With the killing of George Floyd in May, that many witnessed through a gruesome and painful video, the Black Lives Matter movement quickly gained traction. Racial justice and equality has become a more significant goal for many who are saddened by the death of many black individuals around the country.
Conversations in the classroom look different this year, as topics are more politicalized and polarized than ever.
At the start of the school year, following a summer with hardships like battling a pandemic, a new civil rights movement, and climate issues, hearts were heavy for many passionate students. Conversations in the classroom look different this year, as topics are more politicalized and polarized than ever. In classes where self-growth is encouraged by studying various topics, of either history or written works, topics like Black Lives Matter are mentioned when drawing a direct parallel to moments of racism in past history of the US. It can be challenging to have conversations that do not create political tensions and cause two different political sides to argue with one another. However, people must ask themselves what their goal is.
Personally, I do not think it is a question of whether there is continuous racism at Dana, simply because everyone has different experiences in our community. It is more of a question about what we can do, as students, to make those around us feel included, safe, and heard. People all have different backgrounds, and accepting and valuing such diversity is key. Whether you think police brutality or racism is an issue or not, we all have to hold ourselves accountable. Accountable to the fact that some people of color might not feel comfortable and recognized in the capacity they should be.
Therefore, your role as a student should not be to lose faith in changing things for the better. Instead, everyone needs to ask themselves if they are doing enough. I ask myself if I’m advocating for those with less privileges than myself, those who look different than me, and those who might have different and more unfortunate experiences at Dana than I’ve had. Empathy can go a long way, and the mindset that is encouraged is to carry empathy and respect for those around you in your words, your values, and your actions.
There are even ways to promote inclusivity at Dana. Students can join DHHS Against Racism and contribute in promoting inclusivity and recognition for people of color within our community. There are so many ways to try and make a difference, and as long as empathy is carried throughout our treatment of those around us, racism at Dana can be something that no student ever experiences.
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