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Response to the Amsterdam News, "What is really happening at Medgar Evers College?"

4/12/2011, 4:44 p.m.

These centers not only address very directly the needs of the Central Brooklyn and New York community and the national issues of re-entry, advocacy and policy formation, but have been acclaimed for their work by local, state and national officials.

Medgar Evers College is and has been the fulfillment of a dream and legacy of the residents of Central Brooklyn to provide our community with an educational beacon of hope. It symbolizes not only the life's work of a man, Medgar Wylie Evers, but a movement in Central Brooklyn for community enlightenment, empowerment and the forging of an educational breakthrough for the future of the children of a community. The women, men, clergy, elected officials, businesses, activists, students and residents, all who understood the importance of higher education and its intrinsic relationship to community, came together 40 years ago to provide an opportunity to those of the present and future generations. It was no mistake that before the College was named after our hero, Medgar Wiley Evers, it was called Community College Number VII in Central Brooklyn, not because it was a junior college as they describe community colleges today, but because it came out of the need for it to serve the community residents of Central Brooklyn and hopefully wider communities of color in the future, with a four-year senior college.

Medgar Evers faculty and staff members have been guided by and dedicated to the tenets that our Founders were adamant about. The goals articulated over 40 years ago were not very different from their forebearers in historically Black land grant or public institutions coming out of the church movement to provide higher education. Those goals were to develop new and improved methods of teaching and pioneer innovations in education; to put an emphasis on professional studies without neglecting the liberal arts; to ensure that the college would serve the educational and social needs of its community and to ensure that the community would have input in the selection of a permanent site and would determine the name of the college.

We, the Medgar Evers College Coalition for Academic Excellence and Mission Integrity are appalled that an institution that came out of the struggles of our people in the community has had to endure the disrespect, impudence, audacity and disinformation that have befallen our sacred institution. We know what is happening at Medgar Evers and we are prepared to do what is necessary to preserve our institution, with or without the support of those who consider themselves a part of the "post-racial contingent."

Jitu Weusi, Educator and Activist

Dr. Delridge Hunter, Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies

Natalie Leary, President, MEC Student Chapter of NAACP

Vincent Manuel, MEC Alumni

Sharon Smith, MEC Alumni

Rev. Elizabeth Butler

Bishop Nathaniel Townsley

Rev. Robert Townsley, MEC Community Councile

Michael Hooper, Educator, MEC Community Council Member Emeritus

Charles Thomas, MEC Community Council

Sam Pinn, Educator and Activist

Nia Hooper, Educator and Activist

Sylvia Hooper, Educator