Press play and enjoy. Very thought-provoking ideas on changing paradigms of education and perceptions of student learning. Dude is pretty funny too:) Thanks Shane Hammond and Jeff Fazio for sharing!
Willow Smith + Sesame Street = A dose of empowerment and positive self-realization for young women and diverse hair textures and styles. This was fun and I must say the song is a hit and she's only 9 years old?!
It Gets Better...
Below is an email I sent on October 6th to some students and colleagues reflecting on the recent suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi. Students, staff and Faculty held several events yesterday in conjunction with 'Spirit Day' that had me quite moved so I figured I would share this too in support.
Also included the White House message from Pres. Obama as well
From: Surratt, David
Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2010 12:03 AM
Reflecting on the recent tragedy of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, I
feel compelled to share briefly my thoughts and a continued call to
action about the importance of standing up for ourselves and for one
Lesbian and gay college students have been and remain one of the most
attacked and harassed members of college communities across the country.
It's saddening that it took the suicide of Tyler Clementi (among other
less publicized similar deaths across the country in recent months) to
realize that there are potentially fatal consequences to bullying and
emotional attacks because of someone being perceived as different or
Regardless of whether this is believed to be a crime of bias against
Tyler because he was gay or simply an invasion of privacy, this incident
has sparked national discussion about the silence and personal shame
that the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community is
sometimes forced to endure. This community is silenced by the
intimidation of those who do not wish to accept people for who they are.
And, in times such as Tyler's, made to feel so ashamed to be yourself
that hope is lost.
I want to encourage and implore you to be diligent in standing up for
those who need your support. I dare you to be "different." Different in
the sense of understanding the uniqueness and pride in who you are. And
different from the many people who stand idly by in acceptance of
bullying and making fun at the expense of others. One would hope that
there are more people who stand up for others than not, but events like
these are a reminder that we cannot rest on those assumptions.
Please dare to be different as it might just make a difference in the
lives of others.
Visiting with the students at PSU Schuylkiill was a blast and of course I have a special soft spot in my heart for all of the Commonwealth Colleges within the Penn State system. In talking with Jeff Fazio, Assistant Director for Student Affairs at the campus, there is a wealth of potential in the campus and the students and I definitely continue to see it on my first return visit to the campus since my presentation to the Class of 2013 last year.
Overall, the session went well and I was impressed with the particular contributions of a couple of the students. Joel and Katherine (sp?) were particularly impressive. Joel shared with 400 of his peers the pride he feels in being the first of his family to go to college. He shared about the stereotypes associated with being a first generation college student including the fact that people assume that, "my parents weren't smart enough to go to college" but I could tell Joel had parents who were capable and parents whom of course see the importance of college for their son as Joel embarks on his academic journey. Joel plans to get a degree in engineering and become a proud graduate of The Pennsylvania State University.
Katherine shared her pride in being Hispanic and specifically from the Dominican Republic. She talked about the stereotypes and assumptions that exist in her community. She said that there are countless assumptions about her culture that people make and among them she mentioned people thinking that Hispanic people are "dumb or lazy." Katherine then shared stories of members of her own family who are accomplished professionals and scholars and clearly don't represent some of the negative assumptions and stereotypes that she named. I could tell she was proud of her heritage and was brave enough to share it with her peers.
It's students like Katherine and Joel and the majority of the PSU Class of 2014 that inspire me to work in Student Affairs and promote dialogue surrounding issues of diversity and I hope today's session was beneficial for them. While there were a few challenging moments during the presentation (yeah, you know who are, I'll refrain from calling you out of course:)), I thought the group was great. Hope to return again next year!
Blogging on my presentation experiences, issues in higher education, general social issues, and other things that bring inspiration or provoke thought.