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Cerritos College Opens Equity Center to Promote Inclusive Campus

GRAND OPENING: Cerritos College officials and Cerritos Councilman Frank Yokoyama (left) at the opening of the Equity Center.

 

November 7, 2022~Cerritos College celebrated the grand opening of its Equity Center on October 28. The Equity Center houses the P.R.I.D.E. Scholars and UndocuFalcons Scholars programs to support these vulnerable student groups throughout their educational journeys. 

The P.R.I.D.E. Scholars is an LGBTQ+ student support program that aims to foster a supportive and safe atmosphere for LGBTQ+ students to ensure their success at Cerritos College and beyond. The UndocuFalcons Scholars program provides resources and support such as scholarships, book vouchers, immigration legal consultation, wifi and laptop loaners, and food/housing support for undocumented students. The Equity Center will serve as a safe space for all students, particularly these marginalized populations to foster a sense of belonging and student success.

The keynote speaker Armando Ibañez shared his story as an undocumented immigrant and sexual minority individual. When Ibañez enrolled at Cerritos College, he was a quiet man who kept to himself because of his insecurity about his immigration status and sexuality. A counselor introduced him to the film program on campus. “I hope all undocumented and queer students here find their voices like I found mine as a storyteller,” said Ibañez, who is now a filmmaker and editor dedicated to advocating for undocumented immigrants.

“When undocumented students can pursue their educational goals without facing barriers, they are able to contribute to our economy. When LGBTQ+ students can navigate through college feeling safe and welcomed, we are promoting empathy, connection, and collaboration among all members of the campus community. With the opening of the Equity Center, we embrace a shared sense of responsibility toward humanity, equity, and respect for all people,” said Dr. Jose Fierro, president/superintendent.

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