One of the blessings of being a professor is having the chance to see such talented, amazing young people find their feet. At Rutgers-Camden, we’ve seen a thriving group of student-activists emerge over the past few years, tied to the wider Black Lives Matter movement, but also focused on issues here on campus. I met many of these students last year when I moderated a discussion with John Carlos.
These students continue to amaze me. They’re on fire, and some of them have started a student group here on campus, called the Underground, that’s doing important work on and off campus.
Last month, the Underground launched a podcast, called Rooted In, that I want to share with you:
I think there’s something in this for everyone. There’s political discussion (should we have expected Trump?), there’s powerful racial discussion (are we experiencing a “whitelash”?), but there’s also important discussion of the “tools for liberation” that helps support those who feel threatened.
If that all strikes you as some version of being a liberal “snowflake”, then I really encourage you to listen. So often our discussion centers around high profile cases of speakers on campus. But these students capture the discussion happening on campus about how to be healthy — simple things like realizing that students are often asked to be a “black” or “muslim” perspectives, and it’s important to build community that doesn’t put that pressure on you.
In a hyper-politicized context when “safe spaces” is as often to elicit trolling, a meme or an eye-roll, hearing real students talk about how to build support is refreshing and much-needed.
I probably don’t say this enough, but my students (and these students in particular) inspire me and push me in my work. Thank you.