These concepts are tricky to navigate; yet I was thrown into conversations about these topics last weekend when I attended SCORR (Student Congress On Racial Reconciliation) Conference, which is held to inform people on the importance of diversity.
In one of the sessions a group came in to perform a piece called “50 Years on: Then and Now”. This production outlined the hardships of the Black males and females and showcased the struggles of Latinas in the workforce in the past 50 years. A slideshow comparing the Civil Rights Movement to what has been happening today in Ferguson and with “Black Lives Matter” was shown to remind us of just how little we have grown in the area of racial reconciliation.
While it was incredibly informative, the production left me with the bitter feeling that our nation has not grown at all in racial reconciliation in the last 5 decades. I left feeling hopeless, disheartened, and saddened. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that we have come a long way. Our nation is growing and learning more about diversity everyday, and there is hope.
At a personal level, the most important thing we can do to promote diversity and racial reconciliation is just to listen to each other. We must realize that everyone is diverse- everyone has a different story. Appreciate each other’s backgrounds, and understand that everyone is at a different place. Just because their views are not the same as yours does not mean they do not have valid feelings and experiences. Although we still have a very long way to go, we have come so far from where we were, and we as a nation should learn from our experiences and grow together.
“We need to digest one another’s pains, dreams, and joys to appreciate who they fully are.” –Efrem Smith