Team Forum 2

Mar 12

Discussing Bernard

Interdisciplinary Forum, during Social Science lecture, 11:15-12:05, using the Soc Sci Zoom

Dr. Emily Bernard’s lecture addresses the issue of “teaching race” in the classroom. The concept of race shows up in our courses in a variety of ways: as a topic of historical and sociological study; as a part of the contemporary, real world contexts to which we apply the ideas and theories we are learning in class; and as a part of the identities and lived experiences of our faculty and students. As many of you have noted in your assignments and comments, recent events and movements such as Black Lives Matter have increased public conversations about race and highlighted long-standing racial issues that linger in our societies.

In preparation for the second in our series of Team Forums, please attend Dr. Bernard’s Thursday evening lecture (for those who absolutely cannot make the lecture, please ask one or more of your classmates to share with you their notes or impressions of the lecture, and take some time to familiarize yourself with Dr. Bernard’s work here). Then post either:

  • An insight you drew from Dr. Bernard’s lecture concerning how we deal with race in the classroom.
  • A thought or suggestion inspired by Bernard’s lecture for how we might shift or change our approach to race in our courses or class discussions.
  • A question you’d like the Team D faculty to address during the forum

We will be reading your posts the morning of the Team Forum, so to aim to submit yours by 6am, Friday, Mar 12.

75 responses to “Team Forum 2

  1. After tuning into Dr. Emily Bernard’s lecture, I found myself learning an immense amount regarding the truth of racism and its application in our classrooms and education. Vulnerability is the key to human connection.

    A question I would like to present:

    How can we, as diverse students, actively grow closer to one another and learn from each other through true connection? How can we learn to be empathetic to each other’s truths in our busy, busy lives? Could that help in hearing the cries of one another to improve society and build through problem-solving, especially in the scope of racism?

  2. Something that really stood out to me from Dr. Brenard’s lecture was her discussion of vulnerability when speaking about your experiences. She explained that “by making ourselves vulnerable, we make ourselves whole”, and in that sense, without vulnerability we would never have truly complete conversations about race. With the exposure of our own emotions and insecurities when we talk about race, we open our minds and help others open their hearts to understanding the vastly different situations that can happen in life, and the lasting effects that they leave on people’s souls.

  3. Dr. Emily Bernard’s lecture helped me realize the significance of storytelling. The idea that writing is not only a way of connecting to the rest of the world, but also an opportunity for both for the author and the reader to learn something new, make it a great method of approaching race in classroom. It allows students to pragmatically engage with others. It is interesting to notice how writing can expose you not only to your own vulnerabilities, but also to those of other people.

  4. An insight I drew from Dr. Bernard’s lecture came from the story about her mother, the incident with some young white men, while she was growing up in the Jim Crowe South. Dr. Bernard explained how her grandmother taught her that racism seemed from ignorance, which her mother carried with her in life. That’s the reason why unbiased, factual teachings are so important in the classroom, ignorance must be reversed.

  5. How different would the impact of her works be if she was a male. She discusses many ideas in her written works and her lecture, and I wonder how different would her content and/or the effect of the lessons be if she was a different gender.

  6. In today’s society, the topic of race has become a very sensitive topic to talk about. Many people are afraid; they fear the backlash and mockery of their differences by others which is why they choose to hide themselves. In her lecture, Dr. Bernard urges us to be more open and to make ourselves more vulnerable and comfortable with our own story as well as the story of others. She advocates for a “transparent” environment in which individuals are able to lower their defenses and be more outspoken on their thoughts. People are more likely to communicate on sensitive topics such as race if they don’t feel like they are alone and transparency is key.

  7. One thing that stuck out to me with concern to Bernard’s lecture was how she was always learning different ways to educate on the topic of race. Emily describes how feedback from her students influenced future classes or how different people bring different perspectives within each class. Bernard suggests transparency, expectations, and adaptation as some of the most important factors when teaching race, and I believe this approach of teaching would be beneficial in our own learning environment, as well. I think it’s important that we keep learning by trying new things and finding, for ourselves, what might be the best way of covering race for our class.

