Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter at Three Rivers

Three Rivers Community College is committed to creating a community that values diversity, equality and inclusion. Students, faculty, staff and administration are all involved in the ongoing efforts to continually improve and embrace the changes that need to occur to ensure that our Black and Brown students are not held back due to unrecognized bias.

Please join with us as we continue to the work of our nation, state and community. Black lives matter.

Message to the Graduating Class of 2020 from President Mary Ellen Jukoski (6/11/20)

A message from Mary Ellen Jukoski, President of Three Rivers Community College, to the 2020 graduating class regarding the state of the country, racism, the College’s commitment ,and the graduates’ role for the future.

Message to the Students of Three Rivers from President Jukoski (June 9, 2020)

Dear Students,

You must be as distressed as I am after this week of chaos, violence and death. My head is spinning as I’ve reflected on how we are confronting two viruses that our impacting our nation today—one is novel and invisible, the other is violent and imbedded in the culture and history of our nation. The only way we have been able to fight COVID-19 is to distance ourselves physically from each other. The only way for us to battle the virus of systemic racism is for us to stand together. I’ve become acutely aware of not only how connected we all are with the coronavirus as it affects the entire world, but also how disconnected we all are from one another with the anger and rage we have seen. The layers of pain which have been exposed, the language of “domination,” “thugs,” and “battle space” which we have heard, and the violence which we have witnessed have stunned, enraged and frightened me.

Yet again, we are witnessing this nation’s long legacy of racism that continues to damage and destroy the lives of black people. I mourn for the many Black Americans who have died at the hands of injustice. The heartless killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis occurred soon after the unjust shootings of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, and Breonna Taylor in Louisville and so many others. It coincided with the appalling harassment of Christian Cooper in New York’s Central Park, an incident that demonstrates how easily racist complaints put black lives in danger. The COVID-19 pandemic itself has killed black and brown Americans at higher rates than other groups, magnifying disparities in healthcare and economic well-being. I share the pain of our nation, while acknowledging that I can never fully know the mix of grief, frustration, and anger experienced by our students and employees who know racism in very personal ways.

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

I belong to the Three Rivers community and as your president, I will work with students, faculty, staff and administration to confront and address racism and bias on our campus in all forms. Commitments to diversity, inclusivity, equity and human rights are fundamental to our mission and values at the college. This past year, Three Rivers joined the national Achieve the Dream initiative, which examines how the College promotes equity, inclusivity, and diversity. Faculty, staff and students are working together on committees, including one on race, that examine how we currently work with different groups as well as identifying where there are gaps in support. We are committed to providing a safe, equitable environment for our students to learn. We are creating a webpage filled with lists of resources and allies. Please check back as this page will be populated with more information.

We all have a responsibility to stand up against racism, wherever and whenever we encounter it. As educators and professionals focused on expanding human potential, we hold a special responsibility to raise our voices to condemn the violence against people of color. We need to say unequivocally, “Black lives matter.”

In the midst of all of this, we know good and have experienced good in one another. Let us be grateful to and for one another. And let us not lose hope or lose heart.

Even though we are physically distant from each other at this time, we belong to each other. As advocates and allies, we can defeat the virus of racism together and end the inequity that has plagued our nation for hundreds of years. Our students deserve a better world than the one they’re witnessing now.

As we move forward, to ensure that Three Rivers continually addresses racism and bias, I urge you to approach me with your thoughts, ideas and concerns. Let’s keep the dialogue open — we want you to be part of this.

Mary Ellen Jukoski, President

Three Rivers Community College

How Three Rivers is addressing racial inequity

Achieving the Dream

Three Rivers has had an active Diversity Committee for several years. Last year, we kicked off the Achieving the Dream program whose goal is to ensure that Three Rivers is not only diverse and inclusive but that it addresses the underlying equity issues that keep students from achieving the education they want and deserve. Reaching into all corners of the College, from academics to student life, advising to life issues, multiple committees comprised of faculty, staff and students were formed. These include

Affirmative Action Policy/Non-Discrimination Statement

Equity and diversity are important at Three Rivers Community College. Read our full Affirmative Action Policy and Non-Discrimination Statement.

Three Rivers Contacts

Do you have an idea for an action or a club at Three Rivers? Do you have a concern that needs to be addressed? Do you want to be part of the ongoing efforts for equity and justice? The following staff and faculty members can help.

Ken Saad, Equity & Diversity Officer – KSaad@trcc.commnet.edu

Alycia Ziegler, Acting Director of Student Programming – aziegler@threerivers.edu

Achieving the Dream

All College Update Communications

Resources

Library Resources

Three Rivers Library – Our librarians are a great resource for materials on racism, anti-racism, Black Lives Matters and more. Craig Guild, our Reference & Instruction Librarian, has been compiling a guide of our own with links to our own library resources and openly accessible web sites: https://threerivers.libguides.com/c.php?g=1047841. More resources will be added as he continues to work on it. If you need additional guidance, please feel free to contact the library at TR-LibraryStaff@trcc.commnet.edu.

Articles, Books, Videos

Here is an eclectic list of recommendations. Check back for additions to this list.

