By Seraphina Mallon-Breiman
Photography: Robert Layman
This past week Green Mountain College celebrated a week long series of events to honor Martin Luther King Jr. – These events were predominantly facilitated by junior Alex Ruffins in conjunction with CSC (Coalition for Student’s of Color) and ran as follows:
Martin Luther King Jr. Day & Week Celebration Schedule
Monday (January 18th 2016, MLK Day)
7:00am – 9:00am Free Breakfast @ Methodist Church.
8:30am Community Service Opportunity at the Methodist Church
10:00am Workshopping MLK’s Speeches – What can we learn from them & how can we apply his vision to our community? Coalition for Students of Color in East Room
11:00am Hip-Hop Playwrights Workshop for the Poultney Community (kids 5th to 8th grade) with Corey Fletcher, Rob Holloway, Angelica King, Seraphina M. in the Gorge
1:00pm Community Service with the sustainability office , meet at the free store
3:00pm Nonviolent Communication Workshop with Simon in the East Room
7:00pm Selma – Film Screening & Discussion in the Gorge
Wednesday (January 20th 2016)
10:00am Race & Feminism Presentation with Heather Keith in the East Room
11:15am MLK’s Spiritual Foundation Presentation with Shirley Oskamp in the East Room
7:00pm Black Power Mixtape – Film Screening & Discussion in the Gorge
Friday (January 22nd 2016)
1:00pm MLK, Identity, Inclusion – Workshop and Presentation with Champlain College’s Ame Lambert in the East Room
2:30pm Diversity at GMC – What Have We Done and Where Are We Going? With Tom Mauhs-Pugh in the East Room
8:00pm Women, Poetry & Music @ The Coffee House with Angelica King
The presentation held on Friday afternoon at 1pm with Champlain College’s Ame Lambert significantly caught my attention.
Ame spoke in detail regarding the power of privilege, acknoweledging it’s existence and accepting ones placement: the ability to just be, to sit with your identity. “It just is, it’s there,” said Ms. Lambert, “Diversity inclusion is coming!”
Ame explained that diversity means everything and nothing and is considerable only within dimensions: cultural, societal, personal. One must focus in multiple areas. For example, the same term can include different or multiple causes, constantly overlapping and interacting spheres/dimensions of experience. Our values are learned and impact every single thing that we do.
Within educational or conversational settings, one must must also include a framework for all of this. Grit can not be measured by a metrics framework.
Resilience is important. If you have a non-normative identity, life is harder. The American dream is not inclusive of this. The research highlights the dominant experience which only encompasses a small percentage of people.
Diversity training: Only way to move forward is to focus on the historically under represented groups. It’s a representation challenge for access and success.
Expanding ideas regarding judgement and humility. Great leaders only became great by having developed their understanding of inclusion. Justice is always present, everyone must develop a moral compass. We can’t override each other’s ignorances or wrong answers or misunderstanding, forgiveness is the only way to move forward, as MLK day reminds us each year.