Office of Equity and Inclusion
Black Lives Matter at Foothill College
Message from President Nguyen
Emailed to students and posted to foothill.edu on May 31, 2020
Dear Foothill Students,
I pray you are staying healthy and making progress with your classes.
Foothill College stands in solidarity with efforts that bring to light racism in our country. Our college stands against racism and the oppressive systems that maintain it. Foothill has committed to doing its own part in dismantling racism as expressed in our working definition of equity.
"Believing a well-educated population is essential to sustaining a democratic and just society, we commit to the work of equity, which is to dismantle oppressive systems (structural, cultural, and individual) and create a college community where success is not predictable by race."
We are living in unprecedented times, and it can be very difficult to stay focused on school and work. This pandemic, along with the economic fallout, has turned our world upside down, and now the civil unrest is turning our country inside out. Racism has a long, painful history in the United States.
What is happening right now affects each of us and our families differently – often times based on our own race and our lived racial experiences.
It is our humanity that requires us to come together. Our efforts with physical distancing due to the pandemic is an act of love: a collective act of people coming together (remotely) to help each other not contract the disease and for our healthcare system not to be overwhelmed.
The peaceful protests throughout the country in response to the murders of George Floyd and other Black men and women is another act of love and community. Professor Cornel West, who spoke at Foothill College in January, reminds us that “justice is what love looks like in public.”
Please reach out to each other and talk about how race and privilege play a role in your life. You are college students, and you are engaging in an extraordinary exercise of education that is meant to liberate your mind and improve your life.
Besides reflecting on one’s own role, be proactive in fighting against racism in all its forms. It is one thing to not be a racist; it is another to be anti-racist.
The Associated Students of Foothill College are hosting a student town hall on Tuesday at noon via Zoom. Join me, faculty, staff, and student leaders as we discuss social justice and student concerns related to online learning. You can also join student clubs that promote social justice causes.
Foothill is here to support you. Recent events coupled with the pandemic may be confusing and intense. Psychological Services & Personal Counseling welcome you to benefit from confidential appointments to talk online or by phone for support with a licensed mental health counselor. To make an appointment or attend a drop-in, call 650.949.7910 or go to our website .
Our college has a philosophy of “Service Leadership” where we encourage you to harness your leadership voice and leadership skills through the service of others. Now is the time for you as a college student to lead if we are to have a real chance at making progress in race relations in our country.
Even though we are physically distanced, it does not mean that we cannot come together to stand up for social justice.
Be safe. Be kind. Be courageous. Lead.
Thuy T. Nguyen