Town hall offered to students for Black History month


Zach Wols

Students from all classes were invited to a town hall style discussion about racism on Feb. 24 as a part of Black History Month.

On Friday, Feb. 24, the Black History Month committee (BHMC) hosted a town hall featuring minority students during all periods which teachers were invited to sign up their classes to attend, or stream online.

The event was chaired by teachers Mr. Noah Lawrence, Mr. Arpan Chokshi and Ms. Robin Vannoy, and featured a number of minority students who spoke out about their experiences at Central on a daily basis, as well as their views on current issues and took questions from the audience.

“I feel what I want people that attended to get out of this is to have that conversation and not be afraid to bring up problems that are actually happening in today’s society,” said Ngozi Ihemeson, junior member of the panel.

A wide range of topics came up throughout the day, including feelings about President Trump, Black Lives Matter, privilege, tokenism, and more.

“I think I got more of an understanding about how other races feel about going to our school, and more insight on the Black Lives Matter movement,” said Kareem Bitar, sophomore attendee. “I think all the issues are pretty equal because they all cover the same topic of racism.”

When students arrived to the panel, each one received a sheet outlining the basic principles of discrimination, as well as a pie chart demonstrating how about 70 percent of Central students are white.

“I really wanted to do this panel because I feel like these matters aren’t really discussed in an everyday class setting, so it’s important to provide information to the student body about some things we go through as minorities on a day to day basis,” said Nylah Parham, junior panel member. “I hope those who attended can take some of what we say to heart and take action in their lives.”

Zach Wols
Students in the audience were welcome to participate and react to statements said by the panel.

After the discussion, students broke off with their classes into groups to talk about their own experiences and what they learned. Coming away from the panel, many students felt directly impacted by what they heard.

“It was a really cool event,” said Sophia Slone, senior. “I feel like it gave me a perspective I could never reach on my own, and the message that came across is necessary to be heard.”

BHMC is headed by Mrs. Deborah Powell, and has been involved in a number of events throughout the month of February, encouraging student participation and a celebration of African American heritage. The finale, which included a Keynote address by Mr. Billy Tuggle, to the month was held during periods 7 and 8 on Feb. 28 in the auditorium.