Ten days before he passed, John Lewis posted on twitter.
And two years ago on June 27, 2018 he posted
Good morning Bakersfield
It is Saturday, July 18, 2020 (Nelson Mandela’s birthday) … and a great day to be a Renegade
Spent this past week at my daughter’s place in Marina del Rey. Neo and Bessie were ecstatic to see each other and enjoy the southern cal beach together.
Here is another great poem by Jack Hernandez:
In its green nest
the gardenia blooms
stunning the air,
not seeking applause
for its beauty,
content with beaming in the sun.
Remembering John Lewis
I was deeply saddened last night to hear of the passing of civil rights leader and Congressman John Lewis.
He was a great man whose contributions to this nation cannot be overstated. It has been especially poignant to recall his story, including how images of his beating at the Selma to Montgomery “Bloody Sunday” march, in light of recent events and subsequent protests.
I hope that each and every one of us can call upon his memory and courage as we navigate the uncertain times ahead. President Barack Obama awarded Lewis with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and said:
There’s a quote inscribed over a doorway in Nashville, where students first refused to leave lunch counters 51 years ago this February. And the quote said, “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” It’s a question John Lewis has been asking his entire life. It’s what led him back to the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma after he had already been beaten within an inch of his life days before. It’s why, time and again, he faced down death so that all of us could share equally in the joys of life. It’s why all these years later, he is known as the Conscience of the United States Congress, still speaking his mind on issues of justice and equality. And generations from now, when parents teach their children what is meant by courage, the story of John Lewis will come to mind — an American who knew that change could not wait for some other person or some other time; whose life is a lesson in the fierce urgency of now.
And on the topic of courage – as I think about John Lewis’ legacy, I can’t help but go back to the #RealTalk conversation with Reggie Bolton and Danny Morrison about Dr. Martin Luther King during our #LightACandle program:
“You gotta have the courage to do what’s right when it’s not popular.”
You can see an archive of all our #LightACandle programming in partnership with Danny Morrison on our Juneteenth website.
#RealTalk on Race in America
Good Trouble. Necessary Trouble
On Tuesday, June 30, Bakersfield College and Danny Morrison Media again teamed up to host a #RealTalk on Race in America with a multicultural panel of Generation Z students.
I am always filled with pride when I see our student journalist’s work in the Renegade Rip and especially enjoyed reading Editor-in-Chief Haley Duval’s coverage of this talk.
It’s a must-read: https://www.therip.com/news/2020/07/05/generation-zs-perspectives-on-racism-with-danny-morrison/
Haley caught a great quote from panelist Amy Melton who is a BC agriculture student: “White privilege does not mean they haven’t gone through anything bad. It means that they have more opportunities because of the color of their skin.”
You can view the full stream on Danny Morrison Media’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=579893912729216
International Students Update
In my last post, I shared about the importance of international students and immigrants not only to our college community, but to our community beyond as well.
I was so pleased to learn about the decision to rescind the policy that would have prevented international students from staying in the US as their studies turn to online.
Our international students have always been and will always be an integral part of our Bakersfield College family. I am glad that our leaders are recognizing the key role the F1 Student Visa program plays in our education system and allow these students to remain in this country as they safely continue their studies.
You can read more about the decision here: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/07/14/891125619/ice-agrees-to-rescind-policy-barring-foreign-students-from-online-study-in-the-u
Good Trouble. Necessary Trouble.
Last week, I participated in the first ever California Community College Women’s Caucus.
This effort was organized by Linda Wah, Trustee from Pasadena City College, and Daisy Gonzales, Deputy Chancellor for the CA Community Colleges.
I look forward to sharing our progress and updates with all of you.
Last Saturday, we celebrated our fantastic Class of 2020 with a special televised event that was broadcast on KGET and Telemundo, as well as a Facebook livestream. I hope you all tuned in to share in the accomplishments of these graduates who overcame great adversity in their final semester at Bakersfield College.
We began with a video of Professor John Gerhold performing the National Anthem. This was from the 2019 graduation that we included in the televised 2020 commencement. We had to follow our tradition!
Here are my opening remarks from this year’s event:
Due to the nature of the broadcast, we grouped graduates into sections.
Here is the Part 1 of our graduates – please check my blog in the coming weeks to see the rest:
Early College Celebration
Last week, we also celebrated our Early College graduates. Students from Wonderful College Prep Academy and Wasco High School earned not only their high school diplomas, but an Associates degree at Bakersfield College as well.
Here are my opening remarks from that celebration on July 7:
And remarks from Senator Emeritus Jean Fuller. Senator Fuller’s support has been instrumental in the success of our early college program. Thank you Jean!
