Youth in the Oakland community had the opportunity at the “OAKLAND NAACP Youth Leadership Conference” to ask adults the tough questions about what is happening in their community.
This was not only a stage for youth inquiry, but it was also a space for youth voice to be amplified and heard.
A few weeks ago we told you about Kiera Wilmot; a 16 year-old Florida high school student facing felony charges for a science experiment gone wrong on school grounds.
According to MSNBC News, the charges against Wilmot have officially been dropped.
Wilmot – widely considered an outstanding student with a clean record – was facing up to 5 years in prison.
I cannot count the number of times I have heard comments equating majority poor black neighborhoods (“ghettos”) with exponential violence this week. Most, however, do not understand the clear problems with these statements. While the majority of these comments are from my classmates at the University of Chicago, a school that actively others the surrounding black neighborhoods, discourages students from entering into these spaces and seems to have a culture that nurtures blatant racism, this sentiments represents one of the larger American populace. I would like to take this time to highlight how our country’s exclusive association of violence with the “ghetto” often ignores violence in other perceived “safe” spaces. It is important to note that my usage of the word “ghetto” is solely to represent it’s vernacular usage.
The academic and policy worlds have been roiled by last week’s announcement that a Heritage Foundation study on the cost of immigration reform was co-authored by Jason Richwine, who wrote a dissertation on the purported low IQ of immigrants. It beyond belief that, in the year 2013, there are still some that want to posit that there is a genetic basis for race. Even more surprisingly, these arguments come endorsed with a seal of approval by some of the nation’s top universities, like Harvard in this case. As an alumnus of the Kennedy School and a scholar of race and Hispanic identity, I feel obliged to provide a response.