Giving Teens a Voice

On Wednesday January 17th the Coalition on Race together with the South Orange And Maplewood Libraries held the second segment of “Giving Teens a Voice” Program at the South Orange Library. Although the first segment, at the Maplewood Library in December, was limited to middle school students, Wednesday’s program included students and parents. After viewing a short film, “Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Racism” the middle school students met with trained high school student facilitators, while their parents and other adults met with two Coalition facilitators. Each group discussed the same questions regarding their respective experiences with racism and its impact:

  1. How do YOU define racism and racial bias?
  2. Do you see evidence of racism among your friends? relatives? In your school?
  3. Is racism only black vs. white? Can/does it exist among other races/ethnicities?
  4. What do you and your parents worry about most as it relates to race?

The teens and the adults re-grouped to share their perspectives and experiences. All participants suggested they would like attend similar programs in the future.

Many thanks to Keisha Miller, Teen Librarian at the South Orange Public Library and Emily Witkowski, Children’s Librarian at the Maplewood Memorial Library for their leadership in this program.

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