Long Beach City College (LBCC) received a tremendously generous gift of $30 million from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. This is the single largest donation the College has received in its almost 95-year history, and one of largest single-donor gifts given to a California Community College.
The award was given in recognition of LBCC’s leadership and transformative work in responding to the College’s changing demographics, closing equity gaps and work in racial justice. LBCC also intensified its race conscious efforts and adopted the Long Beach Framework of Reconciliation in Support of the Black Community to address the College’s own institutional racism that may hinder students of color from success. These actions were in response to the protests that took place in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and others in the Black community last summer.
The unrestricted gift will be prioritized for initiatives that:
- improve student academic outcomes by addressing racial equity gaps
- engage in race conscious and equity-minded practices that promote an inclusive and affirming campus environment
- increase holistic support services for our most vulnerable students
“We are grateful for this generous gift to Long Beach City College’s equity and racial justice work,” said Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD) Board of Trustees President Uduak-Joe Ntuk. “Today’s announcement is a recognition of the transformational programming and institutional change driven by Dr. Mike Munoz in addressing the needs of our entire student body. These funds will expand on that work to accelerate academic outcomes, increase economic opportunity and expand upward mobility for generations of LBCC students.”
LBCC’s notable equity and racial justice accomplishments include:
- LBCC initiated a number of strategies to create a more inclusive campus and programs that address issues that may take place beyond the classroom. LBCC has been viewed as a leader in California with its trailblazing Cultural Curriculum Audit. And in 2019, LBCC launched the Strong Beach Bus Pass Pilot Program which provides free bus passes through Long Beach Transit to address the issue that transportation can be a barrier for some students from attending class.
- In the last three years, students transferring to a four-year institution increased by 16 percent. With the intentional focus of serving historically underserved communities, Black student transfers increased by 51 percent, and Latinx student transfers increased by 19 percent.
- In the last five years, the number of degrees earned by students increased by 97 percent. With the intentional focus of serving historically underserved communities, the number of Black students obtaining a degree increased by 119 percent, and Latinx students increased by 125 percent.
- The number of Black males matriculating from high school to LBCC increased by 25 percent from Fall 2019 to Fall 2020.
- In the past 10 years, completion of transfer level English has increased by 330 percent, with completions by Black students increasing by 433 percent and Latinx students increasing by 499 percent. In the last year, the equity gap in completion rates between Latinx, White, and Asian students have completely closed.
- In the past 10 years, completion of transfer level Math has increased by 149 percent, with completions by Black students increasing by 271 percent and completions by Latinx students increasing by 281 percent.
- The proportion of students of color on probation has dropped in the last four years with equity gaps closing by 44 percent for Black students and 50 percent for Latinx students.
“It hasn’t been easy to have those hard and uncomfortable conversations about institutional racism within Long Beach City College,” said LBCCD Interim Superintendent-President Dr. Mike Muñoz. “We acknowledged that we need to dismantle the barriers that sometime prevents our most vulnerable students from succeeding. These courageous efforts made by our students and employees and led by our Board of Trustees are being recognized and validated. I hope this gift inspires those who may be uncertain about changing the status quo to join our institutional movement from being color blind to a race conscious approach.”
LBCC is one of the most diverse colleges in the country with a total of 86 percent of LBCC students identifying as students of color. It is a Hispanic Serving Institution with students who identify as Latinx representing more than 58 percent of LBCC’s student population. LBCC is also an Asian American, Native American, Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) with students who identify as Asian, Native American, and Pacific Islander representing 11 percent of the population. Black students account for another 11 percent of the population.
In May 2019, Scott signed the Giving Pledge, a promise to give away at least half her fortune to charitable causes during her life or after she dies. In today’s announcement, Scott is donating $2,739,000,000 in gifts to 286 other organizations across the country.