May 25, 2021
HACC Statement - One Year after George Floyd’s Murder
Statement by John J. “Ski” Sygielski, MBA, Ed.D., president and CEO of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College
As the HACC community pauses today, May 25, 2021, to reflect on the tragic murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, we also renew our determination to eradicate acts of hate and discrimination against Black, Indigenous and people of color.
This day reminds us that many in our community are still suffering, afraid and angry not only over George Floyd’s murder but the repeated acts of violence against people of color. If anyone is unaware of HACC’s position, let me clearly restate it: HACC will NEVER tolerate acts of hate, intolerance, discrimination or bias against any of our community members.
Over the past year, HACC has consciously acted in myriad ways to remove barriers for employees and students of color and create a more welcoming culture of belonging for all. Our actions include:
- Hosting diversity scholars-in-residence such as Dr. Kevin Gannon
- Holding educational seminars and retreats
- Developing action plans
- Addressing issues of racism and intolerance in weekly collegewide meetings
- Issuing statements of unity that say “no more” to racism and intolerance
The HACC Board of Trustees established a $1-million Diversity Innovation Fund to affirm support for students of color and others who are disenfranchised. The fund has made it possible to bring diversity scholars-in-residence to the College, establish a Men of Color Initiative and allocate resources to employees and students to develop diversity programs.
Additionally, the HACC Foundation received contributions from The GIANT Company and the BB&T now Truist Economic Growth Fund to support innovative initiatives related to inclusion and diversity and establish scholarship funds for students from diverse backgrounds.
The HACC community’s journey toward antidiscrimination and belonging is not a “one and done” effort. We must remain united and take action. We must ensure our students and employees of color feel that their lived experiences are valued and that they are heard, supported and honored. As a predominantly White institution, we must help many of our White students and colleagues who may not know how to support their peers of color. Most importantly, as a learning and teaching community, we need to continue to discuss how to craft a path forward that fully supports the students we serve - and then implement it.
For more information about available resources, students and employees are invited to visit hacc.edu/HereForYou.
Please refer to the statements for more on the College’s commitment to antiracism, equity and inclusion:
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, is the first and largest of Pennsylvania’s 15 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.