Uncensored panel drives community discussion

Low student turn out causes disappointment

Sitting on the panel in front of approximately 45 students, staff and community members, student organizer and panel member senior Doreen Morang’a said she hoped to inspire change within the school.

“It was beneficial because, for the students, they got answers to questions that they were looking for,” Morang’a said. “Especially for the teachers, I hope that it’s going to make them want to change things, or add new perspectives to change a little bit of the curriculum, so that it can better all students that they have, not just the whites or the blacks, but all the students that they do have.”

SOAR member senior Ubah Abdullahi said the forum offered a space to share her experiences.

“I was able to voice my opinions and have others hear it and I genuinely got to understand how other people function and unravel truths that people hold truth to themselves,” Abdullahi said. “I was able to do that myself so this was a space where people could exchange ideas which is always great.”

Senior attendee Kate Brinkman said the stories from panel members broadened her perspective on issues surrounding race.

“I think what stood out to me the most if I am being 100% honest is hearing people’s daily struggles that they go through because those are things that have never occurred to me to be an issue that I don’t experience as a white person,” Brinkman said. “It was really powerful for me to see what everyone goes through on a daily basis and just so that I could aware of that and have their perspective as well.”

Abdullahi said she felt the discussion was primarily carried out by people of color.

“I was disappointed to see the turn out, I genuinely hoped that there were more students who were white and showed up because it was majority faculty and black people and brown people who showed up,” Abdullahi said. “In the future I hope that more white people show up and be a part of these conversations.”

Morang’a said a greater turnout would have allowed the discussion to be more widespread.

“ It would have been nicer to have more people attended this event, but I feel like we got a lot of the points across, and if we did this again I would want more people to be here so that they could also know the answers to the questions, or so they could know what students in the building, their friends feel toward these questions.” Morang’a said.

For those who missed the meeting, video is available here. SOAR meets at 8 a.m. Thursday mornings in the Learning Lab.