Antioch Mayor Thorpe adds his support to effort for naming it Thurgood Marshall Regional Park – Home of the Port Chicago 50 to honor “contributions made by Contra Costa’s African American community”; district staff recommends it without any public outreach
Naming it for Supervisor Glover would better fulfill that goal
Or choose the historical name of Bay Miwok Chupcan Regional Park
District Board Executive Committee will discuss matter during Tuesday, May 11 meeting
Also name Antioch’s new park Roddy Ranch Regional Park
By Allen Payton, Publisher
An effort, launched last fall, is underway asking the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) Board of Directors to name their newest park, in Concord, after the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall rather than for the Chupcan tribe of the Bay Miwok, who inhabited the area in the 1700’s, as had been planned. This past week, Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe announced his support for the effort.
Now, district staff is recommending that name without any public outreach to seek input on possible names, other than comments made during board meetings. The board’s Executive Committee will consider the matter during their meeting this next Tuesday, May 11. (See agenda item #3 and process for public comment at the end of this editorial)
The 2,540-acre, temporarily named Concord Hills Regional Park, located on the south side of Highway 4 and encompassing most of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station land, was slated to be named Chupcan Territories Regional Park. But last year, during a Sept. 3 EBRPD Board meeting public comment, Lewis Thrower, a spokesman for Citizens for Historical Equity proposed naming it for Justice Marshall because there are no regional parks in Contra Costa County named after African Americans. Marshall’s local connection is, as an attorney, he unsuccessfully represented the Port Chicago 50, the name given to the 50 Black sailors, during their mutiny trial, for defying orders of their Navy commanders to return to work after the disaster that took the lives of 320 sailors and civilians and injuring 390 others on July 17, 1944 during World War II. That occurred while the stevedors were loading 5,000 tons of ammunition onto ships. The 50 sailors refused to return to work until safety measures had been put in place. They were each convicted on the charge of mutiny and given a sentence of up to 15 years imprisonment and dishonorable discharge from the Navy.
According to a NY Times report, almost all the sailors were released at the end of the war, including “47 who were paroled to active duty aboard Navy vessels in the Pacific Theater. Two of the 50 prisoners remained in the prison’s hospital for additional months recuperating from injuries, and one was not released because of a bad conduct record. Those of the 50 who had not committed later offenses were given a general discharge from the Navy ‘under honorable conditions’.”
According to the EBRPD Board meeting minutes, several other members of the public spoke in support of the naming proposal including Royle Roberts of Black Democrats, Willie Mims of the Black Political Association and Mable Minney of the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center. A white paper and an addendum on Thurgood Marshall, and a petition with over 700 signatures were cited, as well.
Thorpe wrote on his mayor’s Facebook page on Thursday, May 6, “he has endorsed naming Contra Costa’s newest regional park– Thurgood Marshall Regional Park-Home of the Port Chicago 50.” The reason he gave is because, “the proposed name would be a major step towards expanding a county narrative that includes the contributions made by Contra Costa’s African American community.” He claimed that there were now 880 signatures of people in support of the effort.
Thrower and Citizens for Historical Equity recommended one or more neighboring parks be named Chupcan Territories Regional Park, instead. Thorpe reiterated that in a comment below his Facebook post, which has since been deleted.
During the meeting, Diana McDaniel from the Friends of the Port Chicago National Memorial suggested the name be Port Chicago Memorial Regional Park so people don’t forget.
However, as the name of her organization demonstrates, there already is recognition with the Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial which was established in 1994 at the site and on the 50th anniversary of the disaster to honor those who lost their lives. Then, in 2019, on the 75th anniversary of the tragedy, Representatives Mark DeSaulnier and Barbara Lee reintroduced a resolution, HR 49, which states its purpose in the first paragraph as, “Recognizing the victims of the Port Chicago explosion of July 17, 1944, the 75th anniversary of the greatest homeland loss of life of World War II, and exonerating the 50 African-American sailors unjustly court-martialed by the Navy.” It passed the House in December 2019 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (S.1790) listed in Sec. 540N as “Sense of Congress on the Port Chicago 50” and signed into law by President Trump on Dec. 20.
So, the park district staff report is incorrect, claiming “Despite years of advocacy by local elected officials and community organizations, the courageous young men of the Port Chicago 50 have never been exonerated.”
