(Delaware and Chester Counties, PA)—For the first time in its 53-year history, Delaware County Community College has created a Center for Equity and Social Justice, designed to encourage courageous, respectful community conversations about the sensitive, often controversial issues of racism and social injustice. The Center will fall under the purview of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

“The very recent protests regarding injustice across our nation have given rise to the College’s decision to engage the broader community by establishing the Center for Equity & Social Justice,” said Delaware County Community College President Dr. L. Joy Gates Black. “This Center will contribute to dismantling systems of racism and social injustice within our communities by acting as a convener to provide ongoing opportunities for education that leads to greater awareness, and for meaningful dialogue that leads to common ground and transformational change. Through these efforts, we will endeavor to understand our differences and recognize our commonalities, all in an effort to build trust and promote greater acceptance and understanding.”

“Now more than ever, there is a call to action for Americans to have conversations about inequity, conversations that can be incredibly difficult and uncomfortable,” Dr. Gates Black said. “However, if we truly believe in a society that is equitable and just for all, a society that respects everyone regardless of color, creed, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, then we must not fear those crucial conversations, but embrace them, because it is through open, honest dialogue and discourse that we will learn that we are joined by so much more than that which separates us.”

The Center’s first event will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, July 28, when it begins a series of discussions, titled “Dialogues in Diversity.” The first dialogue will be on the topic of policing in our communities. It will feature conversations with local police officers and community leaders and will focus on issues and concerns from various perspectives. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the dialogue will take place as a live video webinar. The virtual event is free and open to the public. To pre-register, go to dccc.edu/dialogues.