  8. Typically, people who write stories about race do so to share ideas with others and to give a different point of view. However, in Bernard’s lecture, she suggests that she writes to learn- not for anyone but herself. She speaks of race as if it’s a perspective, not a fact. It is interesting to listen to the way she discusses her writing and her own opinion.

  9. An insight that I think was really critical that Dr. Bernard shared today was this notion of how in academics, we often separate the head and the heart. This to me can be detrimental in the discussion of race in the classroom because too often, especially in high school, we often analyzed the contents from an academic perspective that we never really allow ourselves to personally connect and relate to the text. We’re always so caught in looking for the mechanics and analysis of texts that we forget to just enjoy and connect with it.

  10. Dr. Bernard’s lecture was moving, inspiring, and beautifully phrased. I was so amazed at how she was able to talk about such heavy, stomach-turning concepts and events with grace, understanding, and love for connectedness between humans (even when they try to hurt you). I loved how she talked about books as an offering from one stranger to another to cultivate humanity and common ground, how racism is a consequence of ignorance (and that’s why anti racism/POC authors have to be taught), and how vulnerability and willingness to listen is our strength. So many of her quotes resonated with me, but one of my favorites was: “we are all born in community, life itself begins in communion with one another; where is the line between ourselves and other?”

  11. Through Dr. Bernards lecture I came to a new understanding of community and the importance of discerning between your self identification and expectations you set for yourself compared to ones identity within different communities, such as communities of color, and the expectations set by society.

  12. Dr. Bernard’s lecture really showed the importance of being able to tell your story, and being confident in it. I think this is a very important quality that we all should try and implement into our own conversations, regardless of the topic.

  13. Dr. Bernard’d lecture enlightened me further to the issue of race in the classroom and the importance of acknowledging other people’s stories and taking things away from them so that we can change and make ourselves better members of society. Storytelling is a very effective way to promote ideas and I like the way that Dr. Bernard explained her complicated issue a very understandable way using storytelling.

  14. Learning is a continuous thing. Understanding race in the classroom is crucial to help people all over the world in order to be open and safe. We think with our mind and feel with our heart, so we should learn with both of these parts and come together to understand each other as human beings. Moving forward, class should always be said as a safe space no matter what. It should always be reminded that this space we are in is inviting and safe.

  15. A thought that resonated with me was that “vulnerability is strength” and that people should embrace their vulnerabilities. Your vulnerabilities are what make you unique and enable you to get the most out of what you are learning about and life in general. In the classroom, we could create more connections between the triumphs over traumas/vulnerabilities we learn about to our own. This connection is what will allow us to grow and view race, and everything that comes along with, it from a different angle.

  16. While listening to Dr. Bernard’s lecture, I found her interpretation of community and the roles that each of us as individuals plays in society intriguing. It is an interesting viewpoint to believe that a person has to be fully aware of their own identity first before they can enlighten others. She really focused on the importance of sharing your individual stories and spreading awareness.

  17. I found Dr. Emily Bernard’s lecture very moving and inspiring. I really admire and am extremely impressed by the way she is able to speak about such complex and heavy topics with such eloquence and delicacy. I enjoyed the way she described the conversation of race in the classroom. She referred to it as storytelling and as human beings, one of our most innate and distinctive qualities is that we are always telling stories. We tell stories about our past, our present, and our future and the interplay of these is what drives our experiences and knowledge. People who write tell stories and we read these stories as a conversation with the author in which we both gain experience from our interaction with the work itself. I also heavily appreciate the way she acknowledges that to gain the full experience out of these conversations we can’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable allows us to be fully immersed in the conversations and completely free of any roadblocks. By allowing our hearts and our minds to be open we can truly appreciate one another’s ideas, perspectives, and experiences.

