NEW BEDFORD - Following a women's forum and march on Saturday in downtown New Bedford, Bristol Community College has released an official statement.

A spokesperson for the school tells WBSM News BCC officials were unaware of exclusionary practices for the meeting until after it had taken place.

Joyce Brennan, Vice President of Communications at BCC, issued the statement on behalf of President Laura Douglas:

"Bristol Community College’s mission is to serve the community as a public institution where everyone is welcome and the college is accessible to all individuals without discrimination or exclusionary activities. BCC fosters an environment that is safe, supportive, respectful, and open to all.”

The statement comes three days after the Women's Forum and PerSisterhood Luncheon was held in a reserved meeting space within BCC's building at 800 Purchase Street. The forum was intended for women and non-binary individuals only, and invited female or non-binary press coverage only. Male reporters, including WBSM News Director Taylor Cormier and a Standard Times reporter, were discouraged from attending and were turned away at the door by event organizer and City Councilor Dana Rebeiro.