Event stirs conversation

By Amy Sturges/reporter

R&B music and the smell of soul food filled the room at TR Campus Feb. 27, as students from all walks of life came together at Celebrating Strides — an open forum for students, faculty and visitors to honor African-American heritage.

After being treated to a meal from Chef Keith Hicks from Buttons Restaurant in Fort Worth, students were entertained with performances from Faith Wiley, Cris Brenham and Friends and the Arlington James Bowie High School “Lady Souljahs” step team.

The theme of the celebration was “reflect on the past, engage the present and inspire the future.”

Among the speakers at the event was chancellor Eugene Giovannini.

“Tarrant County College relies on its longstanding values — inclusiveness, engagement and respect,” he said. “Meeting students where they’re at and valuing diverse perspectives is what is important to us as a college.”

The audience watched short videos in which students from different campuses answered questions about what brought them to TCC, what issues resonate with them currently and how they’re involved in matters that interest them.

After each question, conversation flowed between strangers of all ethnicities and backgrounds. First-generation college student Isamol Izeabame discussed an issue important to her: immigration.

“It’s important to look at the benefits of immigration and not just the negative aspects of it,’’ she said. “As an immigrant of Nigeria, our generation needs to find a better way to make immigration a positive experience.”

Circling around the room, different groups of people discussed issues that mattered to them, from women’s rights to mental health to police brutality. Students intellectually gained perspective into the worlds of their peers and teachers.