District announces BLM task force

Los Rios Student Trustee Toni Shiffmaier and the four student senate presidents from each LRCCD college have been working on the task force since the summer


Toni Shiffmaier and the four student senate presidents of the district were motivated to launch a BLM task force after the death of George Floyd and other cases of police brutality against African-Americans this year. (Photo by Emily Mello)

The Los Rios Community College District is in the process of forming a Black Lives Matter task force in response to the death of George Floyd and other incidents of police brutality against African Americans within the past year.

In June, the district’s Student Advisory Committee released a support statement announcing the plan… The supporting statement was signed by a student senate president from each Los Rios college, including American River College, as the task force is a district-wide effort.

Toni Schiffmaier, the student trustee for LRCCD, was charged with leading the project. After the killing of Floyd, Schiffmaier says she was motivated to demonstrate support for the African American students of the district.

“There was a lot of stress among a lot of our students, so myself and the four [student senate] presidents at each of the Los Rios Colleges wanted to find a way to show our support for our African American students and so we decided to write a support statement…” Schiffmaier said. “While we were creating the statement, we didn’t want just to say that we were supporting [Black Lives Matter], but show that we were willing to take action to support our students truly..”

After each of the four presidents consulted with their respective student senates, the task force was finally voted on and approved in October. Shciffmaier says that she and the four chairs have already been brainstorming the services the BLM task force would provide.

“One thing [ the senate chairs] talked about was reaching out to African American students and surveying them, to gather their input on what they would like to see the task force take on, and formulate action plans to see where to create change in Los Rios,” Shiffmaier said.

According to Naomi Dasari, the student senate president at ARC, the BLM task force will hold their first committee meeting on Dec. 28.