Merritt College President's Report

Merritt College: Home of the Black Panthers

Merritt College Home of the Black Panthers

This October marks the fifty-fifth anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, and as Merritt College played a significant role in the Party’s historical origins, we proudly took part in the celebrations to commemorate the occasion. On Friday, October 15, 2021, students, staff, and community members revisited last year’s conversation about the legacy of the Party. 

That dialogue involved author Judy Juanita (former Black Panther Party newspaper editor and English Instructor at Laney College), Dana Grisby (African American History Instructor, Laney College), and Jason Seals (African American History Instructor, Department Chair here at Merritt College). If you are interested in viewing the video you can find it here at I would also encourage everyone to watch the classic documentary Merritt College: Home of the Black Panthers, which is available here: Finally, we were proud to support the long-awaited unveiling of the Huey P. Newton Bust on The Mandela Parkway that took place on Sunday, October 24.

Merritt Flex Day

Merritt College Flex Day

Merritt thanks all of the classified professional staff, administrators, and faculty members who participated in the Merritt Online Flex Day on Wednesday, October 20. Everyone was especially appreciative of the hard work that the Professional Development Committee Leads did to coordinate the day’s events, as well as those who prepared such informative, timely, and compelling workshops. Attendees were given the opportunity to engage with such topics as suicide awareness and the importance of therapeutic listening, safety in the online classroom environment, and self-care practices for faculty and staff (although a certain president was in attendance as well to learn a thing or two). I want to give a shout out to one presenter in particular—Mr. Lowell Bennett, who is a part-time instructor and tutor at the college. His presentation titled, “The Problem with Productivity—An examination of the Shortcomings of this Pervasive Measure of College Efficiency,” was not only thought- provoking but reflected the kind of deep commitment to engagement that we hope inheres throughout the institution.


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 26, 2021
To view a pdf of this report, click HERE.

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