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Previewing Thursday’s SEAT at the table meetings and events

Mike Manning

Springfield College’s newly implemented SEAT at the Table event is just two weeks away. Looking to educate the community on a wide variety of topics related to social injustices, Thursday’s list of workshops does just that. 

 Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all workshops will be run through Zoom and the links can be found on Springfield College’s SEAT at the Table webpage.

 Mounira Morris, Cherese Childers-McKee, Eboni Rafus-Brenning, and Felicia R. Lundquist will lead off the day with, “Blood, Sweat & Tears: The Experiences of BIPOC & Women of Color in the Academy Fighting The Good Fight.

 Entitled, “Beyond Individualism: Understanding Structural Discrimination,” Professor Laurel Davis-Delano will challenge attendees to dive further into prejudice and stereotypes. Looking beyond discrimination and identifying the who, the what, why, and where its coming from is something that Davis-Delano thinks is not stressed enough.

 “Everyone knows about racism. They know about stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. However, for some, little is known beyond face value,” said Davis-Delano. 

 Mira Simon will be offering an event-based around social justice and racism in sports. Examples of social justice movements in the sports world such as Colin Kaepernick’s kneel protest, the WNBA’s strike, and many more will be at the center of Simons’s discussion.

 Well versed in the topic, Simon hopes that those joining her workshop will not only educate but improve Springfield College’s highly athletic community. Simon will also discuss ideologies related to sports failing and succeeding to unite people. 

 “There’s a narrative that sports are seen as an equalizer,” Simon explains. “Despite the narrative, there’s a lot of research that that’s not the case. While there are discrepancies on all levels, sport has the potential to be a place where social justice is achieved.”

 Continuing the Dancers Against Racism: Move for the movement series, Alysia Douglas and Sara Zehnder will be breaking down the basics of dancehall. Stating that, it’s uplifting, it’s communal, and it’s empowering,” those joining the movement can expect a fun afternoon filled with dance. 

 Dr. Calvin Hill’s workshop will be exploring the development of race within the United States. Dr. Hill will focus on the roles one can take to sever the ongoing cycle of racism.

 Presenting, “Understanding Your Privilege,” Emory Fairchild and Abby Murdock will be holding a workshop doing just that. Those involved in the event will be paired with someone at random and will be asked to discuss and reflect upon a list of prompts. 

 The meeting will look to bridge gaps between all kinds of people, with the ability to identify others’ privileges as well as their own being the main focus of the event.

 Honing light on Dr. Robert Bullards work regarding environmental justice, Nathalie Beltran and SEED will be hosting the workshop, “Social Justice and Environmentalism.” People coordinating this event will look to extend resources to those who are looking to better educate themselves on racial and environmental issues.

 Concluding Thursday’s events, Elizabeth Morgan, Michelle Scecina, Nina Winsick, and Daisy Alaeze-Dinma will be displaying their workshop titled, “Fostering Inclusion of LGBTQ Individuals in Athletics.” Broken into three separate sections, this event will offer background information on gender identity, expression, and sexual orientation. Sections of reflection and ways to take action will finish the final workshop.

 As the week-long SEAT event finished, many on-campus hope to see Springfield College continue their involvement in social justice. 

 Fifty-six years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King gave a commencement speech right on campus. A school with such a historical background like Springfield has Simon pleading for the school to continue events like the SEAT at the Table. A school she believes stands out from others can continue their success with the help of higher-ups.

 “Our school is very unique compared to others,” Simon said. “I don’t want this to be a one-time thing. We need these conversations to continue, and the more we hear from the President and see upper VP’s attending the events, their level of commitment to our Humanics philosophy will be evident.”

 Simon also stresses that little things like self-reflection, continuous research, and following of social media feeds related to social inequalities, are great ways to take the next step in becoming educated furthermore after the first SEAT event.

Photo: Office of Multicultural Affairs

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