One of the many hats that I wear as an AmeriCorps is to run the Confronting Discrimination sub-committee of the Fall River Youth Violence Prevention task force. The mission of the group is to develop a conversation that fosters peace, connection, and respect. This group is a mix of youth, community leaders, city councilors, and school committee members. The education format that I use is storytelling. Monthly, I bring in a speaker that can speak on their personal experience pertaining to discrimination. Our past speakers include:
- Ramon Torres (Senior at Durfee High)- LGBTQ+ issues
- Sumaiyea Uddin (Freshman at Durfee High) – Islamophobia
- Paul Coogan (Former Vice Principal of Durfee High/School Committee member) – Growing up in South Carolina during the Civil Rights Movement and attending the first desegregated school in S.C
- Sophia Hunt (Community activist and V.P of Cambodian American Rescue Organization, Inc.) – Escaping the Khmer Rouge
- Trott Lee (Community Activist) – Acting “black” and acting “white”
The meetings have been very successful in having your voice heard, advancing public speaking skills, debating, hearing different perspectives, bringing diverse people to the table, educating group members on various cultures/history, and overall connecting as one.