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Update – College Operational Issues

Welcome to week six of the semester. This edition of What’s on My Mind briefly provides updates on several college operational issues. Please take a look.


Reflections on Black History Month

Black History Month is the perfect space to reflect on the intersection of the “power of learning” and “positive social change” both important cultural markers of Paradise Valley Community College. Unfortunately for many of us, our understanding and celebration of Black History Month can and often times defaults to a shallow understanding and appreciation of the iconic historical figures and events that mark the African-American experience over the past four hundred years.  Here are several events to reflect on and subsequent questions that merit further individual exploration.

What do we really know about the Supreme Court ruling in 1954 of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka – Why did it take multiple follow up court opinions to fully enact the findings of the first Brown ruling? Who argued the case before the Supreme Court and how did his work lead to a future appointment to the court? Why do schools in the United States remain largely segregated?

Some history books paint a picture of Rosa Parks as being “…just too tired to change seats on that fateful bus” – which we know is not true. What formal and informal training prepared Rosa Parks for her historical role in the 1955-1956 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama?

If we were to read Dick Gregory’s 1971 book No More Lies; The Myth and the Reality of American History, what would we learn about African-American History that would challenge our truths about American history?

Given our commitment, albeit wavering at times, to diversity and inclusion at PVCC, what can we do to encourage a greater diversity of students to participate in programs like Emerging Leaders, Diversity Inc., or Club Z to leverage “positive social change?” Additionally, how do we engage students to more fully understand and appreciate the depth of Black history so that this month’s celebration is not just an isolated marginalized experience? It is the “power of learning” especially for those of us less informed, that will radically change the future of America for all.

I look forward to seeing you at the Black History Month Celebration Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, February 14 in KSC 1000.


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