Town Hall: Education and Community Empowerment in a Time of Crisis

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 hereThe 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. 

The webinar was hosted by Dr. David M. Johnson, Merritt College President. Speakers included Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, Peralta Community College District Chancellor; Dr. Angélica Garcia, Berkeley City College President; Dr. Tammeil Gilkerson, Laney College President; Dr. Timothy Karas, College of Alameda President; Mr. Spencer Staggers-Elmore, President of the Associated Students of Merritt College and a recent graduate; Mr. Jason Seals, Ethnic Studies Department Chair at Merritt College; Mr. Jody Campbell, African-American studies faculty at College of Alameda; and Dr. Lawrence Vanhook, President of the Peralta Association of African American Affairs and a faculty member at Merritt College. 

Following introductory comments from each speaker, we had a robust conversation driven by questions submitted by participants on the Zoom webinar. Participants expressed gratitude that the District was hosting this important discussion. It was agreed that more of these discussion about institutional racism and how to be an antiracist to facilitate real change are needed. 

A recording of the webinar is available on YouTube here. Slides containing a list of the resources discussed and shared via Zoom chat are available here. Thanks to all the speakers for sharing their thoughts and wisdom. And thanks to all who attended live and watch on YouTube. You are all important members of the Peralta community. Be safe and take good care. 

Tags: Regina Stanback Stroud, Tammeil Gilkerson, Timothy Karas, Jody Campbell, Jason Seals, Lawrence Vanhook, institutional racism, David M. Johnson, Angélica Garcia

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