How Can I...

August 10, 2020

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Social Activism Series

Hi! I’m Layla, a senior Communication student at UNH. I am using my internship with Healthy UNH as a platform to discuss my experiences with a topic lots of people are having a hard time talking about right now: racism. My family is Turkish-Cypriot, and I am not white passing. This makes me different from most people living in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire is one of the top ten whitest states in America...in fact, it’s the 4th whitest. That means that there’s not much diversity among us. That also means that we might not have a lot of experience in trying to understand how skin color might affect the lives of non-white people.

You may have noticed that the Black Lives Matter movement is taking place around you. I have seen it on the news, on signs in front yards, on t-shirts, and on social media. Blacks, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are sharing how racism in America has affected their lives. One social media account that has been really powerful for me to follow is @blackatunh on Instagram. This account was created to raise awareness of racism taking place at UNH specifically.

The sharing of these stories is not intended to diminish the experiences of others. The intention is to shed some light on how racism has oppressed, and continues to oppress, Black people in this country. There is a lot about American history that we didn’t learn in school.

Black Lives Matter is helping us to unlearn the untrue versions of history we were taught, and teaching us how to move forward in a way that is respectful and inclusive for all.

Follow me on this journey as I dive into how to be anti-racist. Next week’s blog will be about being an ally.

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