Black Lives Matter at the Alamo Colleges District
June 18, 2020
Alamo Colleges District Family,
Tomorrow is Juneteenth; it is a day that commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States. It’s sometimes called Freedom Day because it celebrates the day, on June 19, 1865, when Union Soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas, and shared the news that slavery had ended – more than two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
It’s disheartening that for two years African-Americans toiled and remained enslaved when their freedom had already been officially granted. But, what is more devastating, is that 155 years later our African-American community still isn’t completely free. More than a century and a half after the end of slavery, black people are still being mistreated, discriminated against and unjustly killed. Black people in our country don’t feel free to jog in their own neighborhoods for fear of ending up like Ahmaud Arbery, they don’t feel the freedom of safety in their own homes for fear of ending up like Breonna Taylor and some individuals don’t feel free to simply breath like Eric Garner and George Floyd. We have heard these feeling echoed within our community and within our Alamo Colleges District family.
As we approach Freedom Day, we want our African-American students, faculty and staff to feel free within our organization, but even more to feel valued. This means that, at the Alamo Colleges District, Black Lives Matter! Black lives matter to our Alamo Colleges family and to our community, as evidenced by the protests and dialogues that have been happening all around us over the last few weeks. And Black Lives Matter to our faculty, administrators and staff. But these need to be more than words. We must translate them into actions.
In keeping with our mission to “empower our diverse communities for success,” and, in light of recent events and the weight of history, the board and the district leadership of the Alamo Colleges District and its colleges is rededicating itself as an advocate and champion for our communities of color—especially the African-American community.
In a separate email this week you will receive information on some of the actions we are already taking to address equity, diversity and inclusion gaps, and we are planning remote summits to discuss this critical issue and how we should respond to what is happening in our community and country today.
There is a great deal of work to be done, but I have faith that we have the skill, resolve and perspective from diverse experiences to meet this challenge head on, until Black Lives Matter to everyone.
Marcelo Casillas, Chair of the Alamo Colleges Board of Trustees
Dr. Mike Flores, Chancellor
Dr. Veronica Garcia, President of Northeast Lakeview College
Dr. Ric Neal Baser, President of Northwest Vista College
Dr. Robert Garza, President of Palo Alto College
Dr. Adena Williams Loston, President of St. Philip's College
Dr. Robert Vela, President of San Antonio College