VGCC’s Commitment to Action
Vance-Granville Community College President Dr. Rachel Desmarais and Board of Trustees Chair Danny Wright have released the following joint statement:
Realizing that it is not enough to issue a statement condemning the actions and systems resulting in multiple losses of life that disproportionately affect black Americans, Vance-Granville Community College (VGCC) reaffirms in action its mission and vision while committing to accelerate the change that is needed to develop strong communities where everyone experiences a fulfilling quality of life.
VGCC law enforcement training will be part of this change. Community colleges in North Carolina train most law enforcement officers in the state. On June 5, 2020, the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges allocated up to $100,000 in reserve funds to expand law enforcement training on topics such as de-escalation, relationship-based policing and community interaction. When VGCC basic law enforcement training courses begin anew in August, the college will be adding explicit training on managing racial bias in law enforcement. We look forward to working with our statewide partners in creating this important change.
In 2018, VGCC joined Achieving the Dream (AtD) which is a national network of colleges committed to student success and eliminating equity gaps. Thoughtful exploration of diversity, inclusion, and equity and disaggregation of our student success data showed some areas where students of color did not succeed at the same rates as white students. Faculty and staff have begun to incorporate strategies into their daily work with the goal of closing achievement gaps for traditionally underserved populations. Examples include: equipping our instructors with proven, research-based teaching and learning methods, adding free transportation to and from college for students who need it, requiring free tutoring for students who are not being successful in their courses, and making sure students have the wrap-around basic needs support services they need to be successful in college. We will continue to move forward with training and implementing strategies that reflect equity. Our goal is to ensure that teaching practices, student support, and policies/procedures support equity in achievement.
As a community college charged with the mission of educating, inspiring, and supporting a diverse community of learners to achieve professional and personal success, these are our promises to “be the change” in the areas we can affect in today’s environment.