St. Petersburg College strives to be a Community of Care that helps students, employees and members of our community lead a healthy and productive life. We stand united against social injustices and pledge to be a part of the solution.
Leaders from around SPC released statements about the death of George Floyd and in support of SPC's commitment to racial justice. You will find these statements below.
Dr. Tonjua Williams, President
"At St. Petersburg College we value the sanctity of all human life. We honor diversity, equity and inclusiveness. We denounce racial injustice, classism, sexism, gender bias, religious persecution and bigotry in all forms. We believe all people should be treated with dignity and respect. In standing firm on these principles, we show the world that we are committed to equality and opportunity for all people, all the time. At SPC, we are uniquely situated to be a part of the solution to the deeply disturbing issues we are facing. Our institution can provide a voice for disenfranchised and marginalized individuals by acting as a convener and supporting respectful discourse to affect change. The very premise SPC is built upon –providing equity and excellence in education for all – provides the foundation for us to listen to one another, learn from each other and teach others."
Dr. Jamelle Conner, Vice President, Student Affairs
"We must be open to having difficult conversations that then lead to authentic and sustainable change. ‘Get comfortable being uncomfortable.’ Award-winning author L.R. Knost said that the brokenness of the world can be mended with intention – deliberate, conscious choices made every day. I am committed to serve our students, faculty, staff, and community in this intentional work. I pledge to be part of the solution."
Susan Demers, JD, Acting Vice President, Academic Affairs
"The great African-American poet Maya Angelou tells us ‘History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived. But, if faced with courage, need not be lived again.’ America is seemingly trapped in an endless cycle of inflicting pain upon our own based upon race and race alone. All of us at St. Petersburg College, of all races and origins, need to find the courage to make the many changes, large and small, necessary to insure that repeated racial injustice is not a daily fact of life for our fellow citizens. At this moment in history we have the opportunity and the obligation to make those changes - in ourselves and in our institutions -so that this ugly and painful history will never again be lived by ANY of our fellow Americans."
Janette Hunt, Vice President, Finance and Business Operations
"I am grieved by the injustice and inequity that is being experienced across the country. Now, is the time to self- evaluate and ask ourselves the tough and meaningful questions. Being honest about our Country’s history and who we are is vital to the healing of this nation and its’ citizens. Standing for equity among all, especially for Black Americans is the least we can do as the human race. At St. Petersburg College, we value all lives and through our mission and values can make an affirmative impact towards social disparities in the communities we serve."
Jesse Turtle, Vice President, Institutional Advancement
"I join Dr. Williams and St. Petersburg College in denouncing racial injustice, classism, sexism, gender bias, religious persecution, and bigotry. I pledge to have meaningful conversations with friends and family, reflect on my own biases and privilege, and uphold SPC’s mission of academic success, economic mobility, and community engagement - pillars that are the key to changing lives. The violence and death against people of color must end and systemic oppression needs to stop. Education provides opportunity, delivers a path out of poverty, and creates a society based on equity and equality. SPC is a community college that cares deeply about its students, faculty, and staff. SPC is your community college. Pledge to work with us to spread awareness of social injustices, educate our community and love one another."