It is both a pleasure and an honor to serve as the President of the Western Region Council on Black American Affairs (WRCBAA). While I am always optimistic concerning the path ahead, my optimism remains tempered with the sobering reality of various challenges that color the educational landscape. A wave of acceptance has swept across our country and a realization has taken hold, that we will not and cannot pursue our previous goals and objectives with antiquated mechanisms and outdated approaches. The pandemic has changed the way we interact with our families, friends and community. It has significantly altered the means by which education and student support services at the community college and at all levels is provided. Ongoing conversations about race and privilege are helping to reform the landscape around our ideas of diversity, equity, social justice and inclusion. These conversations are making noteworthy changes in the way we move forward as a nation.
WRCBAA is focused now more than ever on not just reaffirming its mission, but refining, restructuring, and developing new vehicles to reach the destination. Without question or reservation, I am dedicated to providing platforms for individuals to launch careers, to improving educational opportunities for Black American students and marginalized communities, and to creating professional development opportunities for Black American faculty, staff and administrators.
Building collaborative relationships and partnerships across education, business and the public sector is a goal WRCBAA is committed to, and one that will facilitate professional support for our colleagues and academic success for Black students.
We have an opportunity to be part of a new generation of “change makers” where WRCBAA can partner with other affinity groups and provide leadership in the formulation of social and educational policy. I am committed to ensuring that WRCBAA has a voice in issues that impact the Black community and that the organization focuses on efforts and initiatives that uplift and empower Black American students, faculty, staff and administrators.
It is my hope and my petition that our community stay connected to WRCBAA by joining a local chapter or our board, participating in a conference or institute and by browsing our website.
Dr. Joel Powell, President