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A MESSAGE FROM DR. BARBARA GABA - JUNE 3, 2020

06/03/2020 | Media Contact: Erin Mercer | 609.343.4923
A Message From Dr. Gaba

June 3, 2020

Dear College Community:

As we continue to see our country demonstrating outrage and disbelief over the senseless death of George Floyd, we must ask ourselves, what got us here? and how can we move forward? This calls for difficult conversations and sincere positive actions. We are hurting. It is pain that is felt not just in Minneapolis, but across the world, the country, and here in our own community. We mourn with the family of George Floyd and understand the outrage and desperation felt by so many due to ongoing social injustices. We struggle to balance those emotions with our reactions to the destruction and chaos that has erupted across the country, including here in our own backyard. We question how we can respond as individuals and as a college with our own response and make it a meaningful one.

We have demonstrated that hate has no home here at Atlantic Cape Community College. What makes us different also makes us special. That is something that is recognized and celebrated by our diverse student body, faculty and staff; our entire college community. Our Diversity and Equity Committee works to foster civic engagement and promote awareness of diverse identities so we can achieve an inclusive curriculum and atmosphere on all of our campuses. Equity, diversity, and inclusion is the foundation we work tirelessly to provide; however, our work is never done. We ALL have a responsibility to peacefully and productively address racism and prejudice in America, starting in our own community. We have a responsibility to condemn hate and promote peace and understanding.

We cannot ignore the unrest that is going on in our country and the world. I have watched a deluge of news stories of injustice and violence in our cities, and most recently in Atlantic City, and I am very sad. The nationwide distress and immense outrage cannot be ignored.

As the protests focus on condemning racism and injustice, we must continue to treat everyone with civility and respect. As we are guided by our values of diversity, equity and inclusion we recognize that all people are welcome at Atlantic Cape. Our commitment to all learners regardless of their differences is what makes us a special place. Our commitment to accessibility and equality in learning for all has never been more important.

While we may all be physically apart right now, we need to stand together during these troublesome times. We are one human race and we are stronger together, despite our differences. I ask that we all dig down deep during these turbulent times and act out of love, kindness, compassion, and understanding. We have a responsibility to our future generations and the ones who came before us.

Change happens with each engaging conversation with someone who is different, and as we really listen. Listening to new perspectives, and new information, new ideas can only help address injustices and move us forward. We are in a unique environment, because as a community college, we value communication as part of the learning process, sharing our own thoughts and feelings on a subject, and seeking feedback from others. This is a safe place to have those conversations. We must remember that we can use this tool to learn and grow in the workplace, at home, and in the community. Encourage others to do the same.

Thank you for choosing to be part of the solution, as part of a caring community college we set the tone for the future. We must come together during this difficult time; as only together can we see a brighter future for all. We are Atlantic Cape strong!

Sincerely,

Dr. Barbara Gaba

President