According to the memorial’s Wikipedia page, “the Port Chicago Committee is working to expand the current memorial to encompass 250 acres of the former Port Chicago waterfront.” Recognition of the Port Chicago 50 and Justice Marshall could be included there.
Bay Miwok Chupcan Tribe
According to ConcordHistory.com, “a small tribelet of Chupcan (Bay Miwok) Indians composed the first inhabitants of our valley. Dominated by a great mountain to their south, the Chupcan lived along the valley’s streams which flowed north to the wide tule marshes on the edge of the Bay.”
According to the Bay Miwok Content by Beverly R. Ortiz, Ph.D. on the EBRPD website, there were about 1,800 to 2,000 Bay Miwoks living in the area in six different tribes before 1770. According to the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, “One of those tribes, or tribelets as scholars call them, were the Chupcan of Diablo Valley.”
While Marshall was the first Black U.S. Supreme Court Justice and represented the Port Chicago 50 while an attorney, he wasn’t from Contra Costa County. To honor him by naming a regional park for justice would not expand “a county narrative that includes the contributions made by Contra Costa’s African American community.”
A more appropriate place to honor the Port Chicago 50 would be at the national memorial by adding each of the sailors’ names, now that they’ve been exonerated. Justice Marshall’s name could be added to it, as well for his efforts in defending them at trial. Their names should be listed on the National Parks Service website for the memorial, as well.
Federal Glover or Bay Miwok Chupcan Regional Park
If the goal is to honor contributions made by Contra Costa’s African American community, then I think a more appropriate name would be the Federal Glover Regional Park, for the first African American to serve our county on the Board of Supervisors and who has done so for over 20 years. In addition, he served the City of Pittsburg, East County and the county on transportation boards while a council member, prior to that. I would say Federal is the African American who has contributed more to our county than any other and should be recognized instead of the former justice who had a fleeting connection.
If not, then it should be named for the historic tribe that inhabited that part of our county. Since it’s doubtful that even those familiar with the history of the native peoples of Contra Costa would recognize the tribal name of Chupcan – it was news to me – Bay Miwok should be included in the name. If that’s the direction, then the new park should be named the Bay Miwok Chupcan Regional Park.
Roddy Ranch Regional Park
Also, while the Board is considering names for the district’s regional parks, instead of Deer Valley Regional Park, the newest one planned for East County, on the land owned and sold to the district by long-time rancher Jack Roddy, it should instead be named the Roddy Ranch Regional Park to keep the historical significance.
Members of the public can listen to and view the EBRPD Board Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 11 in the following way: Via the Park District’s live video stream, on the Park District’s YouTube channel, which can be found at: https://youtu.be/pvK6M5XWBPI (The YouTube link may not function properly when using Internet Explorer. The optimal browser for viewing the live stream of the meeting is Chrome.)
Public comments may be submitted:
- Live via Zoom. If you would like to make a live public comment during the meeting this option is available through the virtual meeting platform: https://ebparks.zoom.us/j/94499652339. Note that this virtual meeting platform link will let you into the virtual meeting for the purpose of providing a public comment. If you do not intend to make a public comment please use the Youtube link above to observe the meeting. It is preferred that those requesting to speak during the meeting contact Becky Pheng at email@example.com by 5:00 pm on Monday, May 10, 2021 via email or voicemail at 510-544-2005 to provide their name and subject of the public comment or item to be addressed.
- Via Email to Becky Pheng at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 pm on Monday, May 10, 2021. Email must contain in the subject line “Public Comments – not on the agenda” or “Public Comments – agenda item #”.
- Via Voicemail at 510-544-2005. The caller must start the message by stating “Public Comments – not on the agenda” or “Public Comments – agenda item #” followed by their name and place of residence, followed by their comments.
Richmond police officers responded to two separate homicide scenes within twenty minutes, prompting emergency mutual aid assistance requests from our neighboring agency and off-duty officers.
On Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at approximately 6:45PM, officers responded to a ShotSpotter activation in the area of South 2nd Street and Ohio Avenue. Responding officers located a victim in a car, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Approximately 15 minutes later, the RPD Communications Center received emergency 911 calls regarding another shooting incident in the city’s Southern District. Officers located the victim, also in a vehicle and suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, in the parking lot of the Pullman Point Apartment complex. The second victim was also pronounced deceased at the scene.
