Reflection on To Be Heard Program from October, 2011
My experience planning the “To Be Heard” program in October was an incredible one on multiple levels.
First, I was awed and inspired by the outpouring of support that I got. The two-day program was a mix of screening, workshop, dinner, and performance; and all along the way the college community and larger Middlebury community came out to show support. Working with different academic departments, as well as different groups such as the CCSRE and MCAB, showed me the support and resources that are available to Middlebury students.
Next, I learned that Middlebury students are much more interested in talking about diversity than I give them credit for. The discussions that were started during the question and answer session after the screening, continued through the dinner, and it was wonderful to sit and talk openly with students of diverse backgrounds about all of our experiences with diversity at Middlebury. I often feel that it’s hard for white students at Middlebury to talk about race with students of color, and vice versa. But To Be Heard provided a common text through which we could talk about our experiences, which were not all that different.
While this maybe was not learning about race and ethnicity specifically, I learned about the importance of discussing these two issues; and I learned that my peers want to have the difficult conversations also.
This program could not have happened without the generous support provided by the CCSRE, and I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the funding and organizational support that the Center provided me.