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Mills: Inside and Out
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Office of the President

Mills: Inside and Out

Mills College
Presidential Communication
November 18, 2016

TO: Mills College Faculty and Staff
FROM: Beth Hillman
SUBJECT: Mills: Inside and Out

Dear all,

This week, I've been thinking about time, about how we spend it and how much we have. I've been reminded of what an amazing difference people from Mills are making right here in the San Francisco Bay Area by choosing to invest their time in the public interest. Consider two Mills alumnae, Tara Singh as president of the board and Judy Hui Pasquini as interim executive director, who lead Operation Dignity, a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of homeless veterans. Or Lateefah Simon, an award-winning Mills woman who was recently named president of the Akonadi Foundation, an organization committed to racial justice, who last week won the District 7 seat on the BART board of directors. These are people who spend their time finding ways to be heard on issues that affect all of us.

Tragically, some of the people who found their voices at Mills have been silenced prematurely. That happened just last week, when Charlotte Reed '14 and Patricia Wright '12, along with their son Benny, were murdered in their East Oakland home. Some of you knew them well at Mills, and feel this loss keenly.

Char majored in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies. Originally from Hawaii, she was a resuming student and veteran of the US Air Force. Before moving to the Bay Area, Char opened a hair salon in San Jose that specialized in serving the LGBTQ community she advocated for. She took pride in her work serving transgender individuals and her senior thesis explored the role the hair salon played as a transgender community space.

Patricia was a graduate student in education and graduated with a multi-subject credential in K-12 preparation. She was a beloved and dedicated teacher in the Berkeley Unified School District and recently left to work in Esperanza Elementary, a neighborhood East Oakland school.  Her quest for learning was strong and unending and, though she recently suffered a difficult battle with cancer, she chose to continue to teach. She came to Mills as a resumer saying she needed to be as well prepared as possible to teach the children in her community.

Both Char and Patricia were dedicated mothers who always put their children first and treasured their family.  We are reaching out to those who were close to Char and Patricia for information about a service or to see if there are ways donations can be made for the family and will share that information when known.

As we remember their lives and impact, we also grieve the opportunity lost when members of our community fall to violence. I hope each of us can value each day we have a chance to make a difference.

Beth Signature

 



Hours

Monday–Friday
8:30 am–5:00 pm

President's Open
Office Hours


Contact Information

Mills Hall 109

P: 510.430.2094
F: 510.430.2256
E: president@mills.edu

Last Updated: 6/16/17