June 4, 2020
To the Okanagan College community:
The events that have transpired in the United States in the last week and the important conversations they have sparked about racism in our country, in our province and in our communities reminds us that there are significant social issues that remain of great concern to all of us.
In order to fulfill our mission of transforming lives and communities, we all, whether employees or students, must continue to work together toward a more empathetic, equitable and inclusive world. That means denouncing racism in all its forms. So, to be clear: racism has no place at Okanagan College.
We are a College that values diversity. We welcome, support and celebrate learners of all backgrounds and walks of life. Every member of the Okanagan College community should feel valued, seen, heard and, above all, safe.
We recognize that racism remains far too prevalent everywhere. Sadly no country, community, or post-secondary institution is immune to intolerance. If you are experiencing racism on our campuses, we want to know.
I also want to acknowledge that acts of racism, discrimination and violence in our world can weigh particularly heavily upon us right now. They come at a time when our College community is already burdened by the uncertainty and anxiety associated with COVID-19.
If you need support, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Students, you can connect with a counsellor here and access the Province’s Here2Talk Mental Health Supports here. Employees, please contact your supervisor or Human Resources to discuss the supports available to you.
Our strength is the people of Okanagan College. We are deeply proud of, and take heart in, the efforts of our students and employees to make our College and our world a place better by fostering equity, diversity and inclusion in so many ways. Furthermore, we remain committed to doing even more.
President, Okanagan College