Speak up or Stand Up: Your Voice Matters

Last night I went to a late dinner with a group of college students as part of my volunteer work weekend. As we were sitting down at the sports restaurant, one of the female students leaned over and whispered, “Well that’s uncomfortable.”

I asked her to tell me more about her statement and it turns out that a guy (not part of our group) said some rude and inappropriate comments to his buddy about the student.

At that moment, I had a decision to make. I asked our group to stand up, got our severs attention and told her we needed to switch tables and move into another area of the restaurant – far away from our current table.

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Diversity CORE Trifecta

I’m teaching CORE 103, a first-year life-skills class at Drury University, and post my weekly blog focused on the class content.

I spent my first year as the financial minority, working in one of the top most affluent areas in the United States. It was also my first job after college and it all seemed new and exciting. On my first day, I informed by my co-workers, as they sipped their expensive drinks and lounged in the sun, that I didn’t fit in—I was young and probably a little uncultured, but I was smart and determined to use it to my advantage. I will always remember their words and that moment, but it didn’t faze me; I was used to being an outsider. What I confirmed, however, is that the harder you work, the quicker you advance—and I was only too happy to prove them right, I didn’t fit in—I was going to step right over them and continue to move forward. I’m glad I was able to do this so quickly.

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The Dangerous CORE of a Single Story

I’m teaching CORE 103, a first-year life-skills class at Drury University, and post my weekly blog focused on the class content.

We don’t know each other, but I’ve already judged you. I’ve assumed we’re different because I can fit you into my neat little box that perfectly describes other’s I’ve met just like you. I’ve had many experiences with someone like you, some direct interaction because of people I’ve known and some information I know to be true because of the media. Many of my experiences were good and you’re lucky to have received this generalization; but many experiences were painful and I’m already frustrated with you, before we’ve even met. I don’t want the same terrible experience again, so I’m going to be cautions, because what I know is certainly true.

I’ve only given you a minute of thought, a single story and it’s what I’m using to define you.
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