Jeff Pittman, chancellor at St. Louis Community College, has issued this statement regarding the recent unrest in Charlottesville:
We watched the horrible events in Charlottesville, Va., with sadness, shock and anger, but we came away with a strengthened resolve to stand with the rest of the St. Louis region in condemning violence and hate.
We also stand with our colleagues at the University of Virginia, and give our condolences to those families who lost loved ones during this tragedy.
Unfortunately, Charlottesville is not unique – the pain, prejudice and intolerance that gave rise to violence there could have happened anywhere. Hence, it is important that our community continues to collaborate in a wide variety of ways to address any potential events that could lead to such an outcome.
St. Louis Community College is uniquely positioned to make a significant contribution. Instead of looking on in shame or disappointment, we choose action. Every day, students come to STLCC with the expectation that their degree, certificate or certification will change their lives in a positive way. Students also come to us to develop and expand their definition of what an education is – yes, we use books and technology, but we also use experiential lab and service learning to round out classroom time.
The College’s experiences and actions during the Ferguson unrest confirmed the wisdom of the great Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
So while we continue to be saddened by the events in Charlottesville, St. Louis Community College will continue to seek higher ground: to expand minds and change lives by offering an affordable, accessible, premier education experience to all.
In this time of despair and frustration, we continue to be a solution.