FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ORANGE, CA - - (August 30, 2022) - - Despite the hot and humid weather, nothing could dampen the spirits of Santiago Canyon College's (SCC) campus community as they gathered to celebrate the grand opening of its first-ever Black Legacy Achievement Center of Knowledge (B.L.A.C.K.) on Monday, August 22nd.
The B.L.A.C.K. program was devised to intentionally assist Black, and all students of color with the skills and empowerment needed to identify the strength of their legacy and use their academic cornerstones to build their own.
The joyful afternoon ceremony featured inspiring speeches, an eloquent poetry recitation and a mock bubbly toast, followed by the official ribbon cutting ceremony.
The B.L.A.C.K.'s development was one that Rancho Santiago Community College Chancellor, Marvin Martinez, had pondered for some time. It wasn't until last year that he shared his vision with Dr. Loretta Jordan, SCC's assistant vice president of student services, knowing she would rally faculty, staff and students at the right time to bring it to fruition.
In her welcoming comments, Dr. Jordan emphasized:
“The B.L.A.C.K. is an integral part of student success for SCC's Black student population. By creating this invaluable center, with Black student needs as our impetus, we enliven these principles of living our history, with urgency."
And to drive the point home, the ceremony area was encircled with a stunning, visual lawn sign exhibit of Black pioneers, trailblazers, icons and legends who have paved the way for future generations.
Located in B-211 and B-212, along the Student Engagement Quad between the A and B buildings, the B.L.A.C.K. includes a spacious and relaxing area designed for students to meet, network or simply study.
Its hallmark includes a stunning mural created by SCC alumni, Octavio Orozco. The mural features the images of Black legends, John Lewis and Ida B. Wells. Lewis is considered one of the “Big Six" leaders of the civil rights movement in the 1960's. With unwavering activism, he participated in the Freedom Rides of 1961 and led the demonstration on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama that became known as “Bloody Sunday."
Born into slavery in 1862, Wells became a staunch fighter against racism in a Jim Crow era. After losing her teaching job in 1886, she went on to use her education to become a journalist. She successfully submitted articles to newspapers and bought shares in the Memphis Free Speech and Headline, a Black newspaper. Wells soon became its editor and was the first female co-owner and editor.
Students visiting the B.L.A.C.K. will have access to leadership academies, workshops and trainings, as well as mentorship and community engagement activities. Dr. Pamela Jenkins will temporarily facilitate the center's services and programs and work closely with Dr Jordan and students to develop even more opportunities.
Another opportunity in the planning stages is the creation of a Black Student Council Collaboration (BSCC). Those who are interested will interview for leadership positions. Professional staff will then mentor students in leadership concepts from a bevy of angles. Most importantly, they will be educated in working with others and understanding that leadership should be personified and not glorified.
Dr. Jordan is also presently working on the development of a Black Legacy Leadership Certificate program. Conducted each semester, students will engage in a series of leadership workshops. Upon completion, each will receive a certificate signed by Chancellor Martinez and SCC Interim President, Enrique Perez.
The B.L.A.C.K. will be open to students Monday through Thursday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Should students request additional hours, especially during finals, they will be accommodated. Dr. Jordan will be available every Thursday to meet, chat and assist those in need of goal development.
For more information, contact Dr. Jenkins at: Jenkins_Patricia@sccollege.edu or by calling 714.628.1041. The center is also included on the SCC website at: https://www.sccollege.edu/StudentServices/B.L.A.C.K/Pages/default.aspx.
What Happens Here Matters
About Santiago Canyon College:
Santiago Canyon College (SCC) is one of two colleges in the Rancho Santiago Community College District. Accredited in 2000, this dynamic and award-winning institution is located in Southern California, in the city of Orange, and provides an array of educational opportunities to the over 195,000 residents comprising the eclectic community. SCC offers 221 degree and certificate programs (including 28 transferable associate degrees). Ranked among the “50 Best Community Colleges" in the U.S. by College Choice, SCC was recognized multiple times by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the “Great Colleges to Work for," received Gold-level status as a Military Friendly School ® and boasts dedicated faculty, high-quality and student-centered education, with excellent university transfer rates supported by transfer-guaranteed programs. For more info, go to: www.sccollege.edu.
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Santiago Canyon College