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Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

The Cardinal Times

Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

The Cardinal Times

BLM Week of Action sessions educate and inform

Isabel Bruce
Black Lives Matter week of action sessions took place on Wednesday, Feb. 7, during extended Flex. There were 16 sessions open to students and staff.

During student and adult-led sessions of the Black Lives Matter week of action, students had the opportunity to learn about the importance of black farmers in Portland, the intersection of ASL and the Black Lives Matter movement. Sessions ranged from dance cardio, a national African American read – in, an art space, an informational presentation from Don’t Shoot PDX, the history of redlining in Oregon, environmental racism as well as affinity spaces dedicated to Lincoln’s students and staff of color.

Black Lives Matter Week of action takes place every February throughout PPS. This year, thanks to the many student and staff organizers, there were 16 sessions offered to the Lincoln community.

Senior and student organizer Alex Coltman is the President of MEChA, an affinity group at Lincoln for Hispanic and Latine-identifying students. Coltman, among other student organizers, hoped that events like these would help raise awareness about the lack of diversity and its effects on Lincoln culture. 

“Since this is a predominantly white school, I think people always forget to acknowledge that students of color are a minority here,” said Coltman.

Senior Themba Sweetland is a co-president of the Black Student Union and helped to organize and present a session. He thinks students might not, on their own, take the time to learn about the many issues presented during the week of action. 

“I don’t think a lot of kids would educate themselves if they weren’t presented with the opportunity right in front of them,” said Sweetland.

He noted it is essential to teach about different lived experiences while people are in high school.

“This is one of those educational moments that you get without actually being in a class…” said Sweetland. “We’re trying to train people to be adults, and being adults means also having different perspectives on different people and learning their stories.” 

Coltman believes that aside from educating people, the BLM Week of action sessions are a great way to celebrate the diverse communities at Lincoln. 

“It’s just a good way to remind people we’re here and to celebrate the communities that we do have,” said Coltman. 

Sweetland said another positive aspect of BLM Week of Action is organizing the sessions brought the individual affinity groups to unite and become closer.

“The affinity groups don’t necessarily get that much interaction with each other. But when we’re doing this big event, we all really get to know each other,” said Sweetland.

Sweetland presented the Black Culture and Modern Trends session. Organizers and group leaders considered the sessions to be successful, but also feel there is still room to refine. 

“There’s places where we can grow and improve, but this is definitely one of those events where it’s a good first step,” said Coltman.

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About the Contributors
Isabel Bruce
Isabel Bruce, Sports Editor
Isabel is a senior this year. She is excited to meet new staff, line dance her heart away, do some more photojournalism and hopefully get the full staff swing dancing! She loves interviewing people.
Contact by emailing [email protected] and put the reporter's name in the subject line.
Hildi Harrington
Hildi Harrington, Reporter
Hildi is a senior this year. She is excited to learn more about communications, and loves opinion articles!
Contact by emailing [email protected] and put the reporter's name in the subject line.

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