VOX presents our editors’ top responses that emerged from the YWCA “Let’s Talk About Race” dialogue, in winter 2014. Teens reflected on something new they learned at the workshop or took away from the dialogue.
Ida Faburay, Chapel Hill Middle School
I learned that it doesn’t matter what you like, what race you are, or what gender you are; you have a voice. A voice that says I’m funny, smart, calm, outgoing or shy. Everyone has a right to be a person and not a label. People can push you around, but it doesn’t matter about their opinion. Your opinion matters. We have a right. A right to be who we want to be.
Tian Lu, 16, Benjamin E Mays High School
In this modern world of ours, a simple detail about any one person can determine their social standing. Whether you are the judge, or the judged, realize that it is wrong. Everyone has their own identity, definitely some characters are horrid, while others are angelic. And, in my opinion, these angelic individuals are worth wading through the demons among us.
Reagan Woods, 15, Druid Hills High School
Everyone has their own views on how they feel about racism. We should be careful of what we say about others. There is no reason to judge. Not only should you not judge, [but you should] be confident in who you are.
Be you. Don’t just think you have to act a certain way because you look a certain way. Go out and do you.
Love everyone else for their personality, and love yourself for yours.
Trinity Smith, 13, Chapel Hill Middle School
Today I learned a lot of things about whites, blacks, and latinos. I felt very comfortable knowing that I could say what I’ve really felt. Racism can be a really touchy subject, and we were able to talk about current things. I was really interested in our group discussion today. I am really happy that I was able to talk about things that other people felt too. I am more comfortable knowing that I am not the only one who experiences racism.
Jayla Moody, 17, Miller Grove High School
At the VOX Community Dialogue I learned that stereotypes and prejudice start at a very young age. Even children as young as the age of 12 experience racism. We talked about how it can be prevented through communication, and by simply proving nonbelievers wrong. Stereotypes can be formed based off of almost anything, whether its physical, social, or religious. We as young people have what it takes to decrease it.
Click “Atlanta Teen Voices” to hear from teens throughout the metro Atlanta community!
Photos above by VOX Teen Staff members.