RPD efforts to control both crime scenes resulted in the exhaustion of all available on-duty RPD resources. An urgent request for mutual aid was sent to the El Cerrito Police Department (ECPD), who immediately sent officers to assist RPD. Off-duty RPD officers were also requested to ensure the safety of Richmond residents, by responding to pending emergency calls for service.
We appreciate the teamwork, collaboration, and willingness of ECPD and our off-duty officers in answering our calls for assistance, without hesitation!
We are requesting the public’s assistance on both homicide cases – anyone with information is urged to contact RPD Homicide Detectives at the following:
South 2nd/Ohio: Detective Hoffman – Bhoffman@RichmondPD.net or 510-620-1755
Pullman Point Apartments: Detective Stewart – Sstewart@RichmondPD.net or 510-620-6541
Coronavirus threatens to slow progress against cancer prevention
In an effort to boost public health and help keep vaccinations on track in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the American Cancer Society continues efforts around Mission: HPV Cancer Free, a campaign to eliminate HPV cancers as a public health problem, starting with cervical cancer.
The ongoing pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for healthcare providers, patients, and policymakers. Data indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic is having a negative effect on vaccination rates. Many parents have postponed pediatrician visits to avoid transmission of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that HPV vaccinations are down by more than 20% or more than 1 million doses in the public sector alone, compared to 2019.
Adding to the challenge is the expected availability of the COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents. It is predicted that the COVID-19 vaccine will be available for children as young as 12 years old early this summer. If approved, adolescents who get the vaccine will have a seven to eight-week period when they cannot receive other vaccines before, during, or after the COVID-19 protocol. This could impact the number of adolescents who will get their HPV vaccination on time this year. It’s important for parents, in consultation with their pediatricians, to reschedule any missed vaccinations now.
“COVID-19 has reversed some of the gains in HPV vaccination uptake that we’ve worked so hard to make over the years,” said Irene Lo, MD, a general surgeon in the Bay Area and Board Co-Chair for the American Cancer Society. “It’s critical that we act quickly to protect the national investment in HPV vaccination to protect against these six types of cancer.”
HPV or human papillomavirus is a common virus that can cause six types of cancer. About 14 million people in the United States become infected with HPV each year. Eight out of ten people will get HPV at some point in their lifetime. Most infections become undetectable, but some can go on to cause cancer.
“HPV vaccination works best when given between ages 9 and 12,” added Shelly Barsanti, Board Co-Chair for the American Cancer Society in the Bay Area.” Vaccination at the recommended ages will prevent more cancers than vaccination at older ages.”
Children and young adults ages 13 through 26 who have not been vaccinated, or who haven’t gotten all their doses, should get the vaccine as soon as possible. Both boys and girls can get infected with HPV. HPV vaccination helps protect boys from cancers of the throat, penis, and anus later in life. HPV vaccination helps protect girls from cancers of the cervix, throat, vagina, vulva, and anus later in life.
The goal of Mission: HPV Cancer Free is to reach a vaccination rate of 80% of 13-year-olds in the United States by 2026. For information on cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, cancer recovery or free services, visit cancer.org. To speak with a live Cancer Information Specialist 24/7 in multiple languages, call the American Cancer Society anytime at 1.800.227.2345.
For further information: Beckie.MooreFlati@cancer.org or 714.697.8666 mobile.
A shooting occurred on westbound SR-4, west of Railroad Avenue at around 10:00 PM Thursday night, May 6, 2021. A driver and his passenger were shot at in what appears to be an attempted road rage incident. The driver and passenger sustained non-life-threatening injuries as a result of this shooting and were transported to a local hospital for treatment. The unknown suspect fled the scene in an unknown vehicle subsequent to the shooting.
Detectives assigned to CHP – Golden Gate Division Special Investigations Unit (SIU) are actively investigating this shooting. Our detectives are requesting assistance from the public in gathering the details surrounding this incident. If you or anyone you know have any information that might be helpful, please call the CHP Investigative Tipline at 707.917.4491.Read More
While cash sales were initially suspended in March 2020, Amtrak San Joaquins has resumed cash payments onboard and at all staffed stations. Reintroducing cash payments was the result of coordination among the San Joaquins Joint Powers Authority, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, LOSSAN JPA, the State of California, and Amtrak.
