Dear Ohlone Family,
It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today as we continue to serve our Ohlone students and the Tri-City community virtually.
Last week we bore witness to the horrific video of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black male being restrained forcibly by a police officer who held him pinned to the ground with a knee on his neck resulting in death. Each of us will relate to this killing based on our own history and experiences, but it resonates at all levels.
Floyd’s death has broken my heart as I’m sure it has yours. Our nation mourns the death of yet another black person as a result of racism, prejudice, injustice, and brutality. And while it’s difficult to find words to express how deeply saddened I am, I know that I cannot fathom the depth of pain and the challenges felt just by being a person of color in this country.
Racism is a difficult subject to talk about, but we must find ways to have the hard conversations. Let’s start here at home, at Ohlone. Ohlone College is an institution committed to education and creating a supportive and safe environment that encourages open dialogue and expression with respect to every member of our community. It’s time to come together—to support each other in healing and to discuss concrete steps we can take to support our community.
As a first step, ODIAC is hosting a virtual “Healing Safe Space.” Join us in support of each other and to remember all those who have lost their lives due to hate, leaving grieving families behind.
Wednesday June 3rd 10:00 – 11:00 AM: https://cccconfer.zoom.us/j/93715628000
Wednesday June 10th 12:00 – 1:00 PM: https://cccconfer.zoom.us/j/96221462909
Let’s continue to build dialogue with one another and to stand up for injustice. Know that you are not alone, we stand by you--and we will stand together.
Gari Browning, Ph.D.
Ohlone Community College District