The Pasadena Community College President’s African American Advisory Committee (PAAAC) stands in solidarity with the protests across the country and protest throughout the world in the brutal killing of George Floyd; further, we support the efforts in seeking criminal convictions of all persons involved in the recent killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and Breonna Taylor.
The vast majority of African Americans have been confronted with some form of systemic racism on an almost daily basis and have had to dictate their movements within their communities, particularly where there has been a history and practice of racial prejudice. Many parents with children have repeatedly spoken to their children regarding safety, being compliant and respectful when confronted with police, ignoring racial hate and bigotry, and to remain alert and focus on their surroundings. These societal adaptations are far overreaching for ANY child born as an American and living in a democracy where its citizens are born with certain inalienable rights; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is critical that that we are vigilant and assiduous in support of African American students as they move through their formal educational experiences and that we guide and assist them for the challenges and joys of adulthood.
President Obama said, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek”. This is a time in our nation to change and to make dramatic systemic improvements in practices, programs and policies. Too often African American youth have been marginalized in the K-12 and academia systems by policies and practices ranging from discriminatory discipline consequences, tracking, low expectations, and unfair grading practices.
The PAAAC is committed to advise, assist, support, and being advocates without compromise in all areas that are deficient in obtaining a level playing field in the educational setting and in our communities to help our youth become successful in school.
Ms. Dolores Hickambottom, Co-chair
Dr. Pamela Short Powell, Co-chair