Historically, approximately 15% of San Joaquins ticket revenue has been generated by cash payments. Reintroducing cash payments provides improved rail and Thruway bus access to the unbanked and underbanked passengers that have been disproportionately impacted by this policy.
Onboard ticket sales are in place to accommodate passenger boarding at unstaffed stations. Passengers boarding at unstaffed station, including Richmond, Antioch, Lodi, Turlock, Madera, Wasco, and Corcoran can purchase their ticket directly from the conductor. Passengers boarding at staffed stations will pay a $10 surcharge in addition to the price of the ticket. The surcharge is a resumption of previous policy.
“We are pleased to begin accepting cash once again throughout our service,” said Stacey Mortensen, Executive Director of the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority. “In response to the immediate COVID-19 crisis, we took all the necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our travelers and staff; this included requiring contactless ticketing. In coordination with state officials and Amtrak, we have determined that cash exchange is not only safe, but also improves transportation access to cash dependent riders. The resumption of cash represents a positive step towards normalcy.”
As the state begins to reopen from COVID-19 restrictions, Amtrak San Joaquins is encouraging riders to also review the Visit California “Responsible Travel Code” for additional tips on how to plan thoughtful, safe, and respectful travel.
Customers are strongly encouraged to plan ahead and book early to guarantee available tickets. Amtrak’s new standard of travel includes:
- Face coverings: Federal law and Amtrak policy require all customers and employees to wear a mask or covering that fully covers the entire mouth and nose, fits snugly against the side of the face, and secures under the chin at all times while onboard trains and in stations, even if state or local policies are different.
- Station arrival: Customers are encouraged to arrive 30 minutes before departure and 60 minutes if in need of ticketing and/or baggage assistance.
- Capacity indicator: When searching for travel, the percentage of seats sold displays next to each trip and adjusts as customers make reservations. This gives customers the opportunity to book a train that is less crowded. If capacity exceeds comfort levels, customers can change their ticket without incurring a fee (a fare difference may apply).
- Amtrak app: Customers can book, board, check train status and access information from the convenience and safety of a mobile device. Amtrak continues to encourage boarding with eTickets, which conductors scan from the Amtrak app.
- Air quality: All Amtrak trains are equipped with onboard filtration systems with a fresh air exchange rate every 4-5 minutes.
- Physical distancing: Signage has been displayed at our stations to indicate safe distances in high traffic areas. In addition, protective plastic barriers have been installed at customer counters at our stations.
About the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA)
Since July 2015, SJJPA has been responsible for the management and administration of Amtrak San Joaquins. SJJPA is governed by Board Members representing each of the ten (10) Member Agencies along the 365-mile San Joaquins Corridor. For more information on SJJPA see www.sjjpa.com.
Amtrak San Joaquins is Amtrak’s 6th busiest route with 1.1 million annual riders and 18 stations providing a safe, comfortable and reliable way to travel throughout California. Prior to service modifications due to the COVID-19 crisis, Amtrak San Joaquins ran 7 daily train round-trips and its Thruway buses provided connecting service to 135 destinations in California and Nevada including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Napa Valley, Las Vegas and Reno. To book your next trip, visit www.AmtrakSanJoaquins.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL.
No criminal prosecution of two officers involved in June 2019 incident
By Scott Alonso, Public Information Office, Contra Costa County Office of the District Attorney
The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office concludes there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution of Officer KC Hsiao and Officer Melissa Murphy in the 2019 fatal shooting of Miles Anthony Hall. The DA’s Office released a public report about the shooting today. No charges will be filed against any officer involved in this shooting. (See related article)
On June 2, 2019, at 4:40 p.m., an emergency call was received by the California Highway Patrol about a disturbance at a home on Sandra Court in Walnut Creek where Mr. Hall resided. The individual that made the emergency call was a family member of Mr. Hall. At approximately the same time, a neighbor also called 911 about a disturbance at the same residence. The neighbor saw Mr. Hall running outside the residence. A third neighbor called 911 and reported that Mr. Hall had just pounded on their front door and was carrying a black steel digging tool. The tool was measured to be 4 feet 11 inches long and weighed 15 pounds. Another witness also called 911 and reported that Mr. Hall chased their vehicle on foot as they drove through the neighborhood.
