the thirty-three

there’s a difference between diversity and inclusion.  diversity is purely quantitative and centers around numbers — it describes how many people of x race are represented at a particular institution.  inclusion takes diversity a step further and focuses on marginalized people’s experiences in spaces that have historically been hostile to their presence.  while many universities focus their efforts on creating a diverse student body, few give any attention to ensuring a safe space is created for those students of color who gain entry.

calling themselves “the 33,” ucla’s black law students have created a video describing their experiences as a very small percentage of the student population.  they describe a toxic environment with words like lonely, hostile and unwelcoming and several noted feeling a burden to represent their entire community.  i completely related to the sister who described the pressure to “constantly police” herself, ensuring she’s saying and doing things that are socially acceptable in majority white environments.

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