(PRWEB) December 19, 2013
It was ERASE Racism's most successful Student Leadership Forum to date!
On November 16, 2013 ERASE Racism hosted a Student Leadership Forum for 132 high school students (from 18 schools across Nassau and Suffolk County) and their chaperones, assisted by 13 volunteers and 4 ERASE Racism staff. Twenty one (21) of these students were from North Hempstead schools (Herricks, Great Neck South, Westbury and The Wheatley School). This interactive day-long workshop, held at the Barry Tech Center in Westbury, introduced these students to the history of race and racism in the U.S. and how racism continues to have an impact on their lives on Long Island and beyond.
Students listened to interactive lectures, engaged in small group discussions and interactive exercises with fellow participants which were facilitated by adult staff, and viewed relevant film clips, followed by audience discussions.
The keynote speaker, Sergio Argueta, former Executive Director, STRONG Youth, Inc. and currently the Director of the Undergraduate Program of the School of Social Work at Adelphi University gave inspiring remarks to the students about how popular culture perpetuates negative racial stereotypes and encouraged students to start questioning what they see through the media.
The overwhelmingly positive comments left by students on their anonymous evaluation forms offer a powerful indicator of the success of this event. Following are a sampling of the comments:
"The information from this leadership forum changed my life. I think the guest speaker empowered us to change our views."
"My perceptions and opinions have definitely changed after this conference. Coming from a school where minority groups are the majority, I was surprised to discover that others who go to school on Long Island don’t have this experience. I realize that some people may be racist because they have not been taught anything else."
"This program has been so eye opening and informative. It has been a privilege to be a part of this experience. Thanks!"
And from a chaperone:
"My students could not stop talking on the bus on the way home about their feelings and reactions to what they learned on Saturday."