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Berkeley City College President's Report - February 14, 2024

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Black History Month and Lunar New Year at Berkeley City College

Berkeley City College will be kicking off its first-ever joint celebration of Black History Month and Lunar New Year with events hosted in the atrium all through this month. The opening event was held on Thursday, February 8 with President Denise Richardson providing opening remarks, followed by music, a slideshow, and a preview of upcoming events. “The influence of early Chinese immigrants on Black culture and vice versa was profound and multifaceted. As Chinese immigrants settled in the same neighborhoods as African Americans, they established a sense of camaraderie born out of shared struggles,” said President Richardson. “It is apropos that we would celebrate the Lunar New Year and Black History Month collectively, while also recognizing the individual beauty and richness of all of the cultures involved.” Students in attendance got a sweet treat from Cupcakin’!

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Other events include:

  • Tuesday, February 13th - Motorcycle Club Buffalo Soldiers Historian John Semien Presentation
  • Thursday, February 15th - Lunar New Year Game Day
  • Tuesday, February 20th - Lunar New Year Welcome with President Denise Richardson featuring Lion Dancing, Photo Booth, Well Wishes Wall, & Print Making
  • Wednesday, February 21st - Black History Art Gallery featuring works from Joyce Gordon Gallery & BCC students
  • Thursday, February 22nd - Guest speaker from API Coalition Chyanne Chen (Red Envelopes/Snacks/Boba Tea)
  • Thursday, February 29th - Closing Ceremony with President Denise Richardson & Oakland Artist and Journalist Pen Harshaw (Food by Everett & Jones/Phnom Penh House)

Big thanks to BCC faculty and classified professionals Ramona Butler, Susan Truong, Connie Tran, Gail Pendleton, and Andrea Williams for their work in putting together this schedule of events!


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P2P Awareness Week

February 5 through February 9 was P2P Awareness Week at Berkeley City College. P2P, or the Peer-to-Peer Mental Health Ambassador team, is a group of students who work with the BCC Wellness Center to support students with their stress and mental health. P2P tabled events every day, with a focus on exposing students to different resources available to them, including the Success Inc. Peer Support Group. Success Inc. is a space dedicated to boosting students’ emotional and academic health by encouraging skill development, peer support, and community building. It meets every Wednesday on Zoom from 5:30-6:30 PM where students can leave behind school worries, express their thoughts, and nurture a resilient mindset.

P2P also offers weekly online vent sessions where students can chat with trained peer ambassadors about anything that may be troubling them or just have a space to chat with a peer. P2P also offers assistance with getting insurance, finding therapists, providers, and making connections with Alameda County Navigators. P2P also spreads the word about free therapy available through the Wellness Center. Enrolled students can get 8 free therapy sessions in the semester from the team of mental health counselors.

The event was organized by P2P Success Inc. Coordinator Tyler Bennett and Mental Health Specialist Janine Greer. BCC thanks P2P for getting the word out about critical services available to BCC students!


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Spring Club Rush

On Tuesday, February 6, Berkeley City College hosted its spring Club Rush event. Hundreds of students filled the Atrium to learn more about the cultural, academic, and extracurricular clubs chartered at BCC. This semester, Berkeley City College has 43 chartered clubs – and the participation continues to grow! Students met with club representatives and were encouraged to find their community with the promise of a few slices of Sliver pizza if they met with 10 or more clubs.

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Big thanks to Associate Dean of Student Engagement & Basic Needs John Nguyen and BCC’s Inter-Club Council President Jennifer Nguyen for organizing this event. The Inter-Club Council will soon be launching a Club Newsletter in partnership with the BCC Public Information Office to get the word out about club events this semester.


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BCC Business Students’ Marketing Project Earns Outstanding Achievement Awards

In the Fall 2023 semester, Berkeley City College Business 70 students pitched marketing plans and creative works to Dean Chris Lewis and Public Information Officer Tom Rizza. The goal of the final projects, assigned by instructor Pete DuBois, was to help BCC with an enrollment campaign in the Spring semester. All students in the class were paid for their pitches through Strong Workforce funding. On Friday, February 2, Berkeley City College awarded students Josie Lehnhof, Aryadokht Jahanbakhshan, Grecia Melendez, Ismael Pablo, and Fernando Jeronimo with Outstanding Achievement awards and bonus payments from the college’s Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative grant. The students developed compelling video advertisements that will be used in a future social media marketing campaign for Berkeley City College and the Peralta Community College District. BCC is happy to provide CE students with the opportunity to develop real-life experiences that can be used to enhance their resumes and advance their careers. A big congratulations to these students. We look forward to seeing them grow as marketing specialists and business owners! Special recognition to Mr. DuBois and Dean Lewis for their collaboration on this project.


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BCC Alumni and Instructors Share Writings at Lyrics & Dirges Poetry Reading

On Wednesday, January 31, Berkeley City College instructors and alumni participated in a poetry and short story reading at Pegasus Books in downtown Berkeley. The event was organized by Lyrics & Dirges, a monthly reading series founded by BCC creative writing and poetry instructor Sharon Coleman.

The program started with BCC alumnus and former Spanish and French tutor Lis María Arévalo Hildago reading a short story titled “Beach Day” about the experience of a middle-class family visiting a beach in Lima, Peru. BCC English instructor Laura Woltag then read select poems from her book, Serviceable Clothes for Life in the Open. BCC alumnus Hao C Tran read a chapter from his book, Skinny Woman in a Straw Hat, which was profiled by this newsletter in the September 27, 2023 edition. The reading also featured works from Oakland poet and recipient of the 2023 San Francisco Foundation/ Nomadic Press Literary Award in Poetry Joshua Merchant and author and Stanford professor Cintia Santana. BCC thanks Sharon Coleman for providing a platform for our student artists to showcase their work in the community, and Pegasus Books for hosting the event.


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BCC Partners with Patelco Credit Union for Financial Wellness Workshop Series

On Thursday, February 8, Berkeley City College held its first financial wellness workshop in partnership with Patelco Credit Union titled “Building Blocks of Financial Wellness.” The first workshop was titled “Deep Dive into Financial Institutions” explaining the differences between a private bank and a credit union, and discussed the pros and cons of holding accounts with these institutions. 20 students attended the first of 5 workshops to be held through April with the goal of equity and providing BCC students with accessible financial education topics. The events are organized by Hispanic Serving Institution Director Lissette Flores and Zaira Sanchez in partnership with Patelco Credit Union – thank you for providing BCC students this opportunity to learn more about managing their money!


This article is taken from the President’s Report, written by Dr. Denise Richardson, Berkeley City College President, that was presented to the PCCD Board of Trustees during their regular meeting on Tuesday, February 13, 2024. To view it as a PDF, click here.

Tags: Berkeley City College, President's Report


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