Dear Peralta Community,
I’ve been reading a book entitled, The Alchemist. It’s by Paulo Coelho, an author from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It’s a really wonderful book. Here is a quote from the inside cover:
"This enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and soul-stirring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried near the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a [fortune teller], a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles in his path. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.”
The Peralta Community College District is pleased to announce that Berkeley City College, Laney College, and Merritt College are being recognized for their exemplary educational work in implementing the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) programs by the Campaign for College Opportunity.
All four of the Peralta Colleges are fully accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) and remain so during a probationary period that began in January 2020. We are pleased to report that the colleges of Peralta Community College District are making progress on removing their probationary status.
Over 100 BCC faculty, staff, and administrators came together for a day of professional learning centered around “Building Community and Advancing Equity and Racial Justice.” The event took place on August 21, 2020 and began with community-building activities first thing in the morning, followed by a greeting from the shared governance leads. Lasana Hotep, anti-racist educator and Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging at the University of California, Berkeley, delivered a rousing and informative keynote presentation on the subject, “Antiracism is a Marathon, Not a Sprint: Core Competencies for Equity Advancing Educators.”
Berkeley City College (BCC) announced that it has been awarded a highly-competitive nearly $3 million Developing Hispanic Serving Institution grant from the Department of Education to expand supportive services for Latinx and marginalized students. This is the College’s first grant since being named a Developing Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the US Department of Education in 2020. As a population that has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, these additional academic and student support services come at a critical time.
Berkeley City College President Angélica Garcia kicked off the first of her campus community check-ins in her “Cafécito “Zoom, on Thursday, August 27, 2020. Faculty, staff, and students joined the President in this question and answer session focused on BCC updates and what to expect for the 2020 – 2021 academic year. Some of the questions from the event centered on getting to know President Garcia and the goals of the college. Some of the highlighted questions:
The Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees were extremely busy in July following the unexpected resignation of Chancellor Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud on July 16, 2020.
Dr. Angélica Garcia, who started as President of Berkeley City College in May, was featured in the June 25, 2020 issue of Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, a national publication based in Virginia. With more than 30 years of experience covering education, Diverse has a monthly print and digital readership well over 100,000. That makes it one of the largest higher education trade publications in the country, and the largest audience of educators of color from more than 4,800 U.S. colleges and universities. The feature in Diverse provides excellent national exposure for Dr. Garcia, Berkeley City College, and the Peralta Community College District.
Due to the continuing Alameda County directive to shelter in place, the Peralta Community College District Board of Trustees met via Zoom on June 23, 2020. This meeting was epic. Clocking in at 5 hours and 40 minutes or so, the meeting included a landmark vote on the District's relationship with Alameda County Sheriff's Office (ACSO) which helped draw 100 speakers for the public comment section of the meeting. Additionally, this meeting was the last for Dr. Tammeil Gilkerson, Laney College President, and Dr. Timothy Karas, College of Alameda President. The full video recording of the meeting is available on the Peralta YouTube channel here.
On June 4, 2020, the Peralta Community College District hosted a virtual Town Hall webinar. The focus was addressing the institutional racism pervasive in our society that contributed to the recent murder of Mr. George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police. Peralta leaders posted our statement regarding the killing of Mr. Floyd here. The goal of this Town Hall was to help raise the racial literacy and critical consciousness of the community while providing a safe space to reflect and share resources.