Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Oh It's February...Fried Chicken Please!

Happy Black History Month everyone! Although a week overdue, better late than never is always best. One of the shortest months of the year is dedicated to all of the efforts and activism done by renowned Black advocates. Here at Ramapo we are celebrating African Ancestry month which is essentially similar to the purpose of what Black history month is for, to pay homage and show appreciation for those who came before us. 

It is easy for the ideas and efforts of the month to be misconstrued because of differing opinions and feelings about what is and isn't offensive; and while most may have good intentions to show their appreciation, there are many layers deeper than surface level. You are probably wondering where I am taking this, but don't worry it will all make sense soon enough. 

A high school in California recently decided to celebrate Black history month - and the Black Student Union of the school decided to serve a different style of lunch. The menu consisted of fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon – all food that is stereo-typically tied to African-Americans. Now you can imagine the outrage and uproar that resulted. School administrators felt it was inappropriate and was completely irrelevant to black history, while members of the black community felt offended. As you can guess, the meal was not served at the school, but instead an assembly took place which aimed to focus on racial stereotypes and diversity. 

This was clearly a juvenile attempt to celebrate black history, evidently innocent and without any intention to be offensive. Everything regarding black people does not have to be a problem if people do not make it so. Yes, the menu items they suggest are stereotypical, but it is just food at the end of the day. If the school decided to serve these items any other time of the year it would probably be overlooked and considered a tasteful dish, but because it is during the month of February, a zombie apocalypse has broken out. There are far more important issues going on, and what is served at lunch should not be at the forefront. Instead of becoming angry and causing havoc, educate students and challenge them to think about why they chose those specific foods and make a lesson out of it. 

Here's a link to the article for your reference :)

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