February 5, 2019

Mesa College Celebrates History and Birthday of Rosa Parks

By Angela Garcia

Rosa Park Celebration

In celebration of Black History Month, San Diego Mesa College hosted its annual Rosa Parks Birthday Recognition Ceremony on Monday, February 4th. On what would have been her 106th birthday, a group of faculty, staff and students gathered in the Humanities and Cultural Studies Auditorium (G-102) to give respect and gratitude for Mrs. Parks’ courageous act to remain seated in the face of injustice—an act that would spark a bus boycott and a continued pursuit for justice and equality for all.

This year, the celebration began with a traditional African libation, followed by a powerful video presentation of “What If” by singer-songwriter India.Arie.

Mesa College President, Dr. Pamela Luster shared her gratitude for Mrs. Parks’ contributions to Mesa College and for her spirit of equity.

“Rosa Parks visited this campus more than once, and her spirit is represented here,” said President Luster. “Her spirit lives on in Mesa and in everything we do.”

San Diego Community College District Chancellor Constance Carroll also gave remarks during the celebration. Chancellor Carroll, who knew Rosa Parks personally, spoke of the connection Rosa Parks had to Mesa College—a relationship that began back in the early 1990s. Over the years, Mrs. Parks visited Mesa College to speak and present the Elder and Wiser Award to deserving recipients. In February 2010, Mesa College dedicated the Rosa Parks Transit Center to honor Mrs. Parks for her “Quiet Strength.”

“It was a wonderful connection because she always wanted to share honor,” said Chancellor Carroll. “When you say ‘We are Mesa,’ she is also Mesa.”

After hearing stories of Rosa Parks’ brave acts and humble spirit, faculty, staff and students shared the impact Rosa Parks has had on their lives. One attendee, who rides the bus every day, even shared her appreciation for the bus stop that honors Mrs. Parks.

Because of Rosa Parks, and many other great pioneers in the Civil Rights Movement, we know that each of our voices matter.

Mesa College will continue to celebrate Black History Month with several events throughout February. For a complete list of events, visit the Black History Month Calendar of Events.

Tags: Rosa Parks, Black Studies, Humanities and Cultural Studies, President Pam, Black History Month