As President of the WRCBAA I would like to invite you to read our Spring & Summer newsletter. During the month of February we celebrate Black History Month, and in March, Women’s History Month, but neither completely represents or celebrates Black women. This edition of the WRCBAA newsletter is in celebration of and dedicated to Black women.
We honor generations of African American women who struggled and prevailed in the face of adversity. We honor those Black queens, warriors, and leaders who fought both racism and sexism. We honor Black women who despite being enslaved, raped, and abused, not only survived but thrived.
We honor Black women who despite the laws that forbid them to learn to read, learned to read and taught their children to read knowing that it would provide them with a better life.
We honor Black women who despite being forbidden to attend school and then were forced to attend inferior schools, created their own schools for their families and their communities.
We honor the Black women who suffered injustice and no justice.
We honor Black women ancestors who prayed, suffered, worked diligently and yes, who dared to dream, to make sure their children had what they needed to do better.
We honor the Black women who paved the way for me, a Black woman, descendant of slaves, to become Vice President of a college and who paved the way so that in 2021 the Vice President of the United States is a Black woman.
So at this time…We honor Black women ancestors and we thank them.
We thank them for all their sacrifices.
We thank them for knowing that there “is always light if you we are brave enough to see it”.
Thank you being brave enough to see the light, brave enough to be the light for our children, our families, and our villages.
We thank them for carrying our race forward on their backs, in their hearts, and with their spirit, achieving the unthinkable for centuries.
For our Black sisters, mothers, aunties, Big Mamas, Black queens, fierce worriers, brave pioneers, all of them had that Black girl magic long before it had a name!
We thank you, we honor you, we celebrate you.
Ashe and so it is…
Dr. Stacy Thompson, President
Western Region Council on Black American Affairs
The WRCBAA Spring 2021 Regional Conference was a success. The conference title was Black Lives, Black Minds, Black Scholars: Creating Sustainable Change Together. The conference was an excellent opportunity for students, faculty, classified professionals, and administrators to participate in professional development opportunities. For students, there were sessions by Facebook and HULU about Black people in the technology industry, workshops about serving as faculty, and panels for administrators about issues senior leadership deal with when leading colleges. Also, there was a special keynote entitled Creating Sustainable Change Together: A Culturally Relevant Approach to Inspiring Black Lives at the Community College by Dr. Landa Ajose, who is the Senior Policy Advisor for Higher Education for the Office of Governor Gavin Newsome. With close to 100 participants through the weekend, conference participants were appreciative of the knowledge and ideas shared in the space.
The Village Demands Statewide Coalition on Black American Affairs held their inaugural event Celebrating Black Women and Black Families on March 26 in honor of both Black History and Women’s History month.
The webinar was hosted by WRCBAA President Stacy Thompson and a Keynote Address was presented by Dr. Siri Brown, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Student Success at Peralta Community College district.
Over 260 people attended the event.
The State of Nevada Council on Black American Affairs (SNBCAA) held a professional development event in March. SNBCAA also partnered with members from CSN to host various virtual events during Black History Month including:
Chabot College Vice President of Academic Services and WRCBAA President, Dr. Stacy Thompson, was recently honored with the Carter Doran Leadership Award by the California Community Colleges Chief Instructional Officers (CCCCIO). The award recognizes an active instructional administrator who exemplifies leadership by showing qualities that Carter Doran embodied in his role as teacher/dean at Mt. San Antonio and Vice President of Instruction at Santa Ana and College of the Canyons. Dr. Jennifer Vega La Serna, CCCCIO President, noted Dr. Thompson’s involvement, leadership, and dedication to her various roles impacting both Chabot College and the entire California Community College system. As an active member of the higher education community at the state level, Dr. Thompson serves on the Chief Instructional Officer (CIO) Executive Committee representing Region 3, and serves on the Board of Directors of the California Community Colleges Athletic Association (CCCAA).
