Shining our light on the darkness of intolerance and hate

The following message from President Cheryl Roberts was sent on Dec. 10. 2015 to all students and all employees at Shoreline Community College.

From the clearly hateful comments of a presidential candidate to the still uncertain details in a tragic death of a Seattle College student this past weekend, the language and actions of intolerance are on the rise.

As Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Together, we are making Shoreline Community College a place of light and love.

A year ago in separate incidents, posters for two student clubs, Project Pride and the Muslim Student Association, were defaced with the scrawls of hateful speech. College faculty, staff and students immediately responded. Together, we talked, we listened, and we reflected. Together, we crafted a statement – a standard – about the values we hold dear, the values of our community.

That statement, our Community Standard, was adopted this fall, and it says:

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly …”

— Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 “Shoreline Community College is a place for students, employees, and the community to pursue excellence in education in an environment dedicated to equity, inclusiveness, and self-reflection. We value respectful, dynamic interactions and lively discussion. We strive to create an environment where everyone is supported and valued. Shoreline Community College does not tolerate hateful, violent, or discriminatory actions that target any person or group based on their beliefs, customs, identity, or affiliations. When one of us is diminished, all of us are diminished.”

When we state our values clearly, loudly, and with conviction, our light pushes back against the darkness of intolerance and hate. For winter quarter, we are posting our Community Standard in every building across the campus for all to see, along with our Title IX messages. Also for winter quarter, I am asking our faculty, staff, and student leaders to come together and create an opportunity for our light to shine, an opportunity for our values to be discussed as well as examine the factors that contribute to this lengthening shadow of intolerance.


President Cheryl Roberts


December 11th, 2015 by