In April, the State Department recognized Arab American Heritage month as a celebration of the Arab American culture and a tribute to the contributions of Arab Americans. As the state’s representative noted, “Arab American’s contributions are ‘as old as America itself’”. Arab Americans have been at the forefront of building America’s society through their history, contributions, and rich culture. These contributions include Jacques Nasser (Ford Motor Company), DJ Khaled (hip-hop producer), Salma Hayek (actress), Ralph Nader (famed consumer advocate), Gobran Khalil Gobran (poet), Ramy Youssef (actor), Hoda Zoghbi (scientist), Rosemary Barkett (Chief Justice Florida Supreme Court), and many more!
As the SSCCC works to expand our work in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion, we acknowledge that many of our Arab American students and communities are struggling with additional burdens of social injustice and inequities than other marginalized groups including being vilified as terrorists in entertainment and pop culture. It is imperative that we confront these biases so that we can change that narrative to foster an atmosphere that turns the word, Arab, into something that we are not afraid to say, and more importantly, not afraid to be. "For decades, Arab-Americans have lacked proper representation at every level in the United States. As Arab-Americans, the long and rich history of our ethnic culture is critical to our identity, but with it we carry a love for the country we came to or were raised in. I hope this month is just the first of many wonderful steps to bring Arab-American Heritage into the fold of our society." Mohamad Almouazzan, Student, Mt. San Antonio College
Along with making a concerted effort to include Arab American students in our diversity work, the SSCCC calls on the state department to include Arab American Heritage Month annually with other celebrated heritages such as Black History Month, Latinx Heritage Month, Native American Heritage Month, and others. Help us celebrate our Arab American students and communities!
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. The Student Senate for California Community College works to promote and safeguard access for current and future students to California public higher education in accordance with the Master Plan for Higher Education through system participatory governance, legislative and policy advocacy, and regional support and development and is the official voice of California community college students statewide.