Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We had a diversity workshop tonight during community time. I've done this type of thing before but each time I do it I'm surprised by how much I learn about people that I thought I knew. It is a constant struggle for me and it takes workshops like these to remind me that I simply cannot judge a person from the little tidbits of information I get from what they say and how they act. In class here, we are constantly bringing up the issue of gender stereotypes but I think it's important not to ignore the other kinds of stereotypes. For instance, I automatically and subconsciously register being rich with being stuck up or snobby and having a carefree life. Workshops like these however, remind me of things that I personally don't have to deal with. My classmates have commented on the enormous pressure that their parents and teachers put on them and how stressed out they become by their constant reminders to try harder and do more. Not getting into a school for them not only means letting themselves down but letting their family down as well. These sort of workshops call attention to subjects that would not normally be talked about and everyone is able to openly learn and work off one another. That's why I think that if I don't learn anything else during my time here at Brown, this one eye opening activity was really worth all the time and effort that it took to get me and the other students from the WCCUSD here. Thanks again!

1 comment:

Charles Ramsey said...

Kiana, your welcome. I am the co-founder of the Ivy League Connection and your post validates all the reasons why myself and Ms. Kronenberg wanted to give our students this type of experience. You now see first hand that individuals from all walks of life have pressures and challenges. That it is not a good idea to stereotype others.

In our community we see people make excuses or rationalize why they are doing poorly or why they should not try to improve their lot in life. The Ivy League Connection has changed the way our under resourced students examine and evaluate the world around them. This is why we have sent many students "away" from our humble hometowns so that they could understand the greater community and the larger world.

This is the time to absorb what Brown has to offer. Before you leave take the time to visit the admissions office and speak with an admissions officer. Also take the time to seek out the Alumni Women's association. I am sure that your professor Kisa Takasue can direct you to the women alumni associaton that can provide you additional information about Brown.

Also you can contact me when you return and I can give you several people who graduated from Brown so you can learn their stories. People like Margaret Tormey and Livermore School Board Member Anne White both graduated from Brown. Anne White actually graduated from Pembroke because back in the 60's Brown did not admit women.

Kiana, your posts have been insightful and have given us your feelings regarding how you view our schools and how you view the economic situation that exists in our culture. So please keep us posted and I hope that when you return you will share your knowledge with the staff at El Cerrito High School.

Finally, on September 20th, you are invited to the American Association of University Women(AAUW) meeting in El Cerrito to discuss your time at Brown. I hope you can put it on your schedule. Former school board member Patricia Player, she is a member of AAUW, was gracious enough to put you and the other ladies at Brown on their agenda for a discussion item and recognition.

Good luck with the remainder of the week.

Charles T. Ramsey
School Board Member
West Contra Costa
Unified School District