Volume:9, Issue: 2

Sep. 30, 2017

Articles by #getArticle.ind_name#
Representation for Equity in Education: What Is Really Holding Students Back?
Folkins, Claire [about]
The importance of racial representation in organizations and institutions first became a reality to me when speaking with a friend of mine who works for a nonprofit youth outreach organization I also volunteer with. He, an African American male, was the only person of color on the team of volunteers at the time he first joined the organization. Although he felt a little out of place, he had friends on the team and valued the opportunity to provide a positive role model to students who related to him. He was satisfied to participate for the time, although he thought nothing more of his involvement. However, one year, he was at summer camp volunteering with the same organization when he heard one of their staff members speak. The speaker was a Latino with a tough personal history that he felt he could relate to. In that moment, my friend felt that this organization he was volunteering with really could be a lifelong endeavor for him. Now, he works full-time for the same organization and is a key leader in cultivating diversity among their staff members and volunteers, all because he saw just one person in leadership who reflected a bit of his own identity. This one-time experience changed the course of my friend’s life, and offers a powerful lesson to those of us who are members of the majority culture in America.

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