By: Tova Turner and Sandrea Celestin
On February 9, 2018, several students organized a forum on race and ethnicity. Its purpose was to discuss the historical and current issues surrounding racial and ethnic social dynamics in the United States.
After the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s led by many African-American leaders, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, James Baldwin, and Malcolm X, our nation saw significant changes that improved the lives of Black citizens. However, today, minority groups in the United States still face great racial and ethnic discrimination.
In our forum we discussed how the history of slavery and segregation affected the lives of Black Americans. Some of the topics we discussed were how Black Americans were harassed in the process of desegregation in the 1960’s, the evolution of use of the N-word, racial profiling, police brutality, the Black Lives Matter Movement, the rise of White Supremacists and Nationalist groups. The forum was important because minorities still face injustice and discrimination today, and this is not talked about enough.
The intention of the forum was to start a conversation about how these issues affect our country, as well other countries where similar racist and xenophobic behavior takes place. Our goal was to inform our community about how social prejudice still exists today. We took on this responsibility with optimism, and we hope that honest communication and the power of friendship can help lead the way to a better society.
On behalf of the students who participated in the forum (Tova, Sandrea, Kate, Norah, Jet, Lexi and Jalyn) thank you to the students, faculty and staff for joining us in this important discussion.