By JUSTIN REBOLLOStaff WriterPublished: December 10, 2014
In light of the recent riots in Ferguson, Mo. and protests in New York City that passed through Columbus Circle, the Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) community members established the Undoing Racism Collective, which met for the first time on Monday, Dec. 1. Among the attendees were 10 students and eight staff members from the Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice and one Fordham faculty member. Collective members video conferenced with members of the Collective at Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) to discuss and determine the organization’s future.
Fordham’s Undoing Racism Collective is comprised primarily of students and Dorothy Day staff who attended workshops held by The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISB), self-described as a, “systemic approach that emphasizes learning from history, developing leadership, maintaining accountability to communities, creating networks, undoing internalized racial oppression,” according to PISB’s website.
“In light of recent events, [now] more than ever, it is important as a community to come together and actively talk about and think about and work together about what it looks like to begin to undo racism,” Bethany Hugghins, associate coordinator of community service at Lincoln Center, said.
The collective also established some of their key principles such as, “Learning from History.” According to the collective, “History is the tool for effective organizing. Understanding the lessons of history allows us to create a more humane future.”
One of the group’s objectives is to help students discuss the recent the events that occurred in Ferguson as well as the protests in New York City.
Hunter Blas, FCLC ’17, said, “What we want to do next would probably be about creating a dialogue about [Ferguson] and also how we can engage the larger Fordham community in talking about racism in society.”
The collective acts as a space for students and faculty members to meet and discuss their experiences with racism. To broaden the involvement of students on campus, the collective aims to create events to allow large number of students to discuss racism and how to undo racism
“I think we are moving toward creating a space for talking about Ferguson for people to process what has been going on there and in New York in regards to police brutality. [We’re] just creating that space first so that [students] can share their thoughts and process and have some of their feelings out there because there hasn’t really been a space since the decision to not indict [Darren Wilson],” Blas said.
Additional reporting by Connor Mannion