Articles

100 Ways You Can Take Action Against Racism, Sara M. Moniuszko and Anika Reed, USA Today, May 29, 2020

Op-Ed: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge, Los Angeles Times, May 30, 2020

Opinion: Remember, No One Is Coming to Save Us, Roxanne Gay, New York Times, May 30, 2020

Can America Heal Its Racial Wounds? We Asked Desmond Tutu and His Daughter, Fania Davis and Sara Van Gelder, Yes! Magazine, Summer 2015

A Detailed List of Anti-Racism Resources, Katie Couric, Medium, June 1, 2020

Books

Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do; Jennifer L. Eberhardt, PhD; Penguin Books, March 2019

17 Books About Racial Inequality for Young Readers, Marley Marius, Vogue, June 6, 2020,

These Books Can Help You Explain Racism and Protest to Your Kids, Jessica Grose, New York Times, Sunday, June 2, 2020

Video, Film, Podcast

George Floyd, Minneapolis Protests, Ahmaud Arbery & Amy Cooper | The Daily Social Distancing Show, Trevor Noah, May 29, 2020

13th, Ava DuVernay’s documentary on mass incarceration (Netflix)

Listen to Black People’ is 100 Percent Correct – and Not Enough, Tim Wise – antiracism educator/author, Medium, June 8, 2020

Code Switch, podcast free via NPR. Recent Episode: “A Decade of Watching Black People Die”

Miscellaneous

Protestor Resource: Know Your Rights by the ACLU

All College Update Communications

Latest: A Message from President Mary Ellen Jukoski

June 9, 2020

Dear Students,

You must be as distressed as I am after this week of chaos, violence and death. My head is spinning as I’ve reflected on how we are confronting two viruses that our impacting our nation today—one is novel and invisible, the other is violent and imbedded in the culture and history of our nation. The only way we have been able to fight COVID-19 is to distance ourselves physically from each other. The only way for us to battle the virus of systemic racism is for us to stand together. I’ve become acutely aware of not only how connected we all are with the coronavirus as it affects the entire world, but also how disconnected we all are from one another with the anger and rage we have seen. The layers of pain which have been exposed, the language of “domination,” “thugs,” and “battle space” which we have heard, and the violence which we have witnessed have stunned, enraged and frightened me.

Yet again, we are witnessing this nation’s long legacy of racism that continues to damage and destroy the lives of black people. I mourn for the many Black Americans who have died at the hands of injustice. The heartless killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis occurred soon after the unjust shootings of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, and Breonna Taylor in Louisville and so many others. It coincided with the appalling harassment of Christian Cooper in New York’s Central Park, an incident that demonstrates how easily racist complaints put black lives in danger. The COVID-19 pandemic itself has killed black and brown Americans at higher rates than other groups, magnifying disparities in healthcare and economic well-being. I share the pain of our nation, while acknowledging that I can never fully know the mix of grief, frustration, and anger experienced by our students and employees who know racism in very personal ways.

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

I belong to the Three Rivers community and as your president, I will work with students, faculty, staff and administration to confront and address racism and bias on our campus in all forms. Commitments to diversity, inclusivity, equity and human rights are fundamental to our mission and values at the college. This past year, Three Rivers joined the national Achieve the Dream initiative, which examines how the College promotes equity, inclusivity, and diversity. Faculty, staff and students are working together on committees, including one on race, that examine how we currently work with different groups as well as identifying where there are gaps in support. We are committed to providing a safe, equitable environment for our students to learn. We are creating a webpage filled with lists of resources and allies. Please check back as this page will be populated with more information.

We all have a responsibility to stand up against racism, wherever and whenever we encounter it. As educators and professionals focused on expanding human potential, we hold a special responsibility to raise our voices to condemn the violence against people of color. We need to say unequivocally, “Black lives matter.”

In the midst of all of this, we know good and have experienced good in one another. Let us be grateful to and for one another. And let us not lose hope or lose heart.

Even though we are physically distant from each other at this time, we belong to each other. As advocates and allies, we can defeat the virus of racism together and end the inequity that has plagued our nation for hundreds of years. Our students deserve a better world than the one they’re witnessing now.

As we move forward, to ensure that Three Rivers continually addresses racism and bias, I urge you to approach me with your thoughts, ideas and concerns. Let’s keep the dialogue open — we want you to be part of this.

Mary Ellen Jukoski, President

Three Rivers Community College

June 1, 2020
Dear CSCU Community,
Today we come to the end of an academic year like no other and begin week twelve of remote work.  As a result, we have all had to change our daily lives in small and significant ways to do our jobs and manage our family lives.  I appreciate all that you have done to make our campuses and system function for our students.  That work is not over as we plan for fall 2020 but we’ve learned a great deal and will be ready to welcome our students in August.
I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to send my condolences to all of you who have lost family and friends to COVID-19.  Far too many people have passed away here in Connecticut and across the country over the last 12 weeks and we will forever remember this loss.
The events of the past weekend also leave me deeply saddened. Throughout the country, we saw the effects of generations of systemic racism on individuals, communities, states and our nation. We saw heartbreak and anger spurred by the murder of George Floyd; a tragedy which has origins in our nation’s founding and has never been rectified. We – as a system and as individuals – must redouble our commitment to social justice and recommit to the hard work of fundamental change.
As the state’s public institutions of higher learning, change starts with us. Our community colleges alone serve two thirds of the state’s undergraduate students of color. Yet even within a system that aims to be an on-ramp to upward mobility, students of color fall behind at a disproportionate rate.  The COVID-19 crisis has further magnified the racial and socioeconomic gaps that exists in Connecticut.  We can and must do better.
I know that the commitment to equity runs deep among our faculty and staff, and I thank all of you for your good work to improve opportunities for marginalized students – and thank you for continuing it during these challenging and unprecedented times.
Let’s each do our own small part toward the overall goal of increasing societal equity.
Sincerely,
Mark E. Ojakian
Sincerely,
Mark E. Ojakian