Race Matters: CRLS Black Student Union Panel Discussion

Race Matters: CRLS Black Student Union Panel Discussion
Posted on 04/06/2018

By: Stacy Carruth, parent and chair of Race Matters: Courageous Conversations

Race MattersOn April 4, the Race Matters group hosted a panel discussion at Haggerty with two students, Hermella Kebede and Jonah Tauber, from the Cambridge Rindge and Latin Black Student Union (BSU) and their advisor, Kevin Dua (History Teacher at Rindge and Latin). We watched a series of powerful videos that the BSU created, two of which highlighted issues of racism that they have personally experienced while at the school. We also watched their videos entitled, Cambridge STANDS UP for the anthem: A Public Service Announcement, and Superwoman #1: A Black Student Union’s Tribute to Women’s History Month. Watch the videos >>

We had about 30 people in the audience, including a few Vassal Lane students who bravely talked about how they had experienced racism. There was a rich discussion that took place and some of the key views shared from the evening were:

  • After the videos came out, there was a real lack of outrage about the fact that these students had experienced this racism (in fact they received many negative comments for speaking out). These students have worked bravely and hard to put their truth out there in order to bring about change, and it is not easy work and takes a toll.

  • Schools don’t do enough to educate people who don’t experience racism on its impact.

  • There is a lot of work that needs to be done within our institutions (policies, practices, curriculum) to support racial equity.

  • The meeting was audio-taped by Rupa Shenoy, a journalist from Public Radio International, who is doing a piece on the impact of youth activism on anti-racism and equity work in Cambridge. The story will air on The World, and on her podcast, Otherhood.

For comments, suggestions or more information about Race Matters, contact Stacy Carruth.

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