To the editor and to the Barton family:
We are met with yet another catalyst for change as real and serious as a global pandemic. The death of George Floyd and the resulting protests, which highlight our society’s systemic social injustice issues, demand our nation to denounce silence as a viable response.
The death of black citizens at the hands of law enforcement officers is the dominant issue at hand, and acts of prejudice against every marginalized group, from blatant violence to unconscious bias, happen daily. This problem must be addressed without compromise.
Higher education is a leading agent in transforming lives and serves as a beacon for impacting the greater good of our society, communities, and all constituents, and thereby supporting equality and justice. At Barton, we take this responsibility seriously. We have several mechanisms in place designed to prevent, reduce, and eliminate instances of inequality at each of our campuses and online. The foundation of those efforts is ongoing diversity and inclusion training for every employee.
Further, The Barton Inclusion and Diversity Team moves us closer to equality with frequent messaging, events, and training opportunities for faculty, staff, and students, and this team is actively answering self-imposed questions about what more can be planned and implemented before the fall semester begins.
Please know that Barton has many resources available that may be able to assist you with questions or concerns. We also recognize now is the time to listen and learn; if you have thoughts, perspectives or suggestions to share with us, please reach out.
• Barton Title IX Coordinator Cheryl Brown 620-786-7441
• Campus Safety Officers 620-792-9217
• Counseling Services 620-792-9295
• Student Health Services 620-792-9233
• Office of Student Affairs 620-792-9226
The road ahead is a long one, but current circumstances present an opportunity to use education and awareness to take a significant step toward a more equitable world where no one feels threatened or marginalized, and peace and tolerance prevail.
Dr. Carl Heilman
Barton Community College