Additionally, Dr. Tammy Robinson, Vice President of Instruction at Cañada College and WRCBAA Vice President of Development, and Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza, Vice President of Instruction at Skyline College, also received the statewide Carter Dolan Leadership Award. “Dr. Robinson and Dr. Taylor-Mendoza have exemplified courageous leadership and embody the spirit of the Carter Doran Leadership award,” said CCCCIO President Dr. Jennifer Vega La Serna. “They have led with heart, demonstrated creativity, shown sustained commitment to addressing instructional challenges, and together have made a profound impact on their colleges and the entire California Community College System.”
“Dr. Robinson and Dr. Taylor-Mendoza are truly exceptional leaders, with vision and strength that have not only facilitated transformation at Cañada College and Skyline College but have also sparked action across the state community college system,” said San Mateo County Community College District Chancellor Michael Claire. “I am so proud of them and their colleagues statewide for their swift action on behalf of our students.”
Dr. Robinson was cited for rallying her statewide chief instructional officer colleagues to action after the murder of George Floyd earlier this year. She helped to organize state instructional leaders’ Call to Action town halls, and she has been a strong voice for institutional change. She has spoken at a number of statewide events on campus climate, equity and workforce development.
Dr. Robinson, along with Dr. Thompson, created, planned, facilitated and presented at the inaugural African American Leadership Institute.
Dr. Thompson, Dr. Robinson, and Dr. Taylor-Mendoza worked together in 2020 to lead an examination of equity gaps and structural racism in the California community college system.
Michelle Traveler, Ph.D., was recently recognized by Apple, Inc. Higher Education on their new Higher Education website for her work with diverse students developing apps using Swift and Xcode. Dr. Traveler is the President of the Maricopa Council on Black American Affairs (MCBAA).
On Saturday, January 9, 2021, The Village Demands Statewide Coalition on African American Affairs (TVD-SCBAA) became the newest local chapter of the Western Regional Council on Black American Affairs. Born out of the village gathering sparked by the murder of Mr. George Floyd (and countless other black men, women and children), Dr. Ed Bush and Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud put their heads together and reached out to their colleagues and friends with the goal of creating a space, a village, for the African American community in the community colleges to come together. Dr. Stanback Stroud said, “We believed we could use our positions of influence to interrupt the current anti-Black culture and practices of our nation – particularly in the academy.”
More than 600 African American administrators, faculty, staff and community stakeholders convened on a webinar on the initial village gathering. The founding affiliate organizations of TVD-SCBAA are RSS Consulting, LLC, A²MEND, Umoja Community Education Foundation, National Council on Black American Affairs, and the Western Region Council on Black American Affairs.
The TVD-SCBAA Board of Directors meets quarterly. The meetings are open to the membership. You may view the meeting dates on the TVD-SCBAA website’s calendar page at the following link: https://thevillagedemands.org/calendar/.
TVD-SCBAA does its work through three major taskforces – through Education Action, Advocacy and Action, and the Statewide Equity Institute, TVD-SCBAA is committed to the success of Black and African American students, faculty, classified professionals, and community through fostering the transition from anti-Blackness to a pro-Black educational system. Their vision is to eradicate anti-Blackness and uplift pro-Blackness in higher education.
Co-chaired by Dr. Abdimalik Buul (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ms. Katrina King (email@example.com), the Educational Action Taskforce was developed to examine and interrogate the systems, structures, actions, policies, procedures and practices that impede the success of Black students; propose new ideas, strategies, and approaches to advance the collective agenda of Black faculty, staff, and students; and interrupt the cycle of business as usual on our campuses and call our campus constituents and leaders to action by adopting strategies that would foster the transition from anti-Blackness to a pro-Black educational system.
Co-chaired by Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr. Stacy L. Thompson (email@example.com), the Statewide Equity Institute task force was developed to create a plan for the development and implementation of a statewide institute focused on increasing racial literacy, critical consciousness and cultural fluency in educational institutions and organizations.
Co-chaired by Dr. Tammy Robinson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr. Teresa Aldredge (email@example.com), the Advocacy and Action Task Force was developed to mobilize a coalition focused on influencing federal, state, local and institutional policies and regulations that support and serve the well-being, communicate the needs, and enfranchise and empower the Black and African American community.
