The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TR All-Star students discuss ills of racism

By Haneen Khatib/reporter

TR All-Star Student Leadership Association class members met recently to discuss racism.

Ariana D. Rodriguez was one of the first students to present to her classmates and guests April 6.

“Start seeing people as individuals and don’t label just by where they come from,” she said.

Reinforcing the issues with today’s society, people sometimes automatically stereotype a person or a group of people based on their origins and/or the color of their skin, Rodriguez said.

“Judgment prevents us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearance,” she quoted inspirational speaker Wayne Dyer.

Student Kevin Howard displayed pictures he took with his phone at a grocery store to illustrate the lack of diversity in packaging. Most of the labels on the products he showed used Anglo-American models.

He also suggested a few solutions he believes could end racism — being open-minded, taking the time to learn from one another, being cautious with offensive language and avoiding stereotypes.

Howard ended his presentation with a quote from Mohandas Gandhi, former political leader of India, “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”

Mentor and student development associate Lionel Bailey offered input on racism and the purpose of the assignment.

“My intent is that the students understand the society in which we live is a diverse society,” he said. “This country was built on a general principle that all people are created equal. But the actualization of that, many found not to be true.”

America is one of the most diverse countries in the world, Bailey said. Citizens should celebrate their differences from each other and the world, he said.

Bailey said the U.S. is “a society where the founding fathers and mothers consider being a place where all people could be free to be who they are, take care of their own property, fend for themselves and do it all without being discriminated against.”

Student James McDonald said he learned from the presentations.

“It opened my eyes to certain things,” he said. “I wasn’t really aware of the fact that in a lot of media and marketing, the depiction of the people are predominantly Caucasian-Americans on the labeling and packaging in grocery stores. Once I began to notice, sure enough, it was dominated by Caucasians.”

The All-Stars are part of a class, Bailey said.

“Students go through one year of building leadership skills, identifying leadership philosophies, developing their own leadership skills and improving skills for future work forces,” he said.

The campus holds a graduation at the end of the year and recognizes each student with a certificate of completion.

Besides having an entry on their résumés, Bailey said the All-Stars leave with a business portfolio that includes a personal success plan, an updated résumé, a list of workshops they attended and letters of recommendation from the campus president and vice president of student development services.

Howard is enthusiastic about the All-Star program.

“Absolutely, each and every one of the All-Stars are great people, and we all had a great experience being a part of the All-Star team,” he said. “We learned about developing leadership skills, which is what needs to be done in this world.“

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