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“Let’s Talk about Race” led by Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed was held at HHS to discuss race, ethnicity, and culture in the community

May 16, 2018

Hopkins community members and students will gather in the HHS cafeterias from 6:30-8:30 pm to discuss the topic of race, ethnicity, and culture in the community.

The event named “Let’s Talk about Race” will be led by Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed, superintendent of Hopkins Public Schools, and students from HHS.

“I think it’s important to have this discussion at Hopkins because a lot of people think that race is an issue that shouldn’t be openly talked about, but I disagree,” said Leah Stillman, junior. “I think we should be able to come to conclusions and agreements about what is respectful and what is not.”

The discussion will be set up as a panel where students will have the opportunity to share the experiences they have had being apart of such a diverse community at Hopkins. Nafi Soumare, junior, is looking forward to this aspect of the event.

“I’m looking forward to hearing opposing viewpoints and being able to understand how other people cope with their issues regarding race at Hopkins. I want to see what we as a collective community can do to help,” Soumare said.

One of the goals of the event is to is to determine the skills and knowledge students and members of the community need to navigate the changing world and the role that race plays in it.

Another is to acknowledge how diversity can make great contributions to our community. Innovation, breakthrough, and creative problem solving have all been identified as things that need a variety of contributions and perspectives to be achieved.

Educating people and increasing proficiency when regarding issues about race and equality is also on the agenda. For Soumare, this is something she sees as necessary.

“I feel like a lot of young kids these days are a little complacent to the issues that other people face. We are all so wrapped up in our own issues and lives that we don’t really think about the larger societal implication when we make a weird joke about race or say something a little offhanded,” Soumare said. “I think we need to make sure people understand what is going on with other communities at Hopkins and help foster a good environment.”

Stillman hopes to see a change in the HHS community after the discussion.

I hope to see more equality in HHS between different races and ethnicities and overall less division in our school,” Stillman said. 

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