We honored these graduates in 4 sections; 2 from each school.
Here is the first set of graduates from Wasco High School – I will share the other sections in the coming weeks:
You can view all the videos from the Commencement Televised Event and our Early College Celebration on our 2020 Commencement website.
Celebration of Nelson Mandela and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Last Tuesday, July 14th, Krista Moreland, professor of Anthropology, hosted a virtual talk honoring the birthdays of two of the world’s great leaders and peacemakers: Nelson Mandela and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
This program, livestreamed on Facebook, had two speakers, Paballo Lengane, a University post-graduate student in Pretoria, South Africa; and Minyak Rinpoche, a Buddhist monk, currently at the Tashi Gomang Dharma Center in Kentucky. The presentations were inspiring and insightful, highlighting the importance of compassion, kindness, reconciliation and peaceful protests to enact positive change.
Read the full story on our website at the Celebration of Nelson Mandela and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama… and catch the Facebook Recording on the BC SGA’s Facebook.
Dean of Academic Technology Bill Moseley was featured in a podcast last week.
“Micro-credentialism: Bite-sized stories from the world of digital credentials” explores the digital badging landscape and celebrates individuals that create opportunities for achievement for their communities.
Closing Week Videos
I am still working through sharing all of our closing week videos with you all. Today, I am sharing one video from each of our four days of programming:
On Monday, Todd Coston wrapped up our day with a short message:
On Tuesday, Carlos Barbaran received a Presidential Leadership Award:
On Wednesday, VP of Instruction Billie Jo Rice shared the faculty that have reached tenure this year:
And we started Thursday’s program with another set of Year in Review photos:
As always, you can view all the videos from Closing Week at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/events/closing-week-2020.
And you can review previous opening/closing day celebrations on the President’s Events website.
Spotted on Social Media
Performing Arts Department Chair Jennifer Garrett shared this post about networking with her fellow Kern County choral directors:
Today I was able to look into the faces of so many incredible colleagues from middle school, high school and college choral directors in Kern County. We gathered via zoom to welcome new colleagues, talk with Dr Jessica Napoles from UNT about the ACDA response document, and start helping each other plan for the future. I know we are all desperately trying to figure out how to help our students experience music in the Fall and it is so wonderful to know we have each other and many more. Thank you everyone for gathering today. Can’t wait until next Friday to do it again! #KernCountyChoralThrives
I spotted some Renegade representation on the California Community Colleges Twitter:
Astronomy professor Nick Strobel shared these photos of comet NEOWISE C/2020 F3 (check out his update in the Bakersfield Night Sky column):
I also wanted to share this great message from our Renegade Athletics Twitter:
Corny & Sandi Retirement videos
At our retirement celebration for Dean of Instruction Corny Rodriguez and Athletic Director Sandi Taylor, we enjoyed video testimonials from their friends and colleagues. Today, I’d like to share two of those videos.
Corny Rodriguez Testimonials Part 1:
Sandi Taylor Testimonials Part 1:
You can see all the videos from their retirement celebration at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/events (click on Staff/Faculty events).
Vince Damelio Moving on to Dean College
Vince Damelio from Renegade Men’s Basketball announced this week that he is headed to play basketball and continue his academic career at Dean College located in Franklin, MA. Damelio, a product of Primero HS in Weston, CO, played just the 2019-20 season at BC for Head Coach Rich Hughes. He finished the year having played in all 28 games with an average of 6.4 points per game, 3.1 rebounds per game and 2.4 assists/game. Good luck to Vince and Go Gades!
CCCAA Board of Directors announces implementation of Contingency Plan for return to sports in 2020-21
The California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) Board of Directors overwhelmingly approved implementation of its Contingency Plan this last week, providing a return to intercollegiate athletics for the 2020-21 academic year that shifts all sports, including football, to the spring season. The Contingency Plan was among three potential scenarios approved by the Board in early June.
Each plan was wholly dependent on which phase of reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic the state of California was in on the CCCAA’s previously announced July 17 decision date. The return to athletics in January will only occur if it is safe to do so, a decision that will be guided primarily by state and local health guidelines. The Contingency Plan can be viewed here. The full release can be viewed here.
Renegades, let’s continue to transform lives by never shying away from good trouble…. necessary trouble.
That’s all for now.
Until next time.
With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
the luckiest and happiest college president ever
Tagged: #LightACandle, Bakersfield College, Daisy Gonzales, John Lewis, Sonya Christian, Trustee Linda Wah
John Lewis was a man who my friends and I noticed a long time ago when all this was on TV in the 60’s. We didn’t experience the racism in our town so we didn’t really understand what was going on, but there was no questioning his bravery.