At 4:51 p.m., the initial two officers arrived on the scene to respond. As additional officers arrived, a staging area near Orchard Lane and Lancaster Road was set up. The four officers discussed how they would respond once they encountered Mr. Hall. All four officers were aware of a previous incident where Mr. Hall had brandished a knife at Walnut Creek police officers, and they used less than lethal force to take him into custody for a mental health hold. Additionally, paramedics from Contra Costa County Fire Protection District were called to the scene.
Mr. Hall was near 140 Arlene Lane when four officers attempted to contact him. They gave him commands to stop running and to drop the digging tool. Mr. Hall did not respond to those commands and began running in the general direction of the officers with the digging tool in his hand.
Officer Matt Smith, armed with the less than lethal beanbag shogun, fired four rounds at Mr. Hall in an attempt to stop him. Mr. Hall continued to run in the officer’s direction despite being hit with less than lethal force. At this point, Officers Hsiao and Murphy discharged their department issued handguns at Mr. Hall. Ultimately, Mr. Hall was struck by four rounds and fell to the ground. Mr. Hall was restrained in handcuffs and the officers began performing life saving measures until the paramedics arrived. Mr. Hall was taken to John Muir Hospital and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
The DA’s Office and every law enforcement agency in Contra Costa County has adopted the Law Enforcement Involved Fatal Incidents Protocol (“the Protocol”) to investigate incidents when officers or civilians are shot or die during an encounter with law enforcement. Under the Protocol, the DA’s Office investigates all officer-involved shootings in Contra Costa County for the purpose of making an independent determination of criminal liability. The sole purpose of the District Attorney investigation is to determine if there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed during a fatal encounter with law enforcement.
In December 2019, a Contra Costa Coroner’s Inquest Jury found that Hall had died “at the hands of another person, other than by accident”. (See related article)
The OIS public report is available here.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.
Addresses other matter of Black students being told which colleges they should and shouldn’t apply to
Important issues of concern for the Black community
By Iris Archuleta, J.D.
Following are the extended remarks of a statement I made during the Los Medanos College Academic Senate meeting on March 22, 2021. (Publisher’s note: This was received for publication in the publisher’s personal email, that day and was not seen until, today. However, the issue is ongoing and still timely).
First, I want to thank Willie Mims and NAACP President Victoria Adams for attending LMC Academic and Curriculum Committee meetings and making powerful statements about this madness.
At a time when the fight for equity and social justice should be embraced, and even as the new Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) Chancellor, Dr. Bryan Reece, is promoting and instituting serious strategies for equity and inclusion and is a strong advocate for anti-racist policies and behaviors throughout the district, a disturbing attack is underway by a non-Black faculty member and her so-called “Ethnic Studies Council” to take over a highly successful class I have been teaching since 2015, and have a non-Black professor, herself, teach it this fall.
I am an Adjunct Professor in Social Science at Los Medanos College. Since 2014, I have taught several courses, including American Government, Social Justice, and Issues Facing African Americans. In fact, in 2015, because of my background and experience, I was asked to teach, Issues Facing African Americans (SOCSC 045), when the professor teaching it unexpectedly did not show up for class on the first day.
I developed the curriculum and study materials and have been teaching the course every semester since then. In my classes, I have a no-cost textbook policy to save students money, and instead, my students are able to access the study materials that I have developed through research and that I provide through PowerPoints and links to free material. In addition, my students are taught to do their own research and provide presentations to the entire class to enhance student learning.
My students are empowered, and as a Black professor, I infuse in them a sense and level of pride and teach them about the resilience and power of Black people in this society. I have stayed in contact with many students over the years and helped them attain goals they never believed they could. I get a message almost every day from former students who thank me for awakening their thirst for knowledge and for the truths they learned about the struggles and successes of Black people in America.
I also make it a point to bring in guest speakers with expertise and experiences in a range of struggles and concerns facing African Americans. For example, my husband, Keith Archuleta, who is Black and Chicano, is a community leader in his own right, with several degrees, including African and African American studies with honors from Stanford University, is a guest lecturer on several subjects during each semester.
