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President & Board of Trustees

College Leadership & Governance

President & Board of Trustees

College Leadership & Governance

President & Board of Trustees

College Leadership & Governance
Fall Leaves on Mount Vernon Campus

Skagit Valley College stands in solidarity with our Black students, colleagues, and community members and condemns the continued violence against the Black community. SVC is committed to urgent, sustained, and systemic reform to dismantle ongoing systems of oppression.

On May 31, Dr. Keegan shared an important message titled, “For Those Who Believe In Freedom.” Please join the SVC community in deepened listening, learning, and action as we work together toward social justice and a more humane, equitable world.

Skagit Valley College stands in solidarity with the Black communityFor Those Who Believe In Freedom

As we deal with the anxiety, illness, and death caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a more sinister and evil force continues to tear apart our humanity: Our communities are fractured under the weight of hate, violence, and systemic inequality. Even more painful is the fact that race continues to be the predictable and defining factor. The ongoing and senseless loss of Black lives is unacceptable. The violence is emotionally, physically, and spiritually destructive.

And, while we are all experiencing the effects of ongoing news and social media coverage of these crises, we must acknowledge that we are impacted differently based on race. So, I invite our College community to move beyond an intellectual understanding of the crises we are living, to one of reflection and connection to our shared humanity.

We remain unwavering in our commitment to equity and a just society. Our faculty and staff are leaders, role models, and influencers. Our graduates go on to be leaders, activists, and productive members of society. I ask that you stand with me—as a college community—against racism, hate, and violence.

I remind us that among our shared Guiding Principles, is Compassion. I ask that we thoughtfully and deliberately live our value for compassion, by:

  • Being willing to see who we are within this complex ecosystem of systemic inequality.
  • Being willing to understand that we are collectively linked with the fate of those who are most vulnerable and minoritized.
  • Being willing to accept that our actions and inactions make a difference.
  • Being willing to create a community where every life is seen, heard, and valued.

We will discuss further actions at my President’s Meeting on Thursday. In addition, Yadira and Alana are working together to develop specific opportunities for support and further conversation. They will provide information on those activities early this week. In the meantime, I encourage you to reach out to colleagues and students for further conversation and action.

I’ll leave you with the words from “Ella’s Song,” performed by Sweet Honey in the Rock in the late 1980s. The words are profound, and sadly, continue to resonate in our world today:

“We who believe in freedom cannot rest…
We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes…
Until the killing of black men—black mothers’ sons…
Is as important as the killing of white men—white mothers’ sons.”

A video of their performance of “Ella’s Song” can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoPofPzkJ4U

Thank you for considering my request.

Dr. Tom Keegan
SVC President

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