The March 4 front-page article “A crossroads for community colleges” astutely pointed out the social justice implications of community colleges today. But going a step further, community colleges can play a significant front-line role in advancing healing and reducing the social, economic and political divide in the United States. They are the most localized form of higher education, existing in most every space in the country, whether the local politics are red, blue or purple. For many years, I taught in a suburban community college, and my students represented all walks of life, all social conditions and a range of world views.

As truly “democracy’s colleges,” these institutions can fashion initiatives that bring groups together that might disagree on politics of the day but can agree on the need to work together.

David J. Smith, Rockville