Community College of Philadelphia honors its first Black board chair with portrait unveiling
Jeremiah J. White has been on the board of CCP for 16 years, finishing up his board chair role earlier this year.
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On Dec. 1, Community College of Philadelphia honored long-time board member Jeremiah J. White with the unveiling of his portrait. White has served on the board for 16 years and completed his 7-year term as board chair in September. He was the first Black chair of the board.
White was instrumental in helping the college through the COVID-19 pandemic and in adding diversity, equity, and Inclusion to the College's Strategic Plan as the sixth pillar. He also spearheaded the construction of the Career and Advanced Technology Center.
Harold T. Epps, the current board chair, talked about the center during his speech, “Many of us were in West Philadelphia, at what I think is the physical monument of your term. And that’s the $35 to $40 million Career and Advanced Technology Center. If you have not been there, you need to go there because it is one of the anchors of the evidence of the transformation of a college to a more balanced institution between higher ed matriculation and workforce development.”
“And so Jeremiah and to your grandchildren and to the next generation, every time that you go by that building, you can say, ‘That is a building that Jeremiah White helped build,’” he added.
White is the principal and CEO of White & Associates, a firm that helps individuals develop their ideas into businesses or nonprofits by advising them on business planning and marketing.
He is also the President of iPraxis, Inc., which is a non-profit that gives middle schoolers in Philadelphia a chance to engage with the STEM field by connecting them with professional scientists.
“I’m deeply moved by this unveiling this evening. And as many of you know, it’s easier to lead when you’re guiding leaders,” White said.
Another long-time board member, Lydia Hernandez, was also honored at this event. She served for 13 years and was made an emeritus member of the board. In the history of CCP’s board, only two board members were given the status of emeritus before Hernandez.
White delivered a welcome speech for Hernandez, where he talked about the things they experienced together during their time on the board.
“Lydia has stood tall and has persisted as a strong, local advocate to enhance the student experience and to develop an inclusive, equitable, and diverse workplace,” he said.
White added, “I was always able to bounce things off of her and talk to her about challenges. She always saw CCP as the city’s college. She never paused to raise her voice to advocate for social justice. Here. Puerto Rico. Around the world. She beats the drum and most importantly she acts, she takes action.”
During her speech Hernandez said, “It has been a true honor to work with mythbusters. The board and the people on the board and the staff at CCP bust myths every day. That our students can’t, that they have too many barriers, that they are challenged in ways that we can’t address. All lies. All myths.”