San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE), one of the largest and most ethnically diverse noncredit adult education organizations in the nation, will donate $10 thousand to Black Lives Matter (BLM). The gift will fund a Justice Summit, aimed at developing young adults as social justice activists.
“Our SDCE community came together and made the decision to take immediate action in solidarity with Black Lives Matter,” said Carlos O. Turner Cortez, Ph.D., President of SDCE. “The donation supports political engagement, civic discourse, and social justice education on college campuses in San Diego.”
SDCE is the top sponsor and will host the Justice Summit for Generation Z and Millennials this fall alongside Black Lives Matter, Generation Justice, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, SDCE’s Gateway to College and Career program, Youth Will, the San Diego Chapter of the Black American Political Association of California. The event is the second of its kind and will feature education and art to raise awareness and advocacy around systemic racism and injustice. Plans are underway for an event within the next year; however, the global pandemic will determine the actual timing for such an event to take place.
The San Diego Workforce Partnership reports that San Diego has the highest rate of disconnected black youth who are neither in school nor working in the nation.
SDCE’s campus in the Mountainview Community, the Educational Cultural Complex (ECC), has established a reputation in southeastern San Diego as a vibrant educational and cultural center with rich roots, especially amongst the city’s Black residents. The campus has been a symbol of community and African American activism since its beginnings in 1972.
Coretta Scott King’s address at ECC in 1983, ultimately influenced the decision to sign the law creating the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. In addition to establishing the federal observance, many other significant events have ties to the campus, including performances by human right champions, Stevie Wonder and Maya Angelou.
To further this affluent history, SDCE’s Historic Preservation Committee is working with the city of San Diego and state officials to have ECC named as a Civil Rights Landmark Designation.
“ECC’s Historic Preservation Committee has been advancing the work of equality for all people,” said Laurie Coskey, Ed.D., Executive Director of the SDCE Foundation. “We are not just out there talking about what can be done to support BLM, we are walking the walk. We are putting our resources into action.”
Dr. Bob Matthews served as a member of the Historic Preservation Committee. He died this week following a lifetime of education and civil rights activism. SDCE continues Dr. Matthews’ legacy with this support.
Article: Bob Matthews, a lifelong educator, civil rights activist and icon in San Diego, dies at 90 – The San Diego Union-Tribune
SDCE serves 40,000 students annually at 7 campuses in San Diego, which remain temporarily closed to in-person classes due to pandemic. Fall semester classes will be offered remotely through online instruction and registration begins mid-July.