Everyone has biases; it’s what people do with them that is important, said Terry Smith, member of the Black Student Union (BSU).
Students gathered at a Diversity Dialogue event, organized by the Multicultural Student Council (MSC) and facilitated by the BSU Jan. 17. The facilitators tackled discussions on race and drew comparisons between the 1960s Civil Rights Movements and today’s Black Lives Matter Movement.
Richy Ramos, history major at UVU and vice president of the BSU said, “It was important that people were able to ask questions and inquire about a lot of black movements that have been going on in comparison to the Black Panthers Movement and the Black Lives Matter Movement.”
UVU students and members of BSU, Maddie Hanks, Ramos and Terry Smith asked the audience to compare the Civil Rights Movement to now. A UVU student at the event said he views today’s protests for racial equality in the U.S. as more violent than how they were in the 1960s.
Hanks defended the movement saying it might be perceived that way because news stations tend focus on riots and violent protests in comparison to peaceful protests and communities that have good relations with police.
Daryl Noguera, a digital media information management major, shared about how he’s the only Hispanic person working in his IT department and views it as an opportunity to share his culture.
“Be educated, speak properly and show people that we can do everything that the majority can. We live in a state that’s predominantly Caucasian, but I don’t complain about that. I don’t allow myself to be less than, because it’s a unique responsibility and opportunity to help Utah be more diverse,” Noguera said.
Ramos said the importance of people taking responsibility for their own personal history is to become informed about various groups.
Dana Brober, a history major, said that even though she does not know what it is like to be part of a marginalized group, she has the ability to listen and sympathize.
“It’s ok to admit that you don’t understand the way someone else does. That doesn’t mean you can’t at least learn about it,” she said.
The next Diversity Lecture and Dialogue will be Feb. 21 and Feb. 23. According to MSC, the lectures and dialogues present a judgement-free zone to discuss thoughts and ask questions about a topic.