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"The changes start with us" students hopeful for the future

Posted at 7:19 AM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 07:19:27-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — "The changes start with us."

Four students from Buffalo Public Schools are looking at the protests going on all across the country and are hoping for change. These young men are My Brother's Keeper scholars, an initiative that teaches social justice and builds character through community service activities, and mentorship.

We asked them how they are feeling watching these protests, what they want to see change, and what they hope the future holds.

"I want to see our generation thrive and just show the next generation, show them what is right and what is wrong," Omar Pizarro, an eleventh grader from McKinley High School. "To make sure they don't repeat history like it has several times already."

"Sometimes, in our communities, we settle for less and live under things that are comfortable," Jontae Griffin, an eleventh grader at McKinley High School, said. "Sometimes, we have to be uncomfortable to enrich and better your life. I want to make breaking the cycle of being comfortable and being average and have all my community and my people to thrive."

"I would not like to be described as a minority group and not be discriminated by the color of my skin and just be as equal as everybody," Jariel Correa, an eleventh grader from McKinley High School, said.

"Education means a lot to me," Byron Chavis, an eleventh grader from East Community High School, said. "Be a mentor for the next person up."

When discussing race, Dr. Fatima Morrell the Associate Superintendent from the Office of Culturally & Linguistically Responsive Initiatives from Buffalo Public Schools, says we need to be courageous and create spaces for have these dialogues.

"We have to let people feel comfortable to say we are in this together," Morrell said.

Besides conversations, Morrell says people can educate themselves about the history of social injustice. She recommends these books if you would like to learn more.

  • White Fragility, Why it is so Hard for White People to Talk about Race, Robin DeAngelo
  • Black Male (D), Tyrone C. Howard
  • 1619 Project, The New York Times Magazine
  • Pushout, The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, Monique W. Morris