In the wake of the March in March demonstrations in San Francisco and Sacramento, a handful of activists braved the stormy weather on March 27 to meet at San Francisco’s Main Library to plan a statewide community college conference.
The conference will be held on May 12 at the City College Mission campus and is intended to be a “networking opportunity to stop the privatization of public education,” said Shanell Williams, City College’s Vice President of Communications for the Associated Students council.
“This is a human rights issue and we want to connect with people throughout the nation,” she said.
The conference’s mission statement is “to keep the community in community college.”
The committee in charge of planning the statewide community college conference is made up of an eclectic group of volunteers, including Bay Area community college students, instructors and administrators.
Topics discussed at Tuesday’s planning meeting included potential workshops, panel discussions and plans for outreach to all 112 of California’s community colleges.
“It’s important that other colleges feel like they have buy-in with the conference,” Williams said.
In order to facilitate outreach, the planning committee has divided up the task among its volunteers.
Susan Lopez, a City College ESL instructor said, “it is essential to organize on a statewide level so we can network together.”
Williams, who participated in the March in March demonstrations in both 2011 and 2012, said she believes that this year’s March in March participants were “a more informed student body with a sense of all being in this together.”
With the upcoming conference, she hopes activists “will become more organized across California and build bridges with other community colleges so we can move forward with the same information.” (175)