A Message from Dr. Pittman, June 3, 2020
To our STLCC community,
At this moment, the country finds itself gripped in conflict. Our anger, sadness and pain is laid bare for the world to see – the tragic death of George Floyd has exposed the open wound of inequality, discrimination and flaws in our criminal justice system. Sadly, we find ourselves repeating a familiar refrain: there is still much work to be done.
St. Louis Community College has a unique position within the community. Our mission – our very founding – rests on educational opportunity and access for all. As an educational partner for lifelong learning, we have assisted more than a million St. Louis citizens on their educational path and career aspirations.
We understand that while we have worked to expand opportunity, our community has often called upon us to be so much more. In 2014, during the events of Ferguson following the death of Michael Brown Jr., our Florissant Valley campus served as a hub for hope and solutions – the community found a space where their voices were amplified, where our students could safely learn, protest, and most importantly, assist with the real work of finding solutions to social and educational inequities. The community spoke and we listened.
The work that began in 2014 continues. We have centered within our new strategic plan a key initiative that calls for the College to increase equity in student success, recruit and retain employees at all levels who reflect the diversity of the St. Louis region, and continue to demonstrate that STLCC is an environment that encourages diverse opinions, perspectives and civility.
In the coming weeks, the College’s Diversity and Inclusion Council will focus on how we can meet and exceed the needs of a community that needs us. The events of the recent days, around the country and in our city, have brought into sharp focus the continued need for real and lasting change – the STLCC community is no stranger to this work.
This work goes beyond listening. We will draw on our strength as an institution of scholarship and discovery to uncover truth, to support individual and collective actions within our community and to offer meaningful and lasting solutions to help our community and society heal. For our students, we have resources that are always available to you, such as counseling and the student assistance program.
St. Louis Community College has long served as a safe place for the vigorous exchange of ideas and viewpoints. Our challenge now is to honor George Floyd, and countless men and women, by putting policies, practices and actions into place to eradicate injustice and strengthen our community.
Jeff L. Pittman, Ph.D.