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Posted under: Race & Identity Opinion

16 Things We Want to Say to Black Students on Campuses Right Now

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There is a lot happening on school campuses across the country and we wanted to take a break to speak directly to the students leading the charge for change. Here are a few things we have to say to them:
  1. I see you. I hear you. I am you. Those of us that are a little bit older and are removed from our alma maters are watching you with proud chests and open eyes.
  2. Each campus has their own specific problems, but there is a common thread.
  3. I’m proud of you.
  4. Stay focused. In one, two, three, four or five years from now, you will graduate and enter the world with a degree. A few semesters of activism can really impact your grades. Find ways to decompress and compartmentalize so that you continue to be excellent academically.
  5. Not everyone will understand, and that’s okay. A small but passionate group can make a huge difference.
  6. Listen to and support each other. Not every black student in your class or on campus is going to have the same experience as you, and that’s okay. But you will need each other in hard times.
  7. It’s likely that black students aren’t the only disenfranchised group on your campus. There is strength in numbers.
  8. Register to vote. One of the ways to continue to impact change is to engage and participate in local and regional politics.
  9. #BlackLivesMatter
  10. Keep sharing your stories and experiences.
  11. Take care of yourself holistically. The experiences you're going through and experiencing, and those of your classmates across the country, are traumatic. They affect your spirit, trouble your psyche, and have physical ramifications as well. Take moments to check in with yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. We need you to not just survive, but thrive!
  12. The world is transforming under our very feet. This is our moment. This is our time.
  13. Record your experiences. Written, visual or otherwise, you'll want to recount this pivotal time.
  14. Beware of people telling you about ‘the real world.’ The real world is what you’re building right now — it’s whatever you want it to be.
  15. Love yourself and love each other. It's not always easy. It can be impossibly hard. So remind each other and please know that you are invaluable, you are loved, we love you and you deserve nothing more than to love yourself.
  16. Thank you.
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