Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Realizing Our Ideals – July 2, 2020
July 2, 2020
This Friday is not only the eve of our nation’s Independence Day, it is also my birthday. As I reflect on my own life and America’s, I recognize that both of our experiences “ain’t been no crystal stair.” This expression comes from a poem by Langston Hughes titled “Mother to Son,” where he explains that even as we face adversity and during those times when it is difficult to take one step farther, we must persist. When the tasks before us are hardest, we still must climb.
During this challenging time in our nation’s history and in our society I am grateful for the opportunity to lead a great institution and to serve a wonderful community — even amidst the chaos and uncertainty we face. Our mission at Westchester Community College is more important than ever as we open doors and provide access to learning to those seeking better lives through education.
Several members of our college community are lifting their voices and taking action to unite, to inform, and to empower students and community members as we work collectively toward fully realizing the ideals of our democracy. In recent weeks, I have heard from many of you, as well as external stakeholders, about ideas we can achieve in the coming academic year to make a positive impact on goals, including demonstrating how we value and care for those who have been historically, persistently, and systematically oppressed. In order to bring together the rich input that has already begun on this topic, I invite you to join me, in collaboration with Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Rinardo Reddick and others, for an initial Listening Session on Monday, July 20 at 3 p.m. via Zoom. An invitation and link will follow.
I leave you with a link to remarks I was honored to offer as keynote at the recent YWCA In the (Virtual) Company of Women event, titled From Outbreak & Outrage to Health & Healing. I hope they will inspire our work together. I am more dedicated than ever to this work and am excited about what we will achieve with our students and community.
Wishing you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday weekend.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles