Image by an anonymous prospective student.
Tonight I co-facilitated an event at Scripps that was a dialogue about Columbus Day and this touched on issues such as genocide, colonization, imperialism, gentrification, erasure, etc. It was the perfect extension to a conversation that we had started earlier in the day in class. In fact the video that Tyler mentioned about the Mission soccer field was used for part of the dialogue.
What I wanted to share with you all was a reflection I have on the dialogue. There were about 15 prospective students who are on campus for an admissions program that came to the event. I was blown away by their level of engagement and critical thinking about these issues. I felt that their critical consciousness was much more developed than mine was when I first came to Scripps. I was really impressed and inspired by their comments and thoughts. One of the prospective students was creating this image during the dialogue and I was very intrigued by it. I asked her if I could share it with you all and so she sent it my way. It was really cool to see her create this detoured image inspired by the conversation in the room.
Something that also really impacted me was part of the conversation that reflected a statement Gina made in class earlier. She said that education can be painful because we learn what responsibility we have. I think that a lot of people in the dialogue reflected that sentiment. They were uncomfortable in a powerful way, in a critical way. The normative narrative about Columbus Day was deconstructed and some people reacted to that with sadness, anger, self-reflection, critique etc. A lot of people left the dialogue thinking, what now? What do I do about this? How do I counter the dominant narrative? How can I make a difference? I think that is something we always have to re-evaluate on an individual basis. You can only do so much as a single being, but with knowledge does come responsibility and activism is all about knowing when/where you can participate.