By: Jenna Ring
Coalition for Students of Color one of the very active clubs currently on campus, held a wonderful discussion panel this week. The panel was on the topic of Environmental Racism. The panel was held my three GMC students Yaz Najeebi, KC Martel and, Jesse Brekelbaum. The information shared at the panel was not only extremely informative but also quite alarming. A lot of questions were raised the most common ones seemed to be , where do we g from here? And as a communities how do we fight environmental racism? Environmental racism is a systematic placement through out low income and minority communities where toxic and harmful wast and chemicals are consistently placed. This is not just ironic because if you look at years and years worth of statistic and research, primarily white communities have much lower rates of illness. And black children are four more times more likely to develop asthma than white children are. Community discussions are a great asset to campus. Not only to they start a dialog on campus but they give students and faculty the ability to be heard.
After the panel shared highly informative information the discussion continued. The question kept going back to what can we do as a school to erase environmental racism. Though environmental racism is not a new concept and has been alive for quite sometime, there are ways to break away from it. The most common suggestion was that we install more diversity not only on our campus but in our curriculum. For example a few students suggested that we redo the Images of Nature curriculum. A majority of the reading in Images of Nature is all done by white people, there is no diversity of race. Students have suggested that we take out some of those readings and incorporate readings from all different ethnicity’s. Though Green Mountain is a wonderful place, it is not fair that a large group of students are so underrepresented here. But due to these discussion panels we have the ability to work together and make change.
Last weekend Coalition for Students of Color also held a gathering for students to stand in solidarity with students at The University of Missouri. If you are not aware the University of Missouri is currently in an unimaginable state. White students are legitimately terrorizing students of color on campus. They are going as far as shouting things like “ white power” and evening threatening students. A group of students circled around a group of black students with their trucks and would not leave the students alone. It has gotten so bad that students of color have evacuated campus for their own safety. Some faculty at Mizzou has claimed that students are over reacting. Though this is an awful circumstance that nobody especially a college student whose just trying to get by should have to deal with. Students are getting together and fighting back. The smallest steps can lead to the biggest change!