International Women’s Day

March 8, 2023

Dear Berkeley City College Community –

Today is International Women’s Day, a time when we acknowledge and remember women’s contributions to world herstory and society. The passage of Black History Month into Women’s History Month always reminds me of the intersectionality of our identities and the way we honor each other’s strength and leadership.

One example of this intersectionality was displayed during the screening of The Woman King in the Atrium last Friday, March 3, hosted by BCC’s Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Stacey Shears. The film is based on a true story of the Agojie, an all-female warrior unit of the African Kingdom of Dahomey during the 17th through 19th centuries. It follows General Nanisca, played by Viola Davis, as she trains a new generation of warriors to protect their culture and homeland from foreign invaders. I thank Dr. Shears for hosting this event, as well as bringing historical context to the presentation and providing good food for the community members in attendance.

BCC’s Women’s Leadership Club is leading several events this month, including a Women’s Career Panel that was held in the auditorium on Monday. The panel included PCCD alumnae and other female professionals in physics, law, tech, and research, sharing their stories and experiences of building community with colleagues and leaders, pursuing their careers, and working in male-dominated spaces. I was inspired by the enthusiasm of the Women’s Leadership Club, and their partners in the Electronics & Engineering club and BCC’s Phi Beta Lambda chapter, in hosting the event. Their questions and feedback from the guest speakers provided valuable perspective for the diverse audience about overcoming imposter syndrome, negotiating equal pay, advocating for fellow women in the workforce, and how to be an ally to female professionals. The Women’s Leadership Club will be hosting other events this month – please look at the attached flyer and BCC Instagram posts for more information.

As I work with my colleagues to draft the college’s Educational Master Plan, I am once again reminded of the intersectionality of race, gender, and sexuality in terms of BCC’s goal of Equitable Student Completion. It is BCC’s stated goal to create an environment that is anti-racist, anti-sexist, and in solidarity with the queer community that encompasses the term “equity” to its fullest extent. I’m heartened to be a part of a community that is prepared to codify this as the college’s shared vision and look forward to enacting and analyzing this vision over the next five years.

Today is also the day my daughter celebrates her 13th birthday, and I am grateful for those educators who have influenced her life over the years, especially the ones who made a point to include voices of women and communities of color in their curriculum. As educators, we have the beautiful opportunity and responsibility to journey with students in their learning. I encourage you to include voices of women, communities of color, queer communities, immigrant communities, to name a few, as part of our work to build an inclusive community.

In community,

Dr. Angélica Garcia