Please contact the co-chairs, or firstname.lastname@example.org, to get involved with the Task Forces.
You may learn more about TVD-SBCAA at www.thevillagedemands.org and may join the chapter at www.thevillagedemands.org/membership/
The Board of Trustees of the Peralta Community College District (PCCD) appointed Dr. Jannett Jackson as Interim Chancellor of the District effective April 16, 2021. Dr. Jackson is an experienced CEO having served as Chancellor of the Chabot-Los Positas Community College District from 2013 to 2018 when she retired, and most recently as Interim President of Skyline Community College in San Bruno in 2019-2020.
This appointment represents a return to the Peralta District for Dr. Jackson. She first joined the District via College of Alameda in 2004 serving as Vice President of Instruction. In 2010 she was promoted to President of the College and she served as President with distinction through 2013, when she left to become Chancellor at the neighboring Chabot-Los Positas Community College District.
Dr. Chanelle Whittaker was appointed to serve as Los Rios Community College District’s Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources.
Prior to joining Los Rios, Dr. Whittaker served as Interim Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and Employee Relations at Peralta Community College District where she previously served as Acting Director of Human Resources, Interim Director of Risk Management, and Director for Employee Relations and Diversity Programs. Prior experience also includes serving as Registered In-House Counsel for the Donald T. Sterling Corporation, and as Law Guardian for Hofstra University School of Law/Family Advocacy Clinic.
Dr. Whittaker earned her Juris Doctor from the Hofstra University School of Law, her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Business Administration from Howard University, and is a Certified Mediator by the Oklahoma Bar Association.
Dr. Nathaniel Jones III was named President of College of Alameda. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Nathaniel Jones III was Vice President, Business Services at Moreno Valley College of Riverside Community College District. Dr. Jones oversaw Moreno Valley College’s Comprehensive Master Plan Update and played a leadership role in the college’s reaccreditation and other strategic College and District priorities including Guided Paths implementation, Call to Action Against Racism, redesign of the Budget Allocation Model, and the COVID-19 response. Dr. Jones also stewarded several bond-funded capital projects that sought to provide students with high quality instructional and support services facilities.
Dr. Jones’ professional career has spanned more than 33 years of which the past 20 years have been in higher education. He earned a Ph.D. in Health Policy in 2002 from the University of Maryland after completing a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Dr. Matais Pouncil joined Evergreen Valley College as the Vice President of Academic Affairs on October 5, 2020.
Dr. Pouncil has nearly 25 years of professional experience at California Community Colleges. He has served as a Dean of Student Services, an Associate Dean of Financial Aid Services and Student Success; a Dean of Science and Technology, Dean of Enrollment Services; EOPS Director, Assistant Director and Counselor of EOP; and TRIO coordinator. His most senior level appointment was a two year term as Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.
Additionally, Dr. Pouncil has taught graduate students at the University of California, Irvine, and has served as full time faculty at California State University, East Bay. Dr. Pouncil earned a B.S. in Economics from Southern University, in Baton Rouge, LA; a M.Ed. in Social and Multicultural Foundations from California State University, Long Beach, and he is the first African American man to earn an Ed.D. from the University of California, Irvine. Additionally, he is a graduate of the prestigious Management Development Program (MDP) at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
In 1996, Dr. Carolyn G. Williams was named Bronx Community College’s (BCC) fourth president, the first woman to hold the office. She was the guiding force behind $150 million in capital construction, including the building of North Hall and Library and the Children’s Center, as well as the renovation of the Roscoe Brown Student Center. These projects were mere dreams for many years before President Williams turned them into reality.
Her steadfast leadership led to BCC’s student body growing to over 10,000 during her tenure and their diverse faculty increasing by more than 90 full-time educators. She was responsible for the College’s first general education program and first Strategic Plan. Campus centers devoted to student success like the Writing Center, the Math Lab and the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology were also established during her tenure.
Her 15-year tenure was marked by the rapid expansion of BCC’s international presence, including partnerships with schools in Africa. In her own words, that initiative was “not just study abroad and the influx of international students, but the curriculum and the whole climate of the college. We were able to bring global issues into our community.”
