HARRISBURG, Pa. – Recently, I acknowledged some of the valid fears that Black employees, students and other members of HACC’s community have been experiencing leading up to and following our national election.
Although the election is over, members of the College’s Cabinet and I anticipate that the weeks ahead may be difficult and traumatizing for many Black employees and students. There have been numerous reports about the possibility for violence to break out in Pennsylvania and around the country. The safety and well-being of HACC students and employees continue to be a top priority. So far, there have been no reported incidents of racially motivated violence on any HACC properties. Regardless and for good reason, many Black Americans are afraid for their lives and the lives of their family members and loved ones.
My intent in addressing this serious matter had nothing to do with politics, and I respectfully asked HACC employees and students not to misconstrue my words or intent. I believe this is about humanity, decency and democracy. No matter how an individual voted or who they are, we all have the right to live in our country without fear of being targeted, attacked and/or murdered because of hatred and bigotry.
All HACC employees are expected to demonstrate empathy toward Black students and employees, just as they demonstrate empathy toward all students and employees. All of HACC’s students and employees are important to us all of the time. However, I wanted to emphasize the racially based and ethnically based trauma experienced by our Black students and employees and other students and employees of color, in light of recent local and national events. The primary point of my message was to remind members of the HACC community that we should demonstrate kindness to one another – even if we do not understand the struggles that someone else is facing.
Employees and students are encouraged to report any instances of racial discrimination or harassment that occur at HACC through the proper mechanisms. Racial discrimination and harassment are not tolerated at HACC.
We are a strong and diverse community, and now is a time for us to support one another more than ever. As I said during a recent forum with employees, “community” is literally part of HACC’s name, and we will continue to serve our community by leading by example.
Below are links to all of the recent communications that have been sent to the HACC community regarding this important matter:
- Nov. 3, 2020: email to all HACC employees
- Nov. 3, 2020: email to all HACC students
- Nov. 4, 2020: email to all HACC employees
- Nov. 4, 2020: email to all HACC students
- Nov. 6, 2020: email to all HACC employees
- Nov. 6, 2020: email to all HACC students
- Black Lives Matter Statement from the Faculty Senate Cabinet
- Diversity and Inclusion Statement by HACC’s Classified Employee Organization
- Support for HACC’s Commitment to Humanity and Decency
Black Lives Matter.
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, is the first and largest of Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges. HACC offers approximately 100 career and transfer associate degree, certificate and diploma programs to approximately 17,000 students. Also, the College serves students at its Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York campuses; through virtual learning; and via workforce development and continuing education training. For more information on how HACC is uniquely YOURS, visit hacc.edu. Also, follow us on Twitter (@HACC_info), follow us on Instagram (@HACC_edu), like us on Facebook (Facebook.com/HACC64) and use #HACCNews.