Unlearning Stereotypes

1:46 AM

As part of moral obligation to give back to a community that I believe has raised me and further has the potential to affect the majority and their respective outlook, I volunteer under the guidance of the New York Civil Rights Coalition in an endeavor called 'Unlearning Stereotypes'. Weekly at the New York High School of Economics & Finance, I probe the minds of young adults and their varied perspectives on the role that stereotypes play in their numerous relationships.

Throughout this endeavor, I have chanced the recurrence of a common theme - "perception is reality". Our society is inclined to reinforce the cliche 'don't judge a book by its cover'; however, such a threat exists almost in every situation because it is this initial representation that holds the all end all for future applications. Examples that society offers us were presented before the students:
  • Chris Brown v. Rihanna (Despite prior acclaim, are we in a position to judge character?)
  • appearance v. intellect (Is presentation everything or a sub. factor ie: in an interview?)
  • interracial marriages (2010 relevant?)
  • affirmative action (Are AA still at a disadvantage v. do AA require 'imposed' advantages?)
  • President Obama (Is fact of "first black president" relevant?)

Issues of such are not at the forefront of our minds; however, they subconsciously affect decisions, actions and reactions. Highlighting and eliminating these unwarranted biases is a fundamental goal of the program; however, there is no right answer behind the discussion but to rather incite just that. Granted the days of civil unrest no longer exists; however, is there a subtle protest that ensues within one's mind?

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