  18. Dr. Bernard’s lecture is inspiring and touching. In this lecture, Dr.Bernard encourages us to listen to each other and if we don’t agree, disagree respectfully. An insight I drew from Dr. Bernard’s lecture is the importance of listening to other’s encounters patiently. As she suggests, it’s coming to the time that “it’s easier to bark to someone than to talk to someone” and so, it’s especially important for readers to put down their armors and actually listen to others’ stories without distracting thoughts in mind. I agree with her and I believe it’s important to engage in the world by listening to others openly and patiently.

  19. Something that Dr. Bernard’s lecture illuminated to me is how important lineage and community are to creating a culture. The importance of what we learn from out families and our peers is immeasurable, it shapes our perception of the world and either makes or breaks the journey to racial equality. We each learn from the stories we are told, just like Dr. Bernard was influenced by stories her mother and grandmother told her about race. True change needs to be community-wide to be effective long-term, and the best way to do this is through education.

  20. Dr. Bernard’s words were deeply impactful and her stories are just truly inspirational. She brings to light the importance of courage and embracing your soul in order to open up your own insecurities when discussing issues regarding racism. Hearing her speak tonight reminded me to not lose sight of who I am as a human being and to continue to talk about and be aware of such issues that exist in our society today. One thing that especially stood out to me was when Dr. Bernard said that not all people are worth saving if they don’t want to be saved. I agree and think that it is so important to not be ignorant, and instead, recognize that there is always something more that we can learn. We should always be open to accepting other ideas outside and inside the classroom as this is the best way to achieve productivity.

  21. 3. What do you think aids Bernard the most in her lecture, her anecdotes/ethos or the way she presents the information?

  22. One topic Bernard brought up that I thought was particularly insightful was her idea of picking your battles. She says it is important to remember on your mission to education people that some people don’t want to learn. She also said that it is important to be some what detached from the world. I agree with her on this but I believe there is a fine line. The trick is to not be apathetic but also don’t let things that are out of your control dictate your mood. Living in the gray area of indignation and apathy is a hard thing to ask of someone just as it is a hard thing to learn to do.

  23. It was very interesting to hear Dr. Bernard talk about being vulnerable in today’s society; people nowadays feel that they can’t “be soft”. Dr. Bernard mentions that people want to be liked by others (especially on social media) but aren’t encouraged to be vulnerable. She adds that being vulnerable and being well-liked goes hand-in-hand. In a classroom setting, some students might be reluctant to share if they think their opinions don’t match the opinions of their classmates or professors; this also correlates to the students’ fear that their opposing opinion would lose respect from others. Based on Dr. Bernard’s lecture, encouragement from teachers / professors could persuade more students to be vulnerable (in sharing their thoughts and feelings) when talking about race in the classroom.

  24. When Emily Bernard spoke of vunerablity and it’s impact on how we view each other, I was struck on how often the solution to a problem in society stems from the teachings we past to one another. We need to be vunerable and talk about our experiences so that we can truly understand each other but we have been taught to not be vunerable. We are taught to find vunerable peoole to be weak or dramatic. In a world where the only soultion is listening to each other, we have been pushed against sharing. Once again the solution to an societal issue is a key idea or corner store. Which only shows that gaing real relief would mean chaning the structure of how we think. Not impossible but extremely hard.

  25. I was so astonished by Dr. Bernard’s delivery of such personal and difficult topics. When she speaks about vulnerability while practicing it herself it shows the beauty of her true character and the meaning of her message. This tactic allowed her story to resonate with me fully. However, I reflected upon my experience in the classroom of learning about the concept of race and am dumbfounded to think of the difference it would make if we implemented Dr. Bernard’s ideas. Having empathy, having an open-mind, and understanding the importance of community makes all the difference. And unfortunately I believe that wasn’t thought of in my previous experiences.

