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Announcement: Leadership Statement on Breonna Taylor Grand Jury Decision

25 September 2020

Dear Peralta Colleagues,

On Wednesday, a Kentucky grand jury released their decision regarding the killing of Breonna Taylor during a police raid of her apartment earlier this year. The grand jury in Louisville charged only one of the police officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor. More importantly, the charges handed down were not related to her death.

In a year that has sharply focused our attention on injustice, this development is another evidentiary indictment of our criminal justice system. As an emergency-room technician and EMT trainee, Breonna’s background is similar to many people studying at our colleges, in the sciences, or one of the Allied Health Programs. Her death in her own apartment is a terrible tragedy, and the lack of consequences for her killer is another stain on our national character. We must stand in solidarity; we must declare that Black Lives Matter, and we must be better than this.

We know that this has been an extremely challenging time for our community, and we know more challenges will confront us in the days ahead. Many of us are still facing the dangers of wildfire or disease on top of the pressures of longstanding systemic injustice.

Yet in times of crisis, we can be made stronger by our human connections. Please take a moment to check in with your co-workers, colleagues, friends, and family. An encouraging word and a moment of focused listening can be an important source of support for those close to us.

Also, if you are experiencing difficulty, please be aware that all Peralta employees have access to free confidential counseling through our Employee Assistance Program administered by MHN. You may find information on page 8 of this document in the section entitled “Non-Emergency Care.” Call MHN toll-free at 1-800-535-4985, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for a referral to a Participating Practitioner and to request authorization of treatment. TDD callers can dial 1-800-327-0801.

Please prioritize your health and safety during this difficult time.

With our best and sincere regards,

Dr. Carla Walter, Interim Chancellor, Peralta Community College District

Dr. Don Miller, Interim President, College of Alameda

Dr. Angélica Garcia, President, Berkeley City College

Dr. Rudy Besikof, Interim President, Laney College

Dr. David M. Johnson, President, Merritt College

Filed under: Announcements

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