Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    From Oakland to Washington

    ASLC Senator Aisha Jordan helps put up a sign in the Restring Our Communities Initiative office at Laney College on Wednesday, Aug. 30. (Tower/Sarah Carpenter)

    ASLC Senator Aisha Jordan to attend Black Caucus conference in D.C.

    By Bonnie Oviatt

    Standing behind an ASLC table during Laney College’s “Welcome Week,” Aisha Jordan exudes energy, enthusiasm and positive attitude as she hands out water, snacks and helpful information to new and returning students.

    An Oakland native, Jordan is an African American studies and political science major at Laney, and has a lot to be proud of. Most recently, she has been selected to attend the Black Caucus Foundation’s 47th Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., in September.

    Like many Laney students, Jordan has had to overcome obstacles along her path to getting an education. She first attended Laney College in the 1990s. At the time, the economy was booming and she soon dropped out to go to work. After being laid off, she joined the Job Corps and found they had a college program. She returned to Laney in 2002.

    Jordan was doing well, but then her story took an unexpected twist. While she was pregnant with her daughter, she was unjustly accused of stealing someone’s purse at Laney’s bookstore.

    The common theme running through all of Jordan’s accomplishment is a desire to serve others and help everyone succeed together.

    Although it later proved to be untrue — the whole incident having been caught on video — the experience traumatized her. When she returned to Laney, she had more problems when her apartment building was turned into condos and she became homeless while looking for housing.

    “Sometimes, it’s like trying to run the Olympic marathon with your child on your back and two broken legs,” she said. “Sometimes you’re just tired, but that’s why you can’t give up.”

    Jordan got involved with the Restoring Our Communities Initiative (ROCI ) program, which helps justice or system-impacted students as well as formerly incarcerated students. The student advocates there encouraged her to run for the ASLC. She is now a senator.

    Her experiences have made her realize that “nobody knows everything and we all need to learn from each other.” In addition to her role as an ASLC senator, mother, and student, Jordan is also a motivational speaker and an associate minister at Beth Eden Baptist Church. She has her own ministry, “On The Go 555.”

    The common theme running through all of Jordan’s accomplishment is a desire to serve others and help everyone succeed together. As an ASLC senator, she enjoys working with the student governments from the other Peralta campuses and hopes they can write joint resolutions and present a united front in addressing issues common to all the Peralta campuses.

    “Sometimes, it’s like trying to run the Olympic marathon with your child on your back and two broken legs”

    — Aisha Jordan, Laney Student

    Jordan and others, including Corey Hollis and Nona Claypool, former ASLC President, have formed the QuadE, which stands for Ethics, Equality, Education and Empowerment. It is a caucus dedicated to fighting micro-aggression and helping students, faculty and staff learn how to interact with others respectfully and treat everyone with dignity.

    There are 24 other community colleges waiting to join the caucus. Its constitution and by-laws are worked out so they can be presented at the next Student Senate for California Community Colleges’ general assembly.

    Jordan is eager to attend the Annual Legislative Conference and hopes to “bring the knowledge I gain back to Laney and the Peralta community as well.” She is excited by the prospect of discussing important issues.


    Bonnie Oviatt is a Tower Staff Writer. Email her at: btower(at)yahoo.com

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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