On Wednesday, September 29, Merritt College had the privilege of hosting a critical discussion on the topic, “What does the fight for LGBTQ+ rights have to do with Racial Justice?”
The conversation was led by Ms. Ronit Matabuena-Lev, who is a health educator, the founder of Bird and Bee Education (an organization dedicated to empowering young people to practice self-care for their physical, emotional, social, and sexual well-being), and a former classroom teacher.
I want to call attention to our dialogue with Ms. Matabuena- Lev for two reasons. First, it underscored the need for greater recognition of how intersectionality (the interconnection of race, gender, age, class, physical ability, etc.) shapes the ways we see ourselves and each other. Once we gain greater clarity about that we can begin to bridge artificial divides and understand that racism, classism, homophobia, religious intolerance, and sexism are all branches on the same poisonous tree. Her talk was also instructive in that it challenged us to examine our institutional commitment to equity for everyone. As President of Merritt College, I need to ensure that all of our students, staff members, faculty, and administrators feel seen and heard every day—not just during a designated month of acknowledgment or when some unspeakable tragedy befalls their community. We can and will do better.
October 4th through October 8th marked Tutor Appreciation Week here at Merritt College, and since we are grateful every day for our peer tutors and the Learning Center, I want take a moment to recognize them here as well. The Mission of the Merritt College Learning Center is to serve as a campus hub for learners and to assist students in becoming more efficient, effective, and independent learners. The primary focus is to provide supplemental academic support and to help students reinforce the mastery of concepts in college courses across the curriculum. Isela Santana, Charlotte Victorian, and Walter Johnson continue to do an incredible job in terms of maintaining accessibility to Learning Center resources during this difficult time when our learners have needed the most support. But the superstars are the tutors themselves, so please take a moment to check out the adulation and accolades bestowed upon them. https://padlet.com/isantana17/a7w7vbk1g3o84ais
Finally, I want to send some encouragement and positive thoughts to our students in the Radiologic Science program. On Tuesday, October 5, the department welcomed representatives from nine of our local hospital affiliates for a (socially distanced and masked) luncheon and Advisory Board Meeting. The event also marked the beginning of the fall placement period, where new students (aided by our Clinical Instructors and Merritt second-year students) learned the details of their clinical assignments at each site. To underscore the prominence of our Radiologic Science program, please note that of the nine clinical instructors present, six are graduates of the department. Of the five Merritt Instructors who present at the meeting, two are graduates of our program! The Board Meeting concluded with an assessment program retention, licensing exam pass rates, graduate employment, and graduate satisfaction as evidenced by survey results (and all signs point to our continued success!)
This article is taken from the President’s Report, written by Dr. David M. Johnson, Merritt College President, that was presented to the PCCD Board of Trustees during their regular meeting on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. A PDF is available here.