BREAKING: Following pushback, SDCCD chancellor cancels investiture

After weeks of controversy regarding keynote speaker Alice Walker, district cancels the event


Petco Park was set to host the investiture of San Diego Community College District Chancellor Carlos Cortez. on May 31. The event was canceled by the district on May 23. SDCCD photo

City Times - Spring 2022This story appeared in the latest print edition of City Times.

Carlos Cortez, chancellor of the San Diego Community College District, announced the cancellation of his upcoming investiture event in a district-wide email sent this afternoon.

The event was originally scheduled to be held May 31 at Downtown’s Petco Park. 

The cancelation comes after several weeks of controversy regarding author Alice Walker, who was to be the keynote speaker. Walker has been criticized by various organizations for antisemitic language in her work.

The free public event was to celebrate Cortez’s inauguration to the district’s top role and included appearances by a host of high-level officials, including California Secretary of State Shirley Weber and State Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins.

The following statement was emailed at 4:51 p.m. by the SDCCD Office of the Chancellor:

“Over the past few weeks, concerns have been expressed about the political beliefs and writings of the investiture keynote speaker, Alice Walker. At the same time, others have expressed their support of Ms. Walker. As a district that celebrates inclusion, we believe the best way forward would be to cancel the event altogether. I apologize for the pain caused to any member of our community. The investiture scheduled for May 31 will not be held.”

This is a developing story. Stay with City Times Media for more updates.