our communities going forward, and take action. The time for change is now.