Community College District Offers Support for AAPI; Flags at Half-Staff

The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) Board of Trustees, Chancellor, College Presidents and executive staff stand in strong solidarity to denounce the racist acts of violence and killings that occurred this week targeting the Asian-Pacific Islander community of Atlanta, Georgia. District and College officials are reaching out to LACCD’s Asian-Pacific Islander faculty, staff and students with messages of support and are helping to provide town hall forums, vigils and other activities. All flags at all LACCD buildings have been lowered until March 22 in accordance with the directive from President Biden.

“We condemn racism. We condemn violence. We demand justice for the victims of these criminal acts. We also urge our federal and state leaders to pass enforceable legislation that will help free our society from the grips of mass shootings like what occurred this week in Atlanta,” LACCD Board President Steven F. Veres said.

LACCD Board Trustee Mike Fong, who co-chairs the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Asian Pacific Islander Student Affairs, said the shooting is a terrible reminder that racism and hatred of Asians and Pacific Islanders—indeed all people of color—is one of the most pressing issues facing society.

“Less than two weeks after the Board passed an important resolution denouncing Anti-Asian and Pacific Islander violence our nation finds itself face-to-face with the stark reality that hatred against the API community is terribly real and it must stop now,” Fong said.

Chancellor Francisco C. Rodriguez, Ph.D., said helping the LACCD API community heal and feel secure will be a main topic at the next advisory committee meeting. “We stand in complete solidarity with the LACCD API community and with the broader API community of this nation in the strongest possible condemnation of these senseless acts of violence and bigotry.”

The next meeting of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Asian Pacific Islander Student Affairs is set for Thursday, March 25, 10-11:30 a.m. Meeting details are included on the attached announcement and posted online.

The Presidents and their executive staffs at the District’s nine colleges have been reaching out to their local API communities to also reassure faculty, staff and students that racism has no place at their colleges. Los Angeles Harbor College on Wednesday held a special online vigil in memory of the Atlanta shooting victims. Special town hall discussions are being planned at Los Angeles City College (LACC) and Los Angeles Trade-Technical College while messages of solidarity and empathy that denounce the shootings are being shared at the other District colleges.

West Los Angeles College plans to hold a special meeting for its API community on Wednesday, March 24.

Among the messages sent out by the District’s nine college presidents, LACC President Mary Gallagher told her college “I am reeling with frustration, anger and sorrow over the senseless violent acts against the Asian/Pacific Islander community. I want all of our Asian/Pacific Islander brothers and sisters to know we stand up with you in solidarity against this violence and all forms of racism.”

Los Angeles Pierce College President Alexis Montevirgen said in his message, “We must take responsibility to heal our communities by speaking out to injustices. We must raise awareness to the common grounds we all share by providing space to listen and share lived stories. More importantly, we must stand up against discrimination by claiming and living as an anti-racist institution. We say it proudly. We live it boldly. We are the key to social change.”

East Los Angeles College President Alberto Roman said to his college, “Let us remember that there is no solidarity without a foundation of community support. There is no justice without care. I invite you to check in on our AAPI community and open your hearts to help heal the hurt. With unwavering commitment, I will continue to create a culture and climate where all staff and students at ELAC feel safe and honored.”

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