A space of their own?

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2016-09-30 19:57Z by Steven

A space of their own?

Yale News

Noah Kim, Staff Reporter

Multiracial students at Yale

Haleigh Larson ’18 spent her North Dakotan childhood in a community she characterizes as “almost completely Scandinavian.” She and her two siblings, the adopted children of white parents, are some of the few residents of color in the entire town.

When she came to Yale in the fall of 2014, Larson was, like all other students of color, assigned a peer liaison and invited to attend events at one of the campus’s cultural houses — in her case, the Afro-American Cultural Center. Never having socialized regularly with people of a similar racial background, Larson was initially eager to explore an aspect of her identity with which she was unfamiliar. But she found it difficult to fully engage with many of the other students and began to feel as if she were not a member of the African-American community at Yale.

“Many of the students there had come to the Af-Am House looking for a space to engage with others who had been raised in similar environments, while I came there trying to learn more about a side of my identity I wasn’t as immersed in,” Larson said. “As a result, there was a huge barrier between me and many of the other students. Besides the occasional email, I certainly didn’t feel like a member.”

Though Larson acknowledges the importance of Yale’s cultural houses for many students of color, she was disappointed with her experience trying to explore her identity within the campus’s existing cultural spaces.

Jessica Nelson ’18, a half-black, half-white student “tangibly involved but not extremely active” in the Af-Am House, experienced similar feelings of alienation upon visiting the center during her freshman year…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

New Yale award to honor high school juniors for community engagement

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2016-06-20 19:32Z by Steven

New Yale award to honor high school juniors for community engagement

Yale News
New Haven, Connecticut

This photograph of Ebenezer Bassett is part of the collection in the Yale Library’s Department of Manuscripts and Archives.

Select high school juniors across the nation will be honored for their public service through the Yale Bassett Award for Community Engagement, established by Yale’s Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration (RITM). The first awards will be presented in the spring of 2017 to high school students in the Class of 2018.

The new award honors the legacy of influential educator, abolitionist, and public servant Ebenezer Bassett (1833-1908), the United States’ first African American diplomat.

“Ebenezer Bassett is an exemplar of so many qualities we seek to foster in all Yale students,” said Yale President Peter Salovey. “He was a superb intellectual who used the fruits of his education to serve his fellow global citizens and contribute to a more unified world. We are proud to bring heightened awareness of his name and legacy to those who follow in his footsteps today — and particularly to do so by recognizing outstanding young people who are tomorrow’s college students.”.

Professor Stephen Pitti, director of the RITM Center, added: “The faculty in the Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration established this award to honor emerging leaders who, like Ebenezer Bassett in the 19th century, bring under-recognized perspectives to the public sphere, think hard about our collective futures, work on behalf of others, and exemplify intelligence and courage.”

Born into a Native American (Schaghticoke) and African American family nearly 200 years ago, Bassett was the first black student admitted to the Connecticut Normal School (now Central Connecticut State University). He excelled there and at Yale, where he pursued courses in mathematics and classics in the 1850s. Bassett was a friend and supporter of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and served as principal of the Philadelphia Institute for Colored Youth (now Cheney University). He was named consul general to Haiti (becoming the first African American ambassador) and as chargé d’affaires to the Dominican Republic, gaining a hemispheric understanding of racial politics. He also served as Haiti’s consul in New York City

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Possibilities Abound in a Nation That Is Diverse, CNN Journalist Says

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2013-02-20 04:12Z by Steven

Possibilities Abound in a Nation That Is Diverse, CNN Journalist Says

Yale News

Susan Gonzalez

When CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien was growing up, her mother in­structed her never to let anyone tell her that she wasn’t black or Hispanic because of her mixed ethnic and racial heritage.

So, when she was asked to identify her race on official forms, O’Brien — the daughter of a black Cuban mother and an Irish-Australian father — refused to check just one box, even when making a single selection was required, she told a packed auditorium in the Law School’s Levinson Auditorium during her Poynter Fellowship Lecture on Nov. 10.

America’s value lies in its diversity, O’Brien said, and that mixture of races and ethnicities should never be viewed as a “problem.”…

…Likewise, when O’Brien — also a Harvard graduate — was first applying for jobs as a journalist, one news director told her that there was only one spot open for a black person but that she wasn’t dark enough to qualify. Another news director asked if she would consider changing her name because it was too difficult to pronounce. On both occasions, her mother pointed out that these were jobs her daughter wouldn’t want anyway.

O’Brien said that her parents served as examples of perseverance who encouraged their children to look beyond challenges and focus on possibilities, instilling in them this message: “Dream and do what you want; push and achieve what you want; go and get what you want.”

Her own children, the journalist said, have become so used to diversity in their lives that they were shocked to discover that Barack Obama is America’s first black president.

“Diversity to me is an opportunity to think differently and to see differently,” she told her audience…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,