By: Sophie Whalen, Contributing Writer
Last week, Towson provided a safe space for a serious discussion on how students feel about racism, and how it permeates the Baltimore area.
“Whenever anyone asks me ‘how do you think racism could be solved in this country,’ the social aspect of it at least, I say empathy, and I mean that in every sense of the word,” freshman and sociology major Makdes Hailu said. “I think that being able to put yourself into someone’s shoes and experience what they experience is the absolute solution to any social problem in this country.”
Racism was the topic of the “Baltimore and Beyond” discussion in the Potomac Lounge on Wednesday, Sept. 9.
“The real reason for having the discussion is to broadly talk about some of the issues of race at a national level, and then hone down to what’s going on in Baltimore,” assistant professor John Bullock said.
Bullock presented a slide show including side-by-side images, one from the past and one closer to the present day, depicting examples of racism in the United States throughout history.
“What you see currently is the result of historical forces, so sometimes we look at things now and say well this neighborhood looks bad or this neighborhood looks good, but we don’t understand why that happened,” Bullock said.
Communications and Development Librarian of Cook Library Joyce Garczynski provided a video of racism activist, Tim Wise.
“An event like this provides an outlet for people like us, who are racially frustrated, to talk about race,” Hailu said. “It helps us develop ideas on how to either do more things like this at Towson or just change our communities in general.”
The Center for Student Diversity partnered with Cook Library to create the event.
“This is actually what colleges and universities should be doing more of, having these discussions to really get students talking about some of these issues,” Garzynksi said. It’s so easy to just go about our everyday lives and not think critically and talk about some of these issues.”
The Center for Student Diversity is bringing Wise to Towson University on Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. in SECU Arena.
“Recognizing that what has happened in our past and what’s happening around us shapes what’s happening on Towson’s campus today,” Garzynski said. “It’s not isolated.”