Being Heard: Cleveland State Launches “Voices” Series

Friday, June 19, 2020
As the nation and the world turn its attention to social equality, Cleveland State Community College has launched an online series to make sure anyone who wishes to speak is truly heard.

This week, the college’s office of Equity and Inclusion kicked-off “We Hear You: The Voices of Cleveland State” on all of its social media channels. A CSCC student, faculty or staff member will highlight the segment which will air every Monday on the college’s Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube accounts.

“The whole purpose is to let everyone on our campus know that we hear them and that no one is invisible to us.
No student. No employee,” said Willie Thomas, special assistant to the president for Equity and Inclusion. “Their voices matter. We want to learn more from one another. As a college, we educate students on so many areas of study. This area is so very important and we need to help educate on this topic all we can.”

The college is capturing the stories of the students, faculty and staff in video and then shares them online. An officer with student government at Cleveland State this past year, Rebeccah Phanor was the first to share her voice in the new series. Her “We Hear You” episode is currently available to view on the aforementioned social media sites. 

“We don’t present them a script. We realize there is a wound that individuals have on this topic. So, we are letting them give us the content,” added Mr. Thomas. “It’s how they feel. It’s their emotions. It’s how they are dealing with it. If anything, it’s showing that behind all of this, things can get lost behind the verbiage. Behind the verbiage, there are actual people who are hurting.”

Mr. Thomas is helping coordinate a Town Hall Talk on Social Equality for Cleveland State faculty and staff this coming week. Mr. Thomas and Cleveland State President Dr. Bill Seymour helped work with community leaders this past year to help organize the city of Cleveland's first-ever Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. march in Downtown Cleveland.

“Change comes from learning. If we are going to learn more about racial discrimination and injustice, it's important that we let our guard down and listen,” said Dr. Seymour. “So, I am very pleased that we are presenting a diversity of voices from our campus.  We hope this is helpful to the larger community.”

For more information about Cleveland State Community College, visit the college at ClevelandStateCC.edu or call 423-472-7141. Students are currently enrolled online and on-campus through the CSCC main campus in Cleveland, as well as CSCC’s Athens Center in Athens and Monroe County Center in Vonore.

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