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Campus Message: January 13, 2023

Jan 13, 2023

Good Afternoon Colleagues,

As we honor and remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this weekend, we are reminded of his unwavering dedication to civil rights, racial justice, and his fight to help dismantle racial segregation in the United States. His vision and his dream that we would one day live in a nation where individuals "…would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character" continues today.

It is often difficult to understand that in our recent history (early 1960's), Dr. King was advocating and fighting for racial justice, and how we are still working to promote racial equity in our educational environment. During his lifetime, Dr. King and many others fought for civil protection and relief from systemic poverty that was a direct consequence of systematic racism. Today, across our region, state, and nation the fight continues as Black, American Indian and Indigenous, and People of Color experience systemic racism that creates inequities to access to healthcare, education, economic mobility, and more.

As the first community college founded in California and the primary gateway to higher education for these populations, individually and collectively, we must continue to demonstrate resilience in the face of adversity and fight for racial justice to ensure equitable access to educational opportunities and outcomes.

Dr. King often discussed how racial equality could not be achieved without structural change, which is analogous to racial equity in higher education. In my short time at Fresno City College, I have listened and learned from the classified professionals, faculty, and administrators about your enthusiasm to close equity gaps for racially minoritized and marginalized students. We must continue to advocate for our students and teach the leaders of tomorrow the importance of contributing to a more just and equitable society.

On Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and throughout the year, I invite you to join me in reflecting on his life and the lessons we can learn from his tenets and legacy. My hope is that we continue to strive for racial equity and help our students achieve their educational dreams. I am confident that Dr. King's legacy of faith, love, and advocacy for racial justice will live long in the hearts of all of us at Fresno City College.


Dr. Robert Pimentel

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