At the start of summer we are usually gathered together at the Annual President’s Address to the Community Luncheon where I would normally share a presentation on the state of the College. However, there is nothing “usual” or “normal” about our current environment and circumstances. The last three months have presented our entire community with unprecedented challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. SRJC has had to make many rapid adjustments, but we have been resilient and are dedicated to safety. Though we are unable to gather in person, I want to share an update on the College and recognize the unwavering support of our Sonoma County community.
In this short video message, you will learn how we have been able to pivot to support our students and each other in new and different ways. I especially want to highlight the SRJC Crisis Response Fund launched in mid-March. With your help, to date we have generated nearly $380,000 from more than 250 donors to assist students in need. Not all students are eligible to apply for government stimulus funds, so the Foundation is working to grow the SRJC Crisis Response Fund as a resource to support ALL students in need today, to aid in long-term recovery, and in preparation for emergencies to come.
That said, I also want to acknowledge that a lot has happened in the short time since this message was filmed. The brutal death of George Floyd has once again traumatized our black community and has created a worldwide movement focused on eradicating white supremacy and state-sanctioned violence. The structural racism in our society, including in our education system, has been brought to the forefront of our consciousness and priorities. I believe that education is a vehicle to the creation of a more just society, and I am committed to working with all SRJC employees and students to build a healthier and more inclusive community for Black/African American individuals at Santa Rosa Junior College and in Sonoma County.
Thank you for everything you are doing right now, and all that you do every day, to keep our community safe and our college strong. I’d like to express particular thanks to our loyal supporters who stepped up to sponsor this message in lieu of a table at the President’s Address event. Their contributions and commitment to the College and our students, especially in this challenging time, continue to be extraordinary.
For more than one hundred years, SRJC has been providing quality educational opportunities for Sonoma County. Through past disasters and those to come, we know that support for our students and programs is critical for the resilience of our workforce and our community. To make a difference in the lives of our students, please consider giving to the SRJC Crisis Response Fund. You can donate directly through this message or go to foundation.santarosa.edu for more information. All donations go directly to help students that have been financially impacted by this pandemic and will help us to respond immediately to help students when we face the next crisis together.
Thank you for your partnership and continuing support. We are in this together, even while we are apart.
Dr. Frank Chong
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