Celebrating and learning more about heritage or historical months/days.

Good evening fellow Warriors, and to our Muslim Warriors, I say, “Eid Mubarak!” 

This evening marks the beginning of Eid-al-Fitr (the festival of Breaking the Fast), the culmination of Ramadan; a period of fasting and prayer for Muslims around the world. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar, and it is a time when Muslims practice self-restraint and compassion as they aim to grow spiritually and deepen their connection with God. During this month, Muslims show gratitude to Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins while daily fasting from sunrise to sunset. Fasting for Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam as outlined in the Qur’an along with declaration of faith, prayer, almsgiving, and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca).

According to Islamic tradition, the first Eid was celebrated in Medina in 624 A.D., when the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) marked the end of a month of fasting. Today, Muslims from around the world participate in this holy day, and here at Stan State we extend warm wishes to all of our Islamic communities as they break bread in Iftar dinners (breaking of fast with family and friends) and spend time with their loved ones whilst celebrating their faith.

It is our goal here at Stan State to encourage an inclusive environment that supports all of our campus community.   

We are proud of our diversity, and we revel in the rich tapestry that is our campus community. Please join me in wishing Eid Mubarak to the members of our Muslim community on our two campuses in Turlock and Stockton and to the wider Central Valley at large.

Warmest regards,

Sacha Joseph-Mathews, Ph.D.
Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer 

April 1, 2024

Good day, fellow Warriors, and to our Assyrian community I say, “Reese Sheeta brikhta!” Today, we are commemorating and reflecting on two significant holidays that hold importance for our community. 

On April 1 each year, we celebrate Akitu — an Assyrian holiday often referred to as Kha b’Nissan or Assyrian Day. This is a very important holiday for persons who identify as Assyrian, and it marks the beginning of the Assyrian New Year. Here at Stan State, we are pleased to recognize the importance of this day to our campus and the broader community, as Turlock is home to one of the largest Assyrian populations in the United States.  

In Ancient times, the Akitu festival was celebrated for 12 days and marked the beginning of spring. Tens of thousands of people from all over the Assyrian Empire would travel to its capital city, Nineveh, to partake in the festival.

Now, there are Akitu parades and celebrations throughout the United States to commemorate Kha b’Nissan. The holiday symbolizes renewal, revival and a new beginning. We are proud of our diversity here at Stan State, and we revel in the rich tapestry that is our campus community. 

As we celebrate the significance of Akitu, we also pause to acknowledge another important day, César Chávez Day. On this day, we celebrate César Chávez’s life of work and service. He was a crusader for social justice, a fighter for worker rights and a relentless voice for the unheard and the forgotten.  His work in the Central Valley as the founder of the National Farm Workers Association brought attention to the economic injustices, racism and discrimination that was rampant on farms in the Central Valley and throughout California. But his activism also brought health care, financial services, job training and even daycare to farm workers, thereby transforming the lives of numerous generations to come. Today, we honor the impact of César Chávez not only on the LatinX community but also on all communities in the Central Valley and beyond, and we reflect on the work that lies ahead to build a brighter future for all of us. 

To further commemorate and honor our Central Valley farm worker leaders César Chávez, Dolores Huerta and Larry Itliong, our campus will host the 29th annual Sí Se Puede celebration on April 11, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Student Center steps. This year's theme will be “Kapamilya: Honoring Filipino Farmworkers & Families.” The program will include a keynote address by Dr. Sara Cadalig and entertainment by Stan State alumna Liliana Hernandez, Balet Folklorico Los Luceros and a special debut by Mariachi de Stan State. 

I hope many of you can join us for this celebration and commemoration on April 11. And today, please join me in wishing Reesh Shato Brikhto to the members of our Assyrian community here on campus and in Turlock at large.   

Warmest regards,

Sacha Joseph-Mathews, Ph.D. 
Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer 


A group of four women talking together.

March 1, 2024

Women’s History Month is a time when we contemplate and celebrate the history, contributions, struggles and activism of women. We explore all the ways women have enriched our lives, our experiences, our families and our organizations. We lean into woman and girl power to defy the status quo and we explore what femininity was, is and can be in future generations.   

Throughout the history of the United States, women have fought for independence, equal access to education, healthcare, the right to vote, the right to control their bodies, their finances, their destinies — and we acknowledge that struggle continues. In 2024, there is still a gender pay gap, reproductive rights are in question and less than 10% of all C-suite positions are held by women.

For centuries, women played critical roles in industry, service, the arts, as innovators, entrepreneurs, scientists and explorers.  Women have proven their equality in every aspect and fabric of society.  

March is a month where we get to celebrate all that it means to be a woman. We pay tribute to the diversity of gender, identity and sexuality inherent in womanhood, and we acknowledge the myriad ways in which it is perceived and experienced within our campus community.

 As we celebrate Women’s History Month, let us recommit ourselves to fostering an inclusive environment where every woman, regardless of background or identity, can thrive. Together, let us honor the past, celebrate the present and pave the way for a future where gender equality is not merely an aspiration, but a lived reality for all.

Go, Warriors!

Sacha Joseph-Mathews, Ph.D.
Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer


Black History Month 2024

Feb. 1, 2024

Today marks the beginning of the first week of Black History Month. Throughout this month, we will highlight both the sacrifices African Americans have made here in the US, as well as celebrate the amazing richness that Black heritage has added to our American tapestry and our campus community. This February, we will recognize African American accomplishments, whilst celebrating Black culture and history.   We know that Black history is American history and commemorating the contributions of the Black community helps to make our community more vibrant.  However, while February is the month dedicated to promoting awareness around Black heritage, it is critical that we acknowledge the importance of African American heritage throughout the year and not just in Black History Month.

As we celebrate Black History Month, we must also consider February as a time to reflect upon America’s complex history, including the impact of slavery —a moral stain that we still grapple with today through revisionist ideologies, institutionalized racism, systemic inequalities and historical trauma that is embedded in the DNA of millions of the descendants of slavery. But Black history isn’t only about the trauma of the middle passage and subsequent atrocities Black folk ensured. It is about resilience and pride, it is about the richness of Black culture and it is a celebration of a dynamic and innovative group of people. It is about understanding the role of the African diaspora in African American history and the influence of Black cultures from Africa, South America and the Caribbean on Black heritage today. It is an examination of the survival of Black communities even in the face of great adversity, and a reflection on the cost of such trauma on the human condition. Black History Month serves as a reminder of how far we have come and at the same time how much further we still have to go.

As Warriors, we know that diversity is built into our DNA, and belonging and inclusion are not just goals, but among our most treasured values. I encourage you to spend some time reading up on Black history this February and exploring the richness of Black American heritage. Join us as we celebrate Black history via several events both on the Stockton and Turlock campuses.

I will end with a quote from The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Our goal is to create a beloved community, and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”

I look forward to growing this beloved community with you as we celebrate all the heritage months.

Go, Warriors!

Sacha Joseph-Mathews, Ph.D.
Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer 

Updated: April 10, 2024