“If you’re in college, and you’re limited to seven or eight people who you think are the reason that we, as black and brown people can still walk around and exist, then you’ve done a disservice to your education. You’ve done a disservice to your ancestors.”
Skyline College hosted the Call to Consciousness College Lecture Series on April 12. This program was co-sponsored by the Center for Student Life and Leadership Development, the Associated Students of Skyline College (ASSC), and the Division of Student Equity and Support Programs (SESP).
The program opened with welcoming remarks from Dean Lasana Hotep and Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Angélica Garcia. This was followed by a performance from Detroit-based poet and entrepreneur, Jessica Care Moore. ASSC President, Leandro Torres Mantilla then introduced the guest speaker to the podium.
Rosa Clemente talked about the irony of growing up in the South Bronx and Westchester in New York, her college experience at the State University of New York (SUNY), graduate school, and becoming a politically and socially conscious organizer. In sharing her story, Rosa also addressed a number of topics including: the politics of race and ethnicity in Black and Latinx communities, U.S Immigration Policy, Hip Hop Activism, and the importance of learning about the hidden histories of social justice movements in the United States.
“I loved her humility, honesty, dedication and the passion she has for her movement.” Skyline Student Leandro stated.
During the second half of the lecture, Rosa talked about the challenges she faced and lessons learned from running as the Vice Presidential Candidate for the Green Party in the 2008 Election, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the violence that broke out in Ferguson after the murder of Michael Brown. Rosa Clemente received a standing ovation from the audience engaged them dialogue during the Question and Answer Segment.
“As someone who identifies as Latina, the conversation focused on the divisions within our own communities, in relation to skin color, are very relevant.”Faculty member, Rocio Aguilar-Pedroza stated. “Often times we are pushed to silence discrimination within our own communities, but to truly stand with others as accomplices, not allies, as Rosa stressed we need to be open to having these difficult conversations and challenging each other.”
Article by Katrina Pantig | Photo by Naomi Quizon