  26. I really connected to Bernard’s discussion on vulnerability being a key factor in making progress in regards to race. Race can be an incredibly sensitive topic, but without talking about it, we cannot grow as a society. I have been the only black student in a classroom before, and it is very jarring. I grew up pushing away my black culture in an attempt to fit in with my white classmates. When I realized that I would not be able to fit in with those classmates, I developed a sort of resentment towards them. It was vulnerability that ended up allowing me to form relationships with my classmates. Speaking about what it felt to be the odd one out, and having discussions about black representations in media allowed me to see that the majority of my classmates were actually on the same page as me.

    I also saw a parallel between Bernard’s “step lightly” discussion and Kathryn Schulz’s TED talk “On Being Wrong”. Not letting ourselves get too attached to particular ideologies enables us to evaluate our own beliefs, and recognize when we might be incorrect.

  27. It is unfortunate that in U.S. classrooms there even has to be a discussion about race and that the country’s history has not allowed for inclusion. I have a few questions that all connect to Dr. Bernard’s point that as an educator in a predominantly white community, she is a “missionary” to the white students in her class. How responsible are teachers for properly educating students about race? Who should be the leaders of those conversations? Is it appropriate to have a white teacher leading that discussion, and at what point would they have to step aside and instead amplify the voice of a member of the BIPOC group? My final questions are where do we draw the line between trying to educate someone when they have caused harm to the BIPOC community and punishing them or “canceling” them for the harm they caused? Is there a more appropriate time to respond with either option or a combination of the two, and do BIPOC individuals have to accommodate and forgive these harms?

  28. Dr. Bernard’s lecture is truly inspiring and impactful, especial for the valid stories she told. The story of Dr. Bernard’s mother brings me lots of ideas. This story makes me deeply believe the significance of a just, equal and factual teaching environment. With a such environment, students will be educated in the right direction and the ignorance which leads to racism can be vanished.

  29. What I received from hearing Dr. Bernard’s lecture tonight was the importance of disagreeing respectfully. This is such an important concept to grasp in the classroom and even in the world today. We live in such a polarizing world today that often times, there is so much yelling, and not much listening. When we listen to each other’s perspectives and different opinions, it’s easy for us to sometimes block out what they’re hearing because in our eyes, what they’re saying may be completely ridiculous. However, this is a dangerous habit because in order to live together, grow together, and advance together as a civilization, we have to learn to listen to each, even when we may disagree.

  30. I thought that Dr. Bernard had a lot of great points. What really struck me is the theme of vulnerability. I find that it’s very hard for people to open up in general in the classroom and now that we are all doing school through zoom there is an even bigger barrier to overcome. Teaching race, and subjects relating to it, can be a sensitive topic and doing it remotely makes conveying key themes and feelings difficult. At least from my experience serious matters are not easily talked about online, for a multitude of reasons. In such a critical time for the topic of race, the absence of an adequate form of communication is detrimental and may be the cause of developing misdirections and communications on race. I only wish I could’ve asked how Dr. Bernard got through the barrier and maybe if she had some suggestions or ideas on how to fix it.

  31. If being vulnerable is a show of strength, how can you convince people to be vulnerable, open them up to be judged by others, or walk around without their armor on?

  32. What particularly struck me in Dr. Bernard’s lecture was the impact her mother and grandmother had on her life. She discussed how they were both poets and writers like her, and how that influenced who Dr. Bernard grew up to be. She also said that she carries them with her. This resonated with me because it caused me to think about what it must have been like, to have the voice and desire to write, but not be able to pursue it due to societal restrictions from living in the Jim Crow Era South. In regard to talking about race in the classroom, this made me realize that its not only important to look forward and discuss how we can make things better in the future; it is vital to also look to the past and talk about how it has impacted our present.

  33. I didn’t realize that sometimes narrative can traumatize people. When we are dealing with classmates of other races, we need to respect them and aviod mentioning something that may traumatize them. We need to treat them just as we treat ourselves, as well as respecting their own traits.

