After a successful launch in Fall 2020, the Presidential Council on Diversity and Inclusion at Northeastern University is excited to announce that the Racial Literacy series has returned for the Spring. After last semester’s success, the one credit course now has a session reserved for staff and faculty.
Earlier this Spring, students reflected on their experiences in the course and during public lectures. All agreed that it opened their eyes to existing power structures and provided much needed education. But in addition, as a result of the course, the students gained a new understanding of themselves. Abbey Stewart, an undergrad in NU’s Nursing Program with minors in Nutrition and Public Health, spoke more on the growth the one credit offered her after the public reflection session.
“Conversations about race sometimes aren’t welcome elsewhere, even among my closest loved ones,” she noted. But the Racial Literacy course was a safe environment to explore race. Despite attending an international school in Switzerland, NU’s pop-up course was the first time she was allowed to “finally focus on race.” Stewart later said that she wanted everyone to take the class.
Reflecting in public groups is important too. Stewart highlighted how important it was to hear from other student speakers because it allowed her to see how different other students’ experiences were. During her presentation she wanted to stress that people’s journeys in the course were not linear. Likewise she noted, “I love hearing other perspectives; that is how I learn, that’s how I work as an ally….as a white person knowing how to be a listener is incredibly important.”