Teach-Ins originated in the 1960s and are a platform for students, faculty, and the community to gather and discuss current issues. A Teach-In on Ferguson and New York City was recently held in the Sheldon Hall Ballroom at Oswego State.
The event was part of the Race, Place, Being series, which is a semester-long program of events that focuses on race and is designed to create dialogue about recent topics and the issues of race that are still relevant today.
There were two different panels at Oswego State’s Teach-In, each consisting of two speakers. Every speaker was allowed 10 to 15 minutes to speak and then a question and answer type segment followed allowing discussion from the audience.
Students of all races attended the event and were able to voice their opinions and speak on the recent situations of race around the country. Women’s study and political science major, Nicolette Viscusi is a senior at Oswego State and attended the event to learn more about the current situations. She feels that the issue on race needs more awareness and people need to be educated on what is really going on.
Nicolette Viscuci giving her opinion on the recent situations
Student Susan Velazquez attended the Teach-In for moral support for her friend Chris Collins-McNeil, a student activist who spoke at the event. Velazquez believes having a panel speak about the current situations like those that have recently happened in Ferguson and New York City will allow marginalized voices to speak up and be heard. She hopes that events like these are just the beginning for future racial progress.
Susan Velazquez speaking on her hopes for future events
Chris Collins-McNeil is a political science major and student activist who was a panel speaker at the Teach-In. He spoke about a recent organized sit-in held in the fall at Oswego State in protest to the situations happening in Ferguson and New York City. He also spoke of being the change and how every person can play a vital role in making a change on how race is viewed, as well as, being optimistic for the future and racial tolerance. “If I believe it won’t get better then it wont, I have to be optimistic,” Collins-McNeil said.
Throughout the spring semester there will be various events on and around Oswego State’s campus. Students are encouraged to attend and learn more about the issues of race that still remains prominent in today’s society.
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