Not only that, but my husband and I have encouraged Black students to apply for their colleges of choice and not to shy away even from schools such as Stanford. In our class, Keith is able to share with them that as a student at Stanford, not only was he “accepted,” but he started the Black Media Institute and the Black Community Services Center. He and thousands of other Black students over the years have made Stanford a better place.
We are attempting to counteract what many Black students are being told, by this professor and others who are attacking me, that Stanford is a “white” school where they would not be accepted, so don’t even try to apply.
I recently sent out a link to faculty celebrating the graduation of over 60 Black Harvard Law School students this year, and I did not even get a comment from this professor to indicate anything had changed about her low expectations of Black students going to some of the best universities in the country.
I have received excellent performance reviews in all the courses I teach, and have earned preference, a designation meaning first choice when scheduling classes among adjuncts.
I work continually to improve my teaching methods and bring in new research, data, and issues to keep the course fresh, relevant, contextual, and interdisciplinary.
So, last year, when the new full-time professor in Social Justice, who is not a Black professor, asked to meet with me to discuss updating the curriculum for the Issues Facing African Americans course, I was happy to meet with her. We worked together to do a few updates, with the bulk of the curriculum that I created over time remaining intact.
She said she wanted to change the name of the course to Introduction to Black Studies. I saw no problem with that. However, she failed to mention at the time that not only did she plan to change the name, but that she was planning to take over teaching the course and discontinue my teaching of the course.
So, until fairly recently, I believed that in the fall semester I would be teaching the same course I am teaching this semester, Issues Facing African Americans, just updated and retitled Introduction to Black Studies, with the curriculum that I created.
However, just a few weeks ago, that professor approached me and asked if I would teach an additional class, Race and Ethnicity (SOCSC 150). Since I and other Black faculty and others had written the curriculum for Race and Ethnicity, that made sense. So, then I thought if I accepted the Race and Ethnicity class, that in the fall I would be teaching that course and Introduction to Black Studies.
However, later she informed me that she would be teaching Intro to Black Studies because the course now requires someone with a degree in Ethnic Studies to teach it. She feels she is more qualified because of her full-time status and her Doctorate in Chicana Studies. She is not, nor does she claim to be African American or Black.
It is ironic that in the name of Ethnic Studies, a class taught by a Black woman would be eliminated and the same course, now under a different title, would be set up to be taught by someone who is not Black.
When I think of racism it reminds me of our history of dealing with people who feel they are superior to others and have the inherent right to take from those they designate as inferior, which in this case happens to be me.
This is not acceptable. It is not acceptable to me; it is not acceptable to Black students; and in fact, it is not acceptable to any students of all backgrounds who have taken this course or plan to take it in the future. It should not be acceptable to the college.
Furthermore, her claim that only someone with a degree in Ethnic Studies is qualified to teach Intro to Black Studies makes no sense and in fact makes a mockery of the CCCCD Anti-Racism Pledge, which says, in part:
“Resolved, that the Academic Senates of the CCCCD encourage all CCCCD employees to commit to professional development, hiring practices, and/or curricular changes that work to dismantle structural racism.”
By excluding a Black professor from teaching a course she has been qualified to teach for over five years and allowing a non-Black professor to take over a course called Intro to Black Studies, would actually be strengthening structural racism.
Black in the context of Black Studies is a socio-political term defined as: “the collective struggle/experience of people of African descent to gain power and influence in the processes and institutions of government as a way of securing and protecting a diverse array of issues as American citizens.” Black Studies is typically associated with politics and law in the fight against racism.
Just as my background, training, and life experiences have more than qualified me to teach Issues Facing African Americans, my Political Science degree with honors and my Juris Doctorate (Law) degree with honors more than qualify me to teach Intro to Black Studies.
It has been courageous Black leaders such as Charles Houston, Thurgood Marshall, and other world-changing Black lawyers, such as Bryan Stevenson – the attorney responsible for getting more than 100 wrongly convicted African American and other prisoners off death row – that continue to inspire my life’s work and drove me to earn a degree in Political Science and an advanced degree in Law in the first place.
To rub salt into the wound, as this affront has been allowed to continue, this professor and her committee have doubled down on personal attacks and insults toward me and others at the college who support my position; and are now adding more false justifications for taking the course from me.
One of the things that they are promoting is what they refer to as “engagement in the African American community” as a prerequisite along with an Ethnic Studies degree for teaching Intro to Black Studies, implying that this is another requirement that would bar me from teaching this course.
