September 21, 2022

CCP delegation prepares to visit Ghana – Pasadena Now

An accountant, an English teacher, PCC’s business manager and a consultant.

These are just four of the 20 people Pasadena City College will send to the “2022 All-African Diaspora Education Summit,” an international conference in Accra, Ghana, later this week.

The event is intended to help higher education practitioners deepen their personal and professional connections with African culture and traditions. During six days of workshops, activities, presentations and lectures, CCP representatives will discover ways to achieve equitable outcomes for Black students in Pasadena.

The CCP delegation is among the largest from a single college at the conference, and every Pasadena attendee identifies as black or African American. In total, the conference will draw more than 150 attendees from 18 California community colleges, as well as representatives from the Office of the Chancellor of Community Colleges, California State University, and the community at large.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our practitioners and an incredible gift for our students,” said Dr. Kari Bolen, CCP Associate Vice President for Institutional Equity, Diversity, and Justice, and Head of Delegation of the CCP. “Ghana, a country at the heart of the transatlantic slave trade, reflects not only the history of violence and generational trauma of Black/African Americans, but a place of reflection, connection and legacy.

“By giving our faculty, staff, administrators, and students the opportunity to participate in the Summit, the college is prioritizing centering Black/African American voices and experiences.”

Travelers will share their lessons learned at a future presentation on the PCC campus, and more information will be shared at a later date.

For Dyan Miller, dean of the CCP’s kinesiology, health and athletics division, the trip represents a unique opportunity to reconnect with her roots. “It’s been a dream, a to-do list for me,” Miller said. “My parents traveled to Africa twice, and I vividly remember the stories of their work and how it touched them deeply. I look forward to being able to set foot on the mother continent, which is the oldest inhabited continent on earth.

Miller intends to keep students at the forefront of his mind during his travels. “I work with a diverse staff and one of the most diverse student populations on campus,” she said. “Gaining a broader understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion on the global stage will directly improve my ability to serve all students.”

The itinerary includes a scheduled visit to Cape Coast Castle, a fort built by European traders known as the “gate of no return” for enslaved Africans destined to cross the Atlantic Ocean. For Miller, the visit “will be a very powerful and moving moment in my life and something that will stay with me forever,” she said. “I truly believe this journey will be life changing, and I hope that in the years to come others will be inspired and able to take this same journey.”

The CCP delegation will leave this weekend and return before the end of September. The trip is funded by the sale of PCC’s stake in Intelecom, Inc., a distance education provider jointly operated by community colleges that dissolved earlier this year.

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