It’s been said that writing or speaking brings things into existence, makes them real. And it’s true. The power of conversation breathes life into issues unexplored or purposely ignored. The problem here is, much of our history and modern-day happenings are dying, fading out of our collective consciousness, and it is our duty to resuscitate them. They can’t breathe, let alone exist in the minds coddled by ignorance and blind hatred. Their hands are up; they are almost begging for some recognition. A community like ours, bound by the love of all things blue and white, should unite and expand our collective’s color scheme. By doing so, our eyes will be open to a slew of this nation’s issues. But how exactly should we go about getting our gaze to shift?
Discussion is the catalyst of change. It brings awareness, amplifies importance, and urges its audience to take action. How can anybody be aware of a problem if it is not talked about? We cannot expect our forward-thinking community to be a guiding light when we as a whole are still in the dark. This is where the need for forums comes into play. Having a series of productive discussions and panels is a crucial component in our community’s development of cultural awareness.
Creating a safe space for discussing headline news occurrences, the relationship between different demographics and the police, macro and micro aggressions people of color face in educational and professional settings, cultural and religious differences, and more will help us all gain a truer understanding of a wide range of issues for a multitude of reasons, as follows. Breaking down issues rather than just learning about them pushes individuals to analyze rather than passively listen, there will be faces attached to personal testimonies, which makes our nation’s issues about more than just data and percentages, and the consistent learning will lead to a more welcoming environment by breaking down the walls of prejudice and bias.
The individual is powerful, but a community of individuals has the power to change their area’s social climate. I implore that you recognize that it takes one person to raise awareness, to ask the right question, to start a movement, and to begin the journey leading to change. The power of one is not to be overlooked, just as the power of all is not to be underestimated. We are … capable of making a difference. Let discussion inspire us all.
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Indigo Murray is a Penn State sophomore in the College of the Liberal Arts.
IF YOU GO
What: Let’s Talk About Race — For a Change
When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 27
Where: Easterly Parkway Elementary School, 234 Easterly Parkway, State College
More info: Preregister at www.scasd.org/Page/401