Not many others at LMC have had anywhere near my experience in Black community engagement. First of all, my very life is rooted in the Black community and the solid relationships I have built in Eastern Contra Costa County and the Bay Area. I’ve really been blessed to grow up in San Francisco where I lived in a home that welcomed SNCC organizers and Black Panthers.
My husband and I are the founders of Emerald HPC International, LLC, a consulting company active, locally and globally, in community and economic development consulting, specializing in the design and implementation of systems change strategies and outcomes-based collaborative efforts through our trademarked, High Performing Communities Framework (HPC).
We invested our own funds and organized the Youth Intervention Network that served Antioch youth and families, with a 92% reduction in police calls for service, an 83% reduction in truancy, and an improvement in student GPA by an average of two grade points. Ninety-six percent of the students participating in YIN graduated from high school. Of these, 99% went on to postsecondary education. YIN was featured as one of three global best practices and a model urban anti-violence and peace building initiative at the 2012 opening celebration of the United Nations Peace University at The Hague and recognized by Attorney General Eric Holder during the Barack Obama administration with the U.S. Justice Department’s National Best Community Involvement Award.
We have also worked with Hispanic leaders on important projects such as Brentwood’s One Day at a Time (ODAT) and sponsored youth, including LMC students, to attend the international Corrymeela Peace and Reconciliation Center in Northern Ireland, to study racial and ethnic struggles worldwide.
We are currently working with Dr. Clay Carson, the Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Education Institute, who has been entrusted with the original writings, letters and speeches of Martin and Coretta King, to continue the study of the unfinished work of the Civil Rights Movement and the on-going racist backlash to the anti-racist movement and the successes of the Black struggle for freedom.
We brought Rev. Jesse Jackson to Antioch for a talk with officials and citizens about social and economic justice. We have worked with Keith’s fellow Stanford BSU leader, Steve Phillips to launch PowerPac and Vote Hope that supported Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign, and we brought California and Bay Area Black clergy to Antioch to organize their support for that campaign and Black voter registration.
We don’t have space enough here to talk about most of our work locally and the myriad of local leaders, artists, and activists who are engaged in making life better not only for Black residents and young people, but all people here in Eastern Contra Costa County, especially those most impacted by racism and inequity. Students in my classes have access to these and other local, national, and international Black community leaders, who have been and still are on the frontline of the struggles facing Black people.
Before I close, let me show you how absurd this situation is by giving you the following scenario:
What if I, a Black woman, had majored in Ethnic Studies, and was recently hired at a community college as the new full-time professor to head up the Ethnic Studies department, that has no other full-time professors. I find out that a Chicana has been teaching a course in that department called Issues Facing Mexican Americans for five years as a part-time adjunct professor.
What if I, with all of my power as a full-time professor who is the nominal head of the department, then decided to change the name of the course to Intro to Latinx Studies, and because I have an Ethnic Studies degree, I am now automatically more qualified than a professor who is Chicana and has both a J.D. and a Political Science degree? What if I made this unilateral decision with no accountability either to that college or that community?
Still, I need to make sure you know this:
Even if I do not teach this class, it is important that someone else be hired who has the appropriate qualifications to teach Intro to Black Studies. It is my hope that LMC will recognize other brilliant brothers and sisters, especially the younger ones, with doctorates in African American studies and who are Black. If I am not to teach this class, I want LMC to respectfully hold off on posting this course until someone qualified is hired.
Finally, I appreciate all those who are willing to speak up, speak out, and distribute this information. I also appreciate all those who are making sure this information gets out to the community, including Laurie Huffman, my colleague and ally, who has also spoken out against this issue.
Please feel free to voice your concerns to:
- Nikki Moultrie, LMC Dean of Career Education & Social Sciences: NMoultrie@losmedanos.edu
- James Noel, Chair of LMC Academic Senate: JNoel@losmedanos.edu
Academic Senate meeting dates: https://www.losmedanos.edu/intra-out/as/
- Name, Chair Curriculum Committee: email@example.com
Curriculum Committee meeting dates: https://www.losmedanos.edu/intra-out/cur/meetings.aspx
Thank you all for your support and your time and attention.
