From Eagle Rising
You’ll recall a few weeks ago that Brown University students were complaining that schoolwork was interfering with their activism. Well, now it appears there’s a similar sentiment at the University of Maryland.
At a panel last Thursday, students Rhys Hall and Christine Hagan bemoaned the difficulty of engaging in activism while in school.
Hall, a Sociology major, noted that he was glad he was about to graduate, as it gave him “flexibility in [his] schedule to allocate [his] time to being part of this,” and Hagan noted that she didn’t think “there’s ever going to be a convenient time to stand up for social justice.”
Topping them both, however, may have been Dr. Shorter-Gooden, chief diversity officer and associate vice president, who said she thinks that “Black Lives Matter” needs to be there in the classroom regardless of the discipline.”
If you want to know more, you can find the story below:
Via Campus Reform
During a student forum held Thursday at the University of Maryland, Black Lives Matter advocates argued that activism should be taught in the classroom to make it more “convenient” for students to “stand up for racial justice.”
The “Baltimore to Byrd” event, hosted by the student organization Maryland Discourse, featured a panel consisting of two students, Rhys Hall and Christine Hagan, as well as Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice President Kumea Shorter-Gooden and College Park City Councilor Robert Day.
The event started with a disclaimer from UMD’s NAACP chapter secretary and panel moderator Gabriela Davis notifying the audience that “although #BlackLivesMatter is a general statement or black civil rights movement, the #BlackLivesMatter movement is an actual chapter based national organization and these panelists do not reflect the organization.”
The first half of the event involved prepared questions from Davis, after which the panelists fielded questions posed both by audience members and under the Twitter hashtag #UMDBLM.
Davis began by asking the panelists to define “the end goals of Black Lives Matter and what happens after you reach that goal,” to which the panelists responded that the movement is about the pursuit of black equality, but that it is an ongoing struggle without a definite end-point.
“The voices of black people in America should always be represented, and through that representation there will be growth in that period,” Councilman Day said. “We must continue to push forward and use this movement to educate, and communicate, and to continue to grow.”
“I think this is an incredibly important movement that should involve all of us,” Dr. Short-Gooden added. “Black Lives Matter is not just for black folks to embrace, and it’s wonderful to look out in the world and to see such visible diversity in terms of ethnicity and race. I think Black Lives Matter is aimed at eliminating all racism, whether it’s intentional or unintentional; whether it’s conscious or unconscious.”
When asked if the university has been sufficiently active in the movement, Hall immediately said “no,” and that he wished the university would devise a tenure program that will protect teachers from losing their positions when they advocate issues.
“It is difficult to put yourself in this type of activist movement,” Hall complained. “One of the best things we can do for that is to create a program that will give that type of faculty, particularly young ones, a little bit of greater security so that they can advocate on behalf of the things they believe in and the things that they research, and not feel as though they are putting themselves in jeopardy or putting their families in jeopardy.
“For students, these are the type of discussions that need to be happening in the classroom,” he continued, saying, “I’m very fortunate that I’m a sociology major who’s about to graduate, and I have the flexibility in my schedule to allocate my time to being part of this.”
Younger students, though, he fretted, “can’t commit all the time to be on the streets protesting, and if this stuff were being discussed in classrooms; if this were being talked about in anything other than perhaps the African-American Studies and Sociology departments … I would wonder if the need for the amount of energy we’ve expended would be so great.”
Hagan concurred, saying she wished students were both more eager to protest and had the free time to do so.
“I think it’s very hard to find students that are truly motivated and want to do something,” she complained. “I know we all have so much homework to get done and studying to do, and there all these more fun, more exciting things we could be doing with our Friday nights but I don’t think there’s ever going to be a convenient time to stand up for social justice.” Read More