Jill Tiefenthaler

Dear Alumni, Parents, and Friends,

During Spring Break in March, hundreds of members of the campus community received a white-supremacist, sexist, and anti-Trans email that attacked two of our dedicated campus community members, Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students Mike Edmonds and Senior Associate Dean of Students Rochelle Mason ’83.

This message, sent by someone hiding behind a fake name, used vitriolic language and invoked hurtful stereotypes, all intended to harm our communities of color, especially our Black community. It struck at the heart of two of our core shared values, diversity and inclusion.

As of press time for the Bulletin, a police investigation is underway into this matter as a harassment, bias-motivated crime.

In the wake of this attack, students, faculty, and staff have been working through their thoughts and emotions, with dialogue sessions, panel discussions, time and space for contemplation, activities for expression, and academic study on racism and intolerance.

I am grateful to the many alumni, parents, and friends who have shown incredible support to our targeted colleagues and communities of color with letters, emails, and social media messages of solidarity. Young alumni and students rallied to encourage support for programs and offices on campus including Race, Ethnicity & Migration Studies, Feminist & Gender Studies, the Butler Center, and Bridge Scholars Program.

Alumni of Color wrote a powerful and thoughtful message, condemning actions that spread the hatred of white supremacy. Their words and their call for action are deeply felt, and their commitments are ones we can all embrace. These CC alumni are leading and urging us all to move beyond anger toward making real change. They invite you to join their efforts by signing their letter online at 2cc.co/signletter.

When something like this racist attack hits us, first we process the shock, hurt, and anger. And then we need to find positive momentum.

I am heartened that a CC education equips our students to succeed in a complex, changing, and sometimes polarizing world. Resilience, intellectual and creative confidence, and mindfulness are all qualities we cultivate through the liberal arts and our evolving co-curricular programs. Students empowered by these tools and skills will be better prepared to thoughtfully work through challenges like this and act as the changemakers we need.

In addition, implementing our new strategic plan recommendation, Connecting the CC Experience, will help all of our students more readily use their liberal arts education to address issues and tackle problems. We will focus on integrating the academic experience across blocks and disciplines, fusing academic and co-curricular experiences, and connecting the CC experience with students’ future aspirations. This recommendation also calls for an initiative to improve college readiness for Colorado students from marginalized backgrounds.

Diversity and inclusion are core shared values at CC, and will remain so. We know the work is never done. But when we create an empowered, supportive living and learning community that does that work with dialogue for understanding, careful study, and meaningful action, we can have great, positive impact.

I hope you will join us in naming and defying racism in all of its forms every day, and commit to cultivating an inclusive CC — and world.


Jill Tiefenthaler