BC – Building Unity, Peace, Harmony

To heal we must remember – President Biden

This week, our country got a new president and vice-president, as Joe Biden & Kamala Harris were inaugurated on Wednesday. I enjoyed seeing how young girls were reacting with excitement at our nation’s first female vice-president.

There was a moment during Wednesday’s ceremony that I particularly enjoyed. During Garth Brooks’ performance of “Amazing Grace,” he stopped for a singalong across the country.

“Now I’m going to ask you to sing this last verse with me – not just the people here, but the people at home, at work, as one, united.

Americans all across this great land, taking a moment to sing together regardless of political beliefs or disagreements or any of the things that have been dividing us. Americans joining together, if even just for a moment, to create music together.

How sweet the sound, indeed.

Another amazing moment was when the most remarkable young lady took the podium.

Amanda Gorman, our first National Youth Poet Laureate, recited her poem, “The Hill We Climb.” From social media this week, I know that many Americans joined me in stopping in awe at this young woman’s strong and impactful voice, and the power of her words.

"And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another
We seek harm to none and harmony for all
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew
That even as we hurt, we hoped
That even as we tired, we tried
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious
Not because we will never again know defeat
but because we will never again sow division

Good morning Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, January 23, 2021 … a great day to be a Renegade.

BC Peace Project Update

During the ACCJC seminar series, “The Future of Learning,” David French, author of the book Divided We Fall, spoke on America’s polarization problem and the rising animosity between “political tribes.” This divergence paired with the events at our nation’s Capitol earlier this month, have led us to a critical moment — to the point of possibly being on the verge of destruction.

It is our sacred responsibility as leaders in higher education to develop the minds and hearts of our students. What we do, what we teach in our classrooms and the culture we create on our campuses is reflected in our community. We must then take the lead in tackling this division and creating more peaceful societies. Community colleges have a specific advantage in leading this charge as we teach the most diverse student bodies, providing fundamental knowledge and skills to be successful members of our communities.

BC Choir always building bridges — Convocation 2019. Thank you Dr. Jen Garrett.

The time is now, and we can no longer wait to start building bridges. We began the implementation of our Peace Garden Project last fall and will be working hard over the next year to further address polarization within our community and country at large. We will update you on the work we are doing and hope that as a community we can come together to create a space of learning and understanding along the way. Thank you Dr. Naina Patel for bringing this project to Bakersfield College.

Vaccinations rolling out in Kern County

I am happy to see vaccinations rolling out in Kern County. Let’s listen to Dr. Brij Bhambi on the Richard Beene Radio Show https://soundcloud.com/louis-amestoy/dr-brij-bhambi-getting-the-second-dose-of-the-vaccine-is-important-for-maximum-protection

Also, if you have not signed up for the Bhambi and Christian blog, you probably should. https://bhambiandchristian.com/

Sonya Christian and Brij Bhambi

BC Presents at Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Workgroup

On Tuesday, Maria Wright was invited to speak to the mentoring subgroup of the Chancellor’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Implementation Workgroup. The group included Trustees representatives throughout the state. Maria leads our Faculty Mentoring Fellowship Program, which focuses on recruiting graduate students interested in teaching in a community college. Fellows are paired with a faculty mentor that helps them establish a rich network of support to help fellows succeed in and out of the classroom.

Stay tuned for the expansion of this program!

MLK Community Awards Celebration 

BC was honored to once again sponsor the MLK Community Awards Celebration which aired Monday on Fox 58. If you missed it, see the article from the Observer News Group: 26th Annual Rev. Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. Community Awards Breakfast Held Virtually – Observer News Group (ognsc.com)

Community Voices: Jack Hernandez

On Thursday, I read this piece by Jack Hernandez in the Bakersfield Californian.

He reflects on what it’s like to grow older and realize that many of the things you do and say are becoming “out of date” – but he notes that’s not always a bad thing. While we may lament when the clothes we wear or the words we use are no longer considered cool, or when we’re no longer utilizing the latest technology – there are beliefs and policies from our collective past that we should be glad are out of date, and some things we can all appreciate will never go out of style:

So, it so happens that all becomes out of date, except that one thing: love for others, out of date or not.

Opening Day 2021

We just finished the first week of the Spring 2021 semester. Last week, I shared with you a sneak peak from our Opening Day celebration on January 12-14. Today, I’ll begin sharing videos from our three days of production.

On Tuesday, we opened with our traditional Photo Roll looking over the past semester:

We also had a welcome from our emcees – Todd Coston, Norma Rojas-Mora, Manny Mourtzanos, and Reggie Bolton:

I will be posting more of the videos over the coming weeks. You can also see all the videos at https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/president/opening-week-spring-2021.

Renegade Fitness

Fitness trainer Casey Babcock is hosting a Renegade Virtual Fitness clinic every weekday of the Spring 2021 semester to help students and staff keep themselves healthy during another predominately online semester.  The first session of Spring 2021 started on January 19, and Renegade Virtual Fitness will continue Monday through Friday from noon to 1 p.m. until May 7.

Renegade Virtual Fitness is hosted by BCSGA on Zoom, Facebook Live, Twitter, Twitch and YouTube.

Spotted on Social Media

Bill Moseley‘s kids honored our new vice-president:

Kalina Hill shared a beautiful sunrise:

The Jones Art Gallery shared this piece of artwork by Maia Pankey from Bakersfield High School. It was part of the Panorama Invitational 2020:

Sondra Keckley’s cat enjoyed a cozy nap:

Jennifer Garrett & the BC Chamber Singers had a virtual spring retreat:

Matt Andrasian-Jones continued his Discern & Draw series with a bobby pin alligator:


Mhango Headed to Ohio Dominican Univeristy

We are proud to announce that Men’s Soccer student athlete Mubelele Mhango is moving on to play soccer and attend school at Ohio Dominican University. Mhango played for Men’s Soccer Coach Vayron Martinez for the 2019 season and scored a total of five goals.

Mhango was a fun player to watch on the pitch and we can’t wait to see what he accomplishes in the future!


That’s all for now.
Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.
sonya –
the luckiest and happiest college president ever

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