Statement in Solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and LBCC Values

Linn-Benton Community College mourns the recent events that have called for much-needed examination of the violence committed against Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in our nation. The violent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd are the latest examples of a long history of systemic racism in our midst, and LBCC wants to use this shared cultural moment to reckon with, and reaffirm, our core values as a college.

LBCC unequivocally embraces equity and inclusion as core to our mission: “To engage in an education that enables all of us to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from the cultural richness and economic vitality of our communities.” We believe in opportunity for all people, and that activities that stigmatize, marginalize or separate students and staff on campus have no place in our learning environment. LBCC stands in solidarity with our BIPOC students and staff, and we stand with all those who may be feeling anger, frustration, and trauma during this painful time.

While it’s easy to condemn events that happen outside our campus walls, we further recognize that the anger, fear and pain experienced through racism exists everywhere. As a college community, we prohibit discrimination, and at the same time, we acknowledge that racism, racial injustice and oppression are prevalent, systemic and even institutionalized. Collectively, it is up to all of us at LBCC to work together to do better.

Here are some approaches we are taking:

  • LBCC will continue our commitment to providing “whole-person education” (education that promotes creative, critical thinking regardless of discipline) that equips students to fully participate in the examination of complex issues like those that have risen from the Black Lives Matter movement. Furthermore, we invite the exploration of ideas and practices to find solutions to dismantle complex systemic racism and injustices embedded across institutions.
  • The college is also dedicated to furthering its employees’ pursuit of culturally fluency and ability to recognize how systemic discrimination, violence and oppression impacts our society as a whole, and disproportionally impacts Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
  • LBCC will further support the work of its President’s Advisory Committee on Equity (PACE), which seeks to improve operations and increase employee learning, advance continuous improvement strategies, and further develop essential skills necessary to achieve equity outcomes benefiting all those in the college community. 
  • LBCC continues to support the work led by the Department of Institutional Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), which is critical in the retention and outreach of underrepresented students, employees and community stakeholders.

While we will continue these strategies, we also know that further education, listening, action, and the amplification of the most vulnerable voices among us is required for greatest change. As a college, that means we must engage in new efforts for professional development of employees to become culturally competent, and further refine how we capture data and measure educational outcomes for minoritized students. It also means renewing our commitment to making key decisions through an Equity Lens.

Anyone that would like to continue to engage with, and further support, LBCC in making the institution a more responsive and equity-minded place to study, work or visit can connect to LBCC through the Department of Institutional Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, or by supporting the work of PACE. Please reach out to EDI Director, Javier Cervantes at cervanj@linnbenton.edu.

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