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Cultural Understanding and Respect

Oct 4, 2022

Good morning colleagues,

Recently, a student was arrested at the University of North Carolina for wearing a small kirpan as part of his religious dress code. Kirpans are a small, often blunt dagger, one of five symbolic articles central to the expression of the faith of those who belong to the Sikh religion. The university has since issued an apology and has pledged to do better and learn about Sikhism.

I want to take this opportunity to share with you information about our college and district efforts to advance cultural understanding and respect and to ensure the safety of our Sikh students and colleagues. To that end, our Police Department will be participating in a faith-based event that will allow our officers to engage with our Punjabi community and learn more about the Sikh religion and culture. This event, "Faith and Blue" will provide an opportunity for our officers, along with other police department representatives and members of the FCC Police Academy, to advance their religious awareness and interact and engage with the Sikh community.

I am grateful to Chief Flores and SCCCD officers as well as those from the FCC Police Academy who are participating in this community event. I am also thankful to our hosts and to the Sikh Temple Association of Fresno for organizing this cultural event.

This is another example of how our District employees are engaged in making our community a better place to live, learn and work.

Dr. Carole Goldsmith