In the wake of the massive outcry after the murder of George Floyd, I have been invited by a number of news outlets in the United States and Canada to comment on issues of racism in America. Most of the reporters want to know how I feel about things racial today in contrast to how I felt about these same issues when I was in Little Rock those many years ago.
My usual response has been to point out that it would probably be more meaningful to inquire about my thoughts instead of my feelings. Then, without waiting for a revised question, I proceed to speak openly, about my thoughts.
I think that very little sustained attention has been paid to the legally mandated actions designed to block the forward progress of Black people in this country. Historically we have had to contend with covenants preventing Black people from acquiring formal education in the nation’s public and private schools, laws preventing Black home ownership, restrictive covenants barring Black residents from neighborhoods identified as Whites-only spaces, laws limiting employment, health care, recreational and financial opportunities for Black people. Continue reading “Little Rock Nine Alumnus on Notion of ‘We the People’”
The Enduring Heroes monument, sculpted by noted local artist Christopher Slatoff, pays permanent tribute to the 11 combat heroes from the Greater Pasadena area, who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each Memorial Day, since the dedication in 2017, many have gathered at the valiant soldier in remembrance of the brave warriors, but clearly 2020 was different.
Respecting the city’s social distancing requirements, visitors honored our Enduring Heroes quietly. Along with a patriotic wreath, each warrior has a banner that hangs along Orange Grove and Green Street, near Defender’s Parkway, through the Fourth of July. The banner for Marine Lance Cpl. Dion Whitley, who was tragically killed in action 15 years ago on June 15, 2005, looks across Orange Grove, standing guard over the Enduring Heroes Soldier. The individual banners will proudly wave again from the anniversary of 9/11 through Veterans Day. Continue reading “Enduring Heroes Emerges as a Landmark With Impact”
Amid the pandemic-generated tumult being confronted by many local nonprofit organizations, there are a few silver linings to be found here and there.
For Professional Child Development Associates, which focuses on family and child health services, the upside of social distancing protocols aimed at combating the spread of COVID-19 has been found in a radical leap to telehealth therapy.
Now, PCDA’s small army of therapists can be found streaming into a family’s kitchen or living room, engaging young children with music, puppets or soothing stories, and lending support to mothers and fathers as well as extended family members who might be isolating with them. Continue reading “Telehealth Therapy Enables a Stream of PCDA Services”
Our world has changed extraordinarily over the past several months in ways no one could have predicted at the start of 2020, a new decade.
We’ve faced an unprecedented pandemic that has radically changed the way we live our lives and think about our family, friends and society. We’ve seen a worldwide movement against racial injustice in response to the murder of George Floyd and other societal disparities — including those in health care. (To say nothing of the economic disruption, unemployment rate and volatile stock market, all of which carry major, ongoing impacts.) The confluence of these events further underlines the truth that keeping our community safe and close requires each and every one of us to work together. Please know that our board and management are reevaluating our diversity and inclusion programs to be more responsive and robust.
The Cancer Support Community Pasadena Board of Directors has elected city native Kalmoune “Kal” Balian Antoun, a John Muir High School and Cal State Northridge graduate, as its new president. “CSCP is near and dear to me, as cancer is no stranger to my family. I know firsthand that ‘it takes a village’ to cope with cancer,” Antoun said. “My involvement with CSCP started 10 years ago with the launch of our first Ladies Night Out at the Ice House. It was there and then that I knew where my commitment and passion would reside.”
Antoun has served as chair of CSCP’s volunteer guild for the past four years. She has chaired the organization’s annual Ladies Night Out fundraiser and its Angel Gala several times. Continue reading “Antoun Will Lead Cancer Support Community Board of Directors”
For the third time, Pasadena City College is one of 10 finalists for the 2021 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, a recognition of high achievement and performance among community colleges.
The finalists, announced recently by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, were selected from among the nation’s 1,000 community colleges in a process that included qualitative and quantitative data analysis and engaged more than 30 experts in the field. Continue reading “PCC Is Prize Finalist for Community College Excellence”
In less than three weeks is Cancer Support Community Pasadena’s first virtual gala, with excitement building among supporters, staff and volunteers, according to the organization. This year, CSCP is celebrating 30 years of providing support, education and hope to families facing cancer in the Greater San Gabriel Valley. “A Night in Emerald City” 30th anniversary gala will be on Saturday, July 11. Continue reading “Cancer Support Community Pasadena’s Virtual Gala Festivities”
As part of a commitment to diversify and strengthen its governing leadership, ArtCenter College of Design has appointed Su Mathews Hale as chair of its board of trustees. Mathews Hale succeeds Robert C. Davidson Jr., who has held the position for the past 10 years and will become chair emeritus.
The board also appointed two new members, Michelle Gadsden-Williams and Ivy Ross, at its annual meeting. Continue reading “New Board Chair, Trustees Named at ArtCenter”
Shock and disgust.
These are dark and perilous times for black Americans. Make that all Americans. The constant reminder of a blatant disregard for the lives of so many black men and women at the hands of police officers has rocked our collective consciousness.
As a father of four young black sons and one black daughter, I am devastated to witness the senseless annihilation of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Albery, Stephon Clark, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin. A generation of young voices extinguished by rash and senseless violence at the hands of police officers or those attempting to assume the role of law enforcement.
The attack on George Floyd has touched a raw nerve and aggravated a deep wound inflicted for 400 years on black people in the form of slavery, oppression, discrimination, alienation, fragmentation and isolation. This malignant pain, now exposed, has been released with a collective ENOUGH! The Declaration of Independence reminds us that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” It is now time we make these words ring true and not hollow.
Justice demands that all marginalized people be lifted from second-class status to one of equality and fairness, and that we dismantle the dysfunctional systems — whether in the courts or classrooms.
Justice, however, will not happen through violence and destruction. Burning and looting from people who count the sweat on their brow as capital in their business does not carry the day. While it may not be immediately apparent, there is hope! That confident expectation, a firm assurance regarding things that are unclear and unknown. Dr. King influenced an unclear world and led an unknown civil rights movement by nonviolence and hope.
When the outcry of shock and disgust from George Floyd’s tragic death was met with profound indignation from the law enforcement community and people of goodwill across all strata of society, rich and poor, racial and cultural position, I am hopeful.
As a member of the Legislative Black Caucus, we will continue to pursue policies and procedures that ensure not only a healthy relationship between the police and community, but also hold law enforcement accountable.
Nelson Mandela reminds us, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Let us all be hopeful!
During his 40-year career at Flintridge Preparatory School, Headmaster Peter Bachmann has always been one to look forward, envisioning a future and cementing the mission for a student-centered, nationally recognized private school located on 7.5 bucolic acres near Pasadena.
So it’s a rare thing for Bachmann, who’s retiring from his role as headmaster on July 1, to reflect heavily on his past achievements, admitting only to recently feeling “expectedly nostalgic” as he wrapped up a lifelong career committed to rigorous youth academics and human development.
And though he has steered the prestigious school through countless changes since getting hired in 1980 and rising to become headmaster in 1991, this year’s coronavirus pandemic may have been the biggest quagmire in all that time, shutting down in-person education at an institution whose success was built on the connectivity of communication and interpersonal relationships there. Continue reading “After 40 Years, Flintridge Prep’s Bachmann Opens New Chapter”