Iris Archuleta is Vice President of Community Engagement for Emerald HPC International, LLC and Adjunct Professor in Social Science at LMC.Read More
The Contra Costa County Advisory Council on Equal Employment Opportunity (ACEEO) has one (1) vacant Community seat open to applicants. The successful candidate must reside within Contra Costa County and have an interest in equal employment matters. The ACEEO meets the fourth Friday of each month from 9:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m. except for holidays.
The ACEEO assists with the implementation of the County’s Equal Employment Opportunity and Contracting Programs and serves as an advisory committee to the Board of Supervisors. The Council reviews the Equal Employment Opportunities Program and recommends actions to facilitate the attainment of the County’s goals for equal employment opportunities regardless of gender, and race/ethnicity.
The Board of Supervisors established the ACEEO on July 9, 1991. The Council has thirteen (13) seats representing the following groups: 4 Community seats; 2 Labor seats; 2 Management seats; 1 Educational seat; 1 Disability seat; 1 Business seat; 1 Veteran seat; and 1 Labor/Trade seat.
Application forms can be obtained from the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors by calling (925) 655-2000 or visiting the County webpage at www.contracosta.ca.gov/3418. Applications should be returned to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, 1025 Escobar St., 1st Floor, Martinez, CA 94553 no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 31, 2021. Applications can also be emailed to ClerkoftheBoard@cob.cccounty.us.
Applicants should plan to be available for public interviews on June 7, 2021. Due to COVID-19, interviews will be conducted via Zoom. For further information about the ACEEO, please contact Antoine Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (925) 335-1455. You can also visit the web page at www.contracosta.ca.gov/4503/Advisory-Council-on-Equal-Employment-Opp.
The recordings of the forums for the three finalists for president of Contra Costa College are now available to students, faculty, staff and the public to review and offer comment. In response to a challenge by the Herald of the brief amount of time previously allotted, the public review and comment period was extended until Wednesday, May 12 instead of ending tonight, Thursday, May 6. (See related article)
The community is encouraged to view the three separate forums for finalists Damon A. Bell, Ed.D., Tia Robinson-Cooper, Ed.D., and Tina Vasconcellos, Ph.D. and submit comments, which will be shared with Chancellor Bryan Reece for consideration.
|Dr. Tina Vasconcellos||Feedback:
|Dr. Tia Robinson-Cooper||Feedback:
|Dr. Damon A. Bell||Feedback:
The community will be able to view the recordings and submit feedback until Wednesday, May 12, 2021, at midnight. Additional details related to the forums, finalists and process can be found on the District website at https://www.4cd.edu/career/ccc-president/index.html.
Following the comment period, Reece will then review and make his recommendation to the 4CD Board who will vote on which candidate to hire for the position.
Stockton, Calif – Eddie Lira has been appointed to the executive team of locally-owned BAC Community Bank as Executive Vice President, Chief Business Development Officer. Eddie is a commercial banking professional with over 15 years of experience in leadership, portfolio management, and business development.
Most recently, Eddie worked for a large national bank, overseeing a team of business professionals across the Central Valley. This team was focused on providing business lending, cash management, and deposit solutions for customers under their care. Eddie’s past responsibilities include serving as Vice President, Commercial Banking Officer for six years at BAC Community Bank.
“We welcome Eddie back to BAC, and we are excited to see him in this new role,” said BAC’s Chief Executive Officer Dana Bockstahler. “His business banking expertise and years of delivering exceptional service and solutions will be of great value to our customers.”
As a member of the bank’s executive team, Eddie will be working directly with Dana Bockstahler, Chief Executive Officer; Janet Jenkins, Chief Credit Officer; Paul Haley, Chief Lending Officer; and Jackie Verkuyl, Chief Administrative Officer.
Committed and invested in the local community, Eddie volunteers for local non-profit organizations and currently serves as a board member of the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Eddie can be reached at (209) 473-6827 or email@example.com.
About BAC Community Bank
BAC Community Bank, first headquartered in Brentwood, California, now operates 11 branch offices throughout San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and eastern Contra Costa counties, and is identified as “one of the strongest financial institutions in the nation” by BauerFinancial, Inc.
The bank is now centrally headquartered in Stockton, California and is continuously recognized for banking excellence through local awards and banking industry accolades.
BAC Community Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and is an Equal Housing Lender. More information available online at www.bankbac.com.