At the national level, Dr. Williams was actively involved with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and served as the Chairperson in 2000. She also was actively involved in the National Council on Black American Affairs (NCBAA), a council of the AACC. Her work with NCBAA involved the development and mentoring of African American future leaders. To accomplish this goal, the Carolyn Grubbs Williams Leadership Development Institute was established in her honor. The Institute prepares African Americans in community colleges for leadership roles to insure that the pipeline to executive-level positions is fluid.
Bronx Community College published a Special Tribute in honor of Dr. Carolyn G. Williams.
Anita Maria Black was born on November 17, 1948 in Rockford, Illinois. The family later moved to Chicago, Illinois. At a young age, Anita developed an understanding of the importance of education, particularly for African Americans. She attended primary school at Dixon Elementary School. Then in fall 1964, Anita was a volunteer participant in the first Chicago Public Schools desegregation program. Anita traveled each day from the south side of Chicago to the north side of the city to attend Senn High School. That experience laid a foundation for her life-long dedication to the field of education and advocacy. She continued her education by attending Northern Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb, Illinois, where she completed both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business Education.
Anita served for more than 35 years in the field of education, in both private and public educational institutions in Illinois and California, before retiring from Merritt College in December 2013 where she spent most of her professional career. She continued to serve the Peralta community and Merritt College after retirement and was scheduled to teach in spring 2021. Over the course of her career, Anita served as a dedicated professional, leader and exemplar in K-12 education, corporate America, non-profit organizations; community college teaching, as an adjunct and tenured faculty member; as a highly competent community college administrator; a
liaison to the industries in business and computer information systems; and advocate for African American students, faculty, administrators, and staff in her service to educational institutions and professional organizations.
A virtual celebration honoring the legacy of Anita M. Black was held on February 19, 2021.
On March 16, 2021, a 21-year-old white male opened fire on three massage parlors in Atlanta, killing eight people, including six Asian women. While xenophobic attacks on those of Asian descent are not a new phenomenon in America, these cowardly and hateful physical and verbal attacks have risen alarmingly during the Pandemic. This is no doubt in response to cynical, hateful statements of disinformation regarding people of Asian origin and the Pandemic by the last administration.
Western Region Council on Black American Affairs (WRCBAA) stands in solidarity with our Asian American/Pacific Islander communities. We extend our deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and loved ones of the individuals that have faced senseless racism, discrimination, and racially motivated acts of violence. We stand alongside our Asian American and Pacific Islander brothers and sisters in the fight against hatred, evildoers, and xenophobia. We will continue to work with our colleges and communities to advocate for anti-racist education and encourage intentional actions to deter racist or hate-fueled language and acts. #StopAsianHate #StopAAPIHate
For ways to get involved:
Community Organizations, Resources, and Action!
Stop AAPI Hate
Advancing Justice – Atlanta
San Diego State University – APIDA Take the Pledge
My Sisters House
OCA Sacramento – Asian Pacific American Advocates
Philippine National Day Association
National Alliance for Filipino Concerns NAFCON
Anti-Asian Violence Resources
Dr. Stacy Thompson – President
Dr. Rosslyn Knight– Vice President of Organizational Vitality
Dr. Tammy R. Robinson – Vice President of Development
Dr. Jamal Cooks – Vice President of Programs
Dr. Tasha Smith – Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations
Dr. LaTonya Williams – Vice President of Membership
Mr. Brandon Christian – Vice President of Technology
Ms. Doris Hankins– Secretary
Ms. Debbie Trigg – Treasurer
Dr. Joel Powell – Parliamentarian
Ms. Michelle Word – Executive Director
The Western Region Newsletter is published twice a year. We invite you to send articles, updates, photos, and other items of interest to Dr. Tasha Smith, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations:
Articles must be sent electronically in a Microsoft Word or .doc document. Photos must be sent in a .jpg, .png or .tif format at 300 dpi.
Please do not send PDF documents.
The deadline to submit material for the Fall 2021 WRCBAA newsletter is August 27, 2021.