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News: RSCC Issues Statement of Support, Plans to Launch Equity Evenings

News: RSCC Issues Statement of Support, Plans to Launch Equity Evenings

June 17, 2020

Roane State Family,

Recent events, all too familiar in communities of color, have sent waves of protests rippling throughout our country. As we continue to listen to your voices and examine how we can be part of much-needed change, we want each and every member of our Roane State family to know that we support you. To those taking part in peaceful demonstrations against brutality in memory of George Floyd and to those reaching out to us one-on-one to share your experiences, we hear you.

The recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others require us to use these moments for reflection, but reflection is hollow unless it is followed by a call to action. There is no better place to start than in our community of learning. We must fight systemic injustice and racism by fostering an environment of inclusion, equity, and kindness. But what should this call to action look like at a time when we have begun communicating virtually during the current pandemic?

In the coming days, we will share information on social media about Roane State’s “Equity Evenings.” We urge you to join us for the opportunity to begin an open and respectful conversation about equity and justice; a safe, virtual space for sharing and listening, so that we can identify ways to support every member of our community to work, learn, grow, and succeed. Roane County’s Chapter of the NAACP is partnering with us on this effort and will be heavily involved in our discussions.

Additionally, our Department of Public Safety is committing to developing relevant training and will be reaching out to the community to find partners to help with this task. DPS will be reviewing all policies and procedures over the next 60 days, including those dealing with the use of force, reporting the use of force, and other critical policies to ensure alignment with current best practices. Moving forward, firearms and use of force training will be matched hour-for-hour with implicit bias, multicultural, and de-escalation training.

Roane State’s Counseling Services also stands ready to help any student, faculty, or staff member during this time. Our counselors can be reached by emailing need@roanestate.edu. Soon, we will share additional steps we plan to take in order to further this much needed conversation.

Sincerely,

Christopher Whaley – President
Diane Ward – Vice President for Student Learning
Jamie Stringer – Vice President for Student Services, Enrollment, and Innovation
Marsha Mathews – Vice President for Business, Finance, and Auxiliary Services
Teresa Duncan – Vice President for Workforce Development and Community Outreach
Karen Brunner - Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness, Planning, and Student Success Initiatives
Odell Fearn – Director of Human Resources, Wellness, & Title VI Coordinator
William Kain – Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police

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