At Generation Justice, we recently produced a national show on racial equity in higher institutions across the nation. For me, it was exciting to be a part of this special radio production. This program gave me so much insight into the history of the subject. I even learned more about the leaders who demanded the opportunities I have today. I am grateful for all the sacrifices they made in order for us to have our freedom and equality. It was very inspiring to listen in on these conversations.
Assisting on this program helped me understand the bigger picture of racial equity and its status on college campuses today. I am grateful for GJ member Luna Olavarria Gallegos who is a student at the New School in New York and has researched systemic racism on college campuses. Her research also helped me understand the historical context of the movements. For example, Luna described past movements that demanded recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. with a holiday. This made me realize more still needs to be done to create true equality within America’s higher education systems.
After Luna set the frame of the show, I was better able to understand and relate to the stories about the recent movements happening at Occidental, Ithaca College and the University of New Mexico. It was uplifting to hear stories about solidarity between African American, Native American, Caucasian and other races on campuses across the nation. This literally gave me chills because it is a vision I also hope to see happen in full force.
I think a system built to serve a certain population is destined to fail because populations usually do not stay constant but are changing constantly. This creates big demands for the less served populations. I think when those populations are not treated fairly and equally, it is their right to demand equity.
I am so grateful to Nicole Baty, Haarika Reddy, Erica Moriarty, Alma Olavarria Gallegos and Luna Olavarría-Gallegos for courageously taking a stand against racial inequity on their campus. Knowing that they are willing to make positive social impacts makes me feel proud and empowered.
I am very grateful that Generation Justice always connects me with such beautiful souls to meet and collaborate with. Making these connections are important because like Nicole Baty said on air, “There is power in numbers,”and I also believe solidarity is the key for equity.