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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Anti-systemic racism resolution still not resolved

The Pierce College Academic Senate met on Oct. 12 to discuss a notice motion approval about the Anti-Systemic Racism Resolution.

The Board examined amendments and possible additions to the document, which is being constructed to address systemic racism at Pierce following George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Some members felt it necessary to include a statement citing emphasis on the Administration of Justice Department for their role in systemic racism

Senior Administrative Analyst Mofe Doyle said that including administration of justice is not an indictment of the department but rather an indictment of the criminal justice system.

“It is a shame that we have to have this conversation at Pierce College because it points to the fact that Pierce College is still not where it should be when it comes to race relations,” Doyle said. “The administration of justice in America has been used to keep Black people down and is still being used to do that. If we vote against the resolution, it is a minimization of all the pain and suffering that we continue to live with as Black people.”

Chair of the Modern Language Department Margarita Pillado disagreed. She said it’s unnecessary to include the Administration of Justice Department in the resolution because one discipline should not be single-handedly deemed responsible for systemic racism.

“This resolution is against systemic racism,” Pillado said. “Systemic racism does not occur in the administration of justice, systemic racism is everywhere… it’s all discipline, so I am deeply troubled by making one particular discipline the responsible party.”

Associate psychology professor Angela Belden said that the Administration of Justice Department should be included due to the course content that is taught.

“I view this new motion as a way to call in this discipline as experts in the field,” Belden said. “The fact of the matter is the administration of justice is the only discipline on campus that uses the word police or policing in their course outlines of record.”

The Board also talked about the Armenian Genocide and how Aremenian students and faculty have experienced racism at Pierce.

“As a tenured, full-time member at LA Pierce College, I have been personally attacked in the past by another faculty member in a leadership role at Pierce for being Armenian,” instructor of music Garineh Avakian-Akkus said. “I recognize the distress this can bring on and why our campus needs this resolution.”

The Senate could not vote on the Anti-Systemic Racism Resolution because of a meeting procedure and a lack of substantial time. It has been postponed to the next meeting on Oct. 26.

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