By Crystal E. Newby and David A. Hawkins
To say race relations in the United States have been tumultuous over the last year is an understatement. Many Americans and individuals worldwide watched the horrific footage of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police in May 2020. And although one of his killers has since been convicted and jailed, we continue to watch the loved ones of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor fight for justice. It seems like every day there is an incident in the news where a Black student is forced to cut their hair to compete in a sporting event or to walk in their high school graduation ceremony. There have even been instances when white educators made derogatory remarks toward students of color when they thought no one was listening.
Just recently, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Nikole Hannah-Jones, was denied tenure at her alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for a role in which it’s traditionally granted. Many allege the decision was due to her extensive involvement in the 1619 Project—an initiative of The New York Times Magazine that analyzes how slavery shaped American political, social, and economic institutions. These events are just a small sample of what BIPOC individuals face daily, yet some state officials have proposed banning discussions of systemic racism in schools, particularly any context of critical race theory (CRT).
Continue reading NACAC View: Bans on Critical Race Theory are Harmful to Students and Educators
Traditionally, the Common App has required students to list their extracurricular activities; often, as a supplement, colleges ask them to pick the one that is most important and expound upon it. What we have all (hopefully) realized in the last 12 months is that what was once required of students, what was once a part of their daily routines, has changed, perhaps forever. We are asking students to define themselves by a past they didn’t have, at the very moment we require them to identify a future where they can thrive. Encouraging students to define themselves by rules and frameworks that are no longer compatible with the world in which they live is not only a disservice to the students, but to the institutions with which they wish to engage.
Continue reading Is it Time to Re-Evaluate Our Questions?
New research shines a spotlight on the extent to which Black teens experience racism and explores how those experiences impact mental health.
A small study of 101 students from Washington, DC, found that Black teens, on average, encounter racism and discrimination five times a day. Students who faced the most severe incidents of racism were more likely to experience depression.
The study, led by Devin English of Rutgers University (NJ), was published in the January-February issue of the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.
Science News for Students examined the findings and interviewed English for a recent article aimed at helping all teens recognize and address racism. In easy-to-understand language, the article explains why the onslaught of discrimination faced by Black students is so damaging and offers white students advice for becoming antiracist.
Continue reading Study: Black Students Face Racist Actions 5 Times a Day