THE SACRAMENTO BEE
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, right, poses with Elika Bernard, 22, at an award ceremony Monday at the California Museum
She also praised Sacramento City College and Los Angeles Valley College, this year's winners of the John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award. The award is given to state community college programs, districts or individuals that have best promoted staff and faculty diversity and student equity.
"The winners represent what my father stands for," Rice said.
Last school year, Sacramento City College's Cultural Democracy Initiative offered 72 workshops. Faculty members involved in the program also helped host a statewide community college diversity conference attended by more than 200 people from 32 colleges.
The Los Angeles Valley College Early Start Program worked with some students at a high school predominantly serving poor families. Program officials boast that all its students have gone on to attend prestigious universities like Harvard, Yale and Stanford.
Sacramento City College President Kathryn Jeffery's voice cracked as she spoke about the importance of the award, and remembered sitting at a lunch counter where people didn't want to serve her. "The issue of race and cultural diversity is still a lesson we are trying to learn and
master in the United States," Jeffery said.
The focus Monday morning was clearly on the legacy of John Rice, who died in 2000.
Speaker after speaker lauded him as an educator who spent his life promoting the ideals of diversity and equity. Many reminisced about his eight-year tenure on the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, which established the award in his honor in 2001.
Rice said the family legacy actually began with her grandfather – "an education evangelist." He was the son of a sharecropper in Alabama who wanted nothing more than an education. He used cotton to pay his way to Stillman College in Alabama. But it didn't last long enough for him to graduate. Then he learned scholarships were given to men who wanted to become Presbyterian ministers.
"So, our family have been Presbyterian and college-educated ever since," she said.
She also took a moment to talk about how America is viewed in the world.
"Our national myth is the log cabin," Rice said. "That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things." That's what has brought immigrants to this country for years, she said.
"We've got to keep welcoming these people," Rice said.
She said that hard work and ambition allow people to reach their full potential. She pointed at community colleges as a route people can take to reach this potential.
"If America is all right, the world will be all right, too," Rice said.
Has Condi had dental work done on her two top front teeth?
She used to have a cute gap between her two front upper slightly-buck teeth. Now her top front teeth look, well, normal.
Either that or someone has photoshopped the photo?
RICH PEDRONCELLI/Associated Press
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, right, poses with Elika Bernard, 22, at an award ceremony Monday at the California Museum.
Peter Dow comments.
Condi, light of the world, hope of mankind, your beauty is surpassed by no woman - so you don't NEED surgeons reworking your face.
We don't want you to turn into a female Jacko.
It is not possible to improve on perfection so quit the plastic surgery now while you are ahead.
Like we say in motor-cycle maintenance - if it ain't bust, don't fix it.