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CSUS Scholars Participate In Panel Discussion About The 1961 Freedom Riders

CSUS Scholars Participate in Panel Discussion about the 1961 Freedom Riders
This is the image for the news article titled CSUS Scholars Participate in Panel Discussion about the 1961 Freedom RidersOn Sunday March 30, 2014 four scholars from the Grade 8 Identity and Voice elective joined Principal Fernandez and CSUS faculty members Kini Griffin and Melanie Ahern at a panel discussion in Needham regarding the 1961 Freedom Riders entitled “Becoming an Ally: Activating your Sphere of Influence.” The film series and panel discussion were sponsored by The Needham Library and the Needham Human Rights Committee in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil rights Act. We used the video Freedom Riders as the inspiration for a discussion on what it means to be an ally to a targeted cultural group that may have less social advantages than you. It was a two hour program that at times was uncomfortable for some, much like the discussion of race and privilege can be for so many.

The scholars were 8th graders Andrew Anilus, Jordan Lake, Kevin Reddick, and Ahzeem Santos. The audience was comprised of about 35 people. It was mostly middle-aged white adults with very little racial diversity. It was particularly insightful for the young men as some participants passionately discussed negative images and cultural stereotypes of urban black boys. The scholars who are all boys of color were surprised by the candid opinions expressed by audience members. Our scholars were impressive in their candid, passionate and illuminating push back. Once again, CSUS scholars represented us well.