Bakersfield College

Light A Candle: A Juneteenth Conversation Event

#LightACandle: A Juneteenth Conversation

Where We Are

A Message from President Sonya Christian

At 8:24 p.m. on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020, George Floyd stopped breathing.

George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, died while he was pinned to the ground, face down, in an unlawful knee-to-throat chokehold by a police officer.

It’s poignant that on Memorial Day we honor the sacrifices of American soldiers who fought and died defending our country and our rights – rights that we hold to be equal for all, and rights that, in America at least, we name and defend.

Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery

The public reaction to George Floyd’s death has been forceful, spontaneous, across the political spectrum, and coast-to-coast. What is most striking to me are the voices that bear witness that George Floyd’s tragic death is far from an isolated incident, but is instead part of a long history. As another colleague texted me - “horrific and common”.

I believe that in the 50 years since King asked this question we have made enormous progress that we can and should be proud of. But we need to hear what George Floyd’s Memorial Day death – and our national reactions to it – are saying. It is a long and painful history, which makes it harder to hear. It is a dark and confusing time, which makes it harder to see how to move forward. But as Bakersfield College Renegades, we owe it to our community, to our veterans, and we each owe it to George Floyd, to join together, listen with humility, and to bring light that can illuminate the way ahead.

#LightACandle #ShineALight

Dr. Sonya Christian
President, Bakersfield College

How is BC Responding?

Under the leadership of our faculty, staff and administration, BC is planning a series of events around Black Independence Day on June 19th.

Join Bakersfield College and the Danny Morrison Show for a two-week series of conversations and virtual celebrations across multiple platforms to bring light to racism and white supremacy in our community, the state, and our nation. We invite you to listen, engage, and develop a call to action.

Request for Submissions

We're encouraging students, staff and anyone in our community to #ShineALight on injustice and share their thoughts about racism, police brutality, or the demonstrations around the country over the last few weeks. Submissions will be published on this website as they come in.

Planning Team

Jennifer Achan
Director, Financial Aid

Dr. Paula Parks
Umoja Community Coordinator

Tommy Tunson
Director, Public Safety Training Programs

Steve Watkin
Director, Outreach and Early College