This week, Skeptics was given by Nyle Fort, a graduate student at Princeton, Newark-based minister, and community activist. He spoke to the Blair community about challenging oneself to better their communities, and to better educate the community about injustices in the criminal justice system and race relations in America today.
Unlike many, Mr. Fort made the general set-up of the talk conversational and altogether inviting. He spent half of Skeptics speaking about his story, particularly his background and his involvement in the racial justice community, and the other half taking questions.
Franklin Colburn ’18 was brave enough to ask the very first question of the night, asking how to make more students in the ‘Blair Bubble’ more passionate, involved, and educated in social justice. “I thought it was incredibly important because Blair is a very “bubbled” community,” Colburn said. “If you haven’t had the background to begin with, it’s challenging to take in those ideas and really process them carefully and passionately. It’s really a matter of how willing you are to go outside of your comfort zone.”
What many found to be the most memorable about his talk was that Mr. Fort wanted students to truly take time to understand those with whom they had divergent opinions. Many students walked away with the idea that they should step outside of their comfort zone to decrease racial injustice, especially by considering the the community surrounding them.
Many of the solutions suggested by Mr. Fort rested primarily in education, including programs to help better the lives of children, and that of adults. His basic premise is that educating and supporting children will prevent gang culture and unemployment, and that that is preferable to rather than try and appease the matter when it’s already affecting lives negatively. No matter what every student took away from the talk, all could agree that they had learned or had been reintroduced to imperative tools to not only better the community surrounding them but also the world.
(Copyright 2016 Janice Negvesky)