Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Dear BI Career Consultants:

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Dear BI Career Consultants:

Article excerpt

What are some strategies for dealing with inter-ethnic rivalries on campus, and how can I promote more working together among various ethnic groups?

A conflict does exist between different groups of color at many predominandy White colleges and universities in America.

As in society at large, this conflict grows out of the competition among these groups to be considered the major minority - or in other words, "who will sit next to the master."

The non-Black community of color also has been concerned about administrative of (ices that have been specifically established on predominantly White campuses to meet minorities' needs - particularly Minority Affairs Offices, where Black males have traditionally run the show.

It is clear that in order for people of color to be employed, gain admission and graduate from predominantly White universities, we must be united in our goals to be successful in these environments.

When we begin to talk about people of color coming together, our first goal should be to become united in our understanding of the impact of White supremacy, prejudice and bigotry. Also, people of color at these institutions of higher learning cannot be ashamed to identify with their racial groups. Too often African American students and staff do not want to be considered Black and other non-Black students and staff of color only want to be seen as White!

Coalition building is imperative for students and staff of color to achieve their goals at these predominantly White institutions. In order to establish this necessary togetherness, we must understand each group's history. We must come to the table and understand our common denominators. The major common denominator that people of color face at predominantly White colleges and universities is one of being oppressed.

Therefore, we need to learn to watch each others' backs and begin to have honest dialogue. We also must break the polite silence. Students and staff of color must continue to design and implement programs that create a just community. In a time of alleged money crisis, we must co-sponsor and attend each other's programs. Also, we; must look for allies in the White community.

These predominantly White institutions need to understand that we are a force that will not be abused, denied or destroyed.

United we stand, divided we fall!

-Dr. Eric Abercrumbie, President of the John D. O'Bryant National Think Tank For Black Professionals in Higher Education on Predominantly White Campuses

At Iowa State, we strive to have groups identify common goals and work together toward those goals. …

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