WHITTIER – Río Hondo College’s Board of Trustees on May 13 redoubled its commitment to vulnerable communities facing challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including undocumented residents, individuals of Asian/Pacific Islander heritage and those who struggle with food insecurity, housing and access to internet and mental health resources.

Trustees unanimously adopted three resolutions to assert their support for these communities.

“As an immigrant and a former undocumented Californian, I stand firm with Governor Newsom to provide assistance to our immigrant residents,” Board of Trustees President Oscar Valladares said. “I thank my colleagues on the Board for their support.”

The first resolution supports Newsom’s plan to offer relief funds to undocumented residents and opposes a lawsuit challenging the effort. The resolution notes the College’s commitment to providing educational opportunities to students of all backgrounds, including those who are undocumented.

The second resolution denounces xenophobia, especially targeting people of Asian/Pacific Islander heritage who have faced stigmatizing rhetoric since the outbreak of the viral illness. The resolution notes the high population of Asian/Pacific Islanders in the San Gabriel Valley as well as among Río Hondo College’s student body.

The third resolution affirms Río Hondo’s unwavering commitment to student success and equity, acknowledging the significant financial challenges caused by COVID-19 – especially for students already facing economic challenges. The resolution notes Río Hondo College’s commitment to helping students with access to food, housing support, internet connectivity and access to computer resources, as well as access to mental health services.

Valladares urged students during a Facebook video to stay focused – as he himself was encouraged by his mother.

“All this will pass. And I know with perseverance, determination and commitment, you will achieve your education goals,” Valladares said. “I hope today you find support from friends, find support from families to continue stay focused on your dream.”