Unity in Community Draws Hundreds

February 22, 2024

Unity in Community

More than 200 students, faculty and staff members gathered for Chaffey College’s “Unity in Community” event Jan. 31, enjoying an afternoon of food, music and program information.

The event featured eight groups including Prism and the Lavender Coalition – supporting the undocumented and LGBTQIA+ community – as well as Umoja, Puente, the Center for Culture and Social Justice, Rising Scholars, the ethnic studies program and the Veterans Resource Center.

“It’s cool that there is more push for unity and representation,” said Charles Mesias, who is in the associate degree in nursing program.

Mesias said it was helpful to learn more about all the programs that Chaffey offers, including Rising Scholars, which supports incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students. Mesias says a formerly incarcerated colleague in his job in licensed vocational nursing expressed interest in college but had doubts because of his background.

“Now I can share this to give them that push,” he said.

Psychology major Tyler Canlas and his friend Allyson Cowen, majoring in biology, came to the event when they heard the music. Canlas stopped by the Lavender Coalition table to pick up some flags.

Cowen, who has attended Chaffey since 2022, was glad to see the uptick in activity.

“There’s a lot more going on here now and it’s nice to see more people,” she said.

Pam Schnelbach, adjunct instructional specialist for Rising Scholars, shared information about the program to students at the event.

“There’s such a huge population who are formerly incarcerated and feel like they are the forgotten ones,” she said. “We don’t want them to feel like they’re forgotten.”