Campus News News

Friday’s SEAT at the Table events provide many ways to learn

By Amanda Hitchcock

Continuing the national discussion of race, justice and peace, Michael D’Andrea kicks off Friday’s SEAT at the Table events with A Community-University-Based Intervention.

For those interested in learning more about the complex forms of racism manifested in their own communities and universities, or developing new partnerships with other persons interested in addressing racism in the universities/communities, this event is made for them.

Following this, Simone Alter Muri will be hosting Post-historical Trauma and Art, an art history event where the presenter discusses concepts of an art piece and confronts the audience about the implications of the past to present-day situations. Participants will gain an understanding of post-historical trauma and artists who bring awareness to these concepts.

Kevaughn Hayle and Xavier Washington’s SEAT event shines a light on the discrimination in health care. This event will show the participants how Black citizens have been mistreated throughout American history.

Not only will they discuss across the board racism, but also specific cases of discrimination, such as Jacob Blake and how he was treated. The session will shed light on the lifelong experiences of racism in health care.

Legacies and Lessons from the 1969-70 Springfield College Black Student Protests presented by Kris Rhim, Quinn Kenneally, Aniley Morales and the Men of Excellence will dive into Springfield College’s own history and feature a roundtable of faculty and students who have done extensive research on the Black student protests at Springfield College in 1969-70.

“Racial tensions on campus right now can impact the school for the next fifty years, so future alums who are looking at the institution don’t have to see future students making demands again,” said Rhim.

Each participant will deliver a five-minute opening remark in which they summarize their particular expertise on these events and reflect on what lessons those events offer to the participants as they confront systemic racial inequality both on and off campus today.

“Things have evolved in a way that students felt obligated to propose their own demands. This puts in perspective for people to understand that we aren’t that far removed from this and how we can learn from this time,” Rhim said.

There is also a Diversity and Inclusion fair on Friday, serving as one of the few in person events, and is “moving, thought provoking and eye opening,” according to Paris Lizana.

Lizana and the Student Government Association will be running an event called, Checking Your Blind Spot. This talk will give participants an opportunity to actively learn about their peers and their differences — and what makes each person unique. Each booth at the fair will focus on confronting biases.

“The booth called ‘the wake-up calls’ will feature students who anonymously sent in real life experiences they had on campus or just in life,” explained Lizana.

Participants will have multiple opportunities to learn about their peers’ experiences. The booths include ‘The Wake-up Call.’ These are 30-second soundbites of real scenarios in which someone faced discrimination. Others including taking an implicit bias quiz, the science behind the bias, common biases and dangers of confirmation bias.

“Some of the most important booths will feature science behind the bias and help people understand how bias works in our brains and how quick we can form an opinion on something,” Lizana said.

Additionally, there will be a deadly bias memorial where students will be able to read stories from people who have been lost to police brutality, racism and acts that contributed to bias. In a week of over 30 events, Friday offers a multitude of opportunities to learn.

Photo Courtesy of Springfield College Office of Multicultural Affairs

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