We stand together. Through the hurt. Through the darkness. | GCTC

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We stand together. Through the hurt. Through the darkness.

Published on Jun 4, 2020

"Stop. Please Stop."

“I can’t breathe. I need to breathe.”

I want you to know I feel it too.  

I can’t see it as you do. That is not my reality. But I can join with you and commit to you that I will listen and stand with you. And I will work to make sure that Gateway is the place you can trust and turn to when you need support.

Today, I am reminded that justice is not a moment when everything falls into place and we sing hymns.

Justice is that moment when each of us can see in each other the care and support we each want for ourselves and our most cherished.

Justice is a commitment to a simple and fundamental truth: that each of us is instilled with worth beyond measure and talents waiting to be explored. Talents our community needs.

Gateway holds firm the inherent worth and dignity of each person, especially in difficult times. We support each other and challenge each other to embrace the daring and often scary experiment that is community. We remind each other that to be fully human is to risk being open to each other.

We risk empathy. We risk vulnerability. We risk the best gifts we have to offer, and we do it because we have all shared in that moment when the pieces come together.

We have all basked in the glow of another’s gratitude because we risked first.

We have all been warmed by the smile that softly says, “I get it.”

That is Gateway.

And today, that truth stands stark in contrast to the confusion we see around us.

I am determined. I hope you will join me.

We stand together. Through the hurt. Through the darkness.

That is Gateway.

And together we will work to live our values to advance and sustain equity at Gateway and our larger community.

At Gateway, our three commitments drive and guide the work.

We work together to open up opportunity to education, regardless of race, ethnicity, social class, religion, gender, background or physical abilities. Gateway exists in our community to enhance access to education and training for all.

To support our engaging and relevant curriculum, we work together to create a culture of caring on our campuses and develop understanding and appreciation of the differences of our diverse population. Our goal is to educate, embrace, and encourage as we provide inclusive spaces for students, faculty, and staff.

We work together to provide resources and eliminate barriers to success. We want to ensure we do all we can to help our community to persist personally and educationally.

And, we know we can do better.

Together, we will show each day that racism, violence, hate speech, and discrimination have no home at Gateway. 

We can acknowledge that unless we are all okay, we are not okay.

Our community is broken hearted and afraid and the promise of community is not yet what it needs to be.

Even still, I hope you will embrace our commitment to each other until that time we are okay and are able to see the wounds within our community, to listen in patience and to act in justice whenever we see these wounds committed.

And we will do this the only way we can.

Together.

To our students, staff, and faculty of color – I see you. I hear you. I stand with you.

I know many of you are in unfathomable pain confronting these inequities. I know it may be difficult to separate your pain from the talents you give to Gateway each and every day. Please know that Gateway is here to support you.

Please let me know how I can support you. How can we work together to create the Gateway that authentically lives our values?

We will advance our plans built over the last few years to build equity and inclusion at Gateway. And you will hear more about ways you can all share and show your Gateway spirit!

If you are struggling, please connect with the resources we have available at Gateway to make sure there are no barriers to your success.

Gateway is for you.

All of you. 

Dr. Fernando Figueroa
President,
Gateway Community & Technical College