This message was sent from
Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery to the Santa Monica College
community on May 31, 2020.
SMC students, colleagues, community,
The past few months
have been very challenging with the complexities of dealing with and
managing through the threat and effects of COVID-19. Even the pandemic
pales in comparison to the horror that we witnessed in the brutal murder
of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man in Minneapolis. The
disregard for his life laid bare racism that is blatant and inexcusable.
This is a time of great anxiety and pain for many in our community,
especially for anyone who has been a target of racism, bigotry, or the
many forms of hate that flourish in this world.
against violence and bigotry enable outraged individuals and groups to
safely speak up and speak out against the inhuman disregard for Black
life displayed in Minneapolis and in too many other cities across
America. Protesting all forms of hate and intolerance allows us to
exercise our First Amendment rights. Exercising that freedom peacefully
demonstrates outrage over the status quo and promotes much needed
I understand, and applaud, those who have spoken out to
denounce the actions of the police officers involved. We must all speak
up that this is not acceptable; however, to be heard and understood, we
need to speak out, and protest if you choose, peaceably. For the sake of
the safety of each and every member of our community and the health of
our cities and our nation, I ask that those who choose to exercise their
First Amendment right, do so peacefully.
Santa Monica College
values our diverse community and seeks to realize its goals of equity
and inclusion, as expressed by our Board of Trustees, faculty, staff,
and administrators. SMC provides many resources to support students and
staff who want to express their feelings of outrage and anxiety.
Students may contact Black Collegians and the Adelante Program by
calling the SMC counseling department at 310-434-4210 to speak in
confidence. Also, SMC students may call our 24/7 emotional support
hotline at: (800) 691-6003. SMC employees may contact the EASE 24/7
Hotline- 1-800-882-1341. Moreover, the college is working with multiple
units and departments to create virtual reflection spaces for students,
staff and faculty to process their emotions around these horrific
events. More information will be sent on this in the coming days.
lived and worked in the community that George Floyd called home. To see
the video footage of his death has been deeply unsettling. I am
saddened, angered, disgusted. And I am determined that this only
strengthens my resolve to strive for a better future. As the president
of Santa Monica College, I take seriously my role as a college and
community leader. Together, Santa Monica College employees and students
can help overcome the forces of hate in our community, nation, and the
world. If you participate in a public protest, I sincerely urge you to
use your energy and your education to become community organizers, civic
and elected leaders, professionals, and neighbors who work for change.
Help make today's racism a tragedy of the past.
On behalf of the
Board of Trustees and all at SMC, please stay safe. Remember COVID-19
remains a public health concern. And know that Santa Monica College is
here for you.
Proud to be SMC,
Kathryn E. Jeffery, Ph.D.
Nancy Greenstein, Ed.D.
Chair, Board of Trustees