  34. I found Dr. Emily Bernard’s lecture extremely profound. As a college student, her writing advice is extremely relevant for creating meaningful work. I especially connected with her philosophy on vulnerability and writing. I personally struggle with writing about topics and stories that are deeply meaningful or powerful to me. Not because I am scared of sharing them but because I am scared of misrepresenting them. Will my words hold enough weight? Will my organization be understandable? Will my audience be captured? Essentially, I find it daunting to create works that capture the gravity of a story. On the contrary, though, Dr. Bernard has shown that it is possible to take even the most uncomfortable, vulnerable, and darkest topics and turn them into beautiful pieces of literature. Do you have any more advice on how to get over the fear of doing your topic injustice?

  35. Dr. Bernard’s personal stories are fascinating and inspiring. Her speech arose my consideration for the importance of community. I almost ignored the community’s significance in my life, and Dr. Bernard’s speech reminded me to consider and take this problem seriously. She reminds us to understand others and listen to others’ speaking is significant for our life. After listening to her speech, I realize respect for different voices, having sympathy, and the importance of listening. I appreciate Dr. Bernard give me a new thinking way to reconsider the things around me.

  36. Dr. Bernard inspired us to take the racial issue from another perspective and in whole another attitude. She suggested that we should not be afraid of vulnerability, and softness can be much more important than strength. An insight from her lecture is that we can read literary works from different cultures but they possess the same power of healing through words and sentences. While society might not prefer weakness and vulnerability, people should listen to each other, despite their cultural backgrounds, and build a democratic public space that opens to all voices. As Dr. Bernard claimed:” I am human and nothing human is alien to me”, we should incorporate global and diverse components into classes that represent various races and ideas.

  37. Something that really stood out to me was during the question and answer session when Dr. Bernard was asked what to do when people do not want to be educated and I found her answer as something I felt like is not really emphasized enough when talking about when it comes to conversations about race and other social justice issues. It’s not highlighted enough that when talking about race issues that affect your community, there’s always this conversation about “educating your oppressor”, and tying into the part of her lecture when she was talking about a lot of the reactionary behavior of social media users, people always say “don’t cancel, educate,” but it’s really hard to educate when people don’t want to learn or don’t reflect on themselves and their offensive actions. In that way, people aren’t really obligated to do any kind of educating where they don’t want to. Sometimes it’s just good to take a step back and focus on feeling well within yourself instead of putting in effort to try and help someone do better when that’s just not reciprocated.

  38. 3. If you have ever had any experiences similar to Dr. Bernard, were its impacts as life-changing as they were for her or more of an experience that you felt was minuscule and brushed off?

  39. I find Dr. Bernard’s view on teaching trauma insightful because of the sensitivity around race issues in classrooms. Teaching and discussing trauma in a classroom environment is a vulnerable action for both the teacher and the students involved. I find that lack of BIPOC representation and involvement can hinder the communication of these issues. Because it is such an uncomfortable conservation to have, there is not enough dialogue about it. However, it is necessary for teachers and students in the classroom to be vulnerable in order to initiate these important conservations. I found it impactful that Dr. Bernard views writing as a form of communication with others. This type of communication opens up sensitive topics from the perspective that we ourselves would not understand because we don’t personally connect and experience those issues. One question I wished I asked is that how do we introduce and continue discussing these topics without exploiting the intergenerational trauma of others because of the sensitivity that surrounds it?

  40. I realized the importance of vulnerability. Dr. Bernard stated that “Softness matters as much as strength.” People in our society are so fed up portraying someone who they are not on social media and other platforms. They all want others to like them and do not want to show their soft and weak sides. People are used to uploading videos and pictures that make themselves look powerful and “cool.” They fear the judgment they might receive from other people in society. Dr. Bernard argues that for us to address social issues such as racism, we need to be vulnerable. We need to accept that our society is racist and together, fight towards a change. We can no longer be ignorant of our social injustice.

  41. One thing that stuck with me from her lecture is when she said that it is, it being racism, is a concept of ignorance and not a product of blood. Meaning it is something that is picked up and learned or not learned, in the sense that one is not well educated about the history of a race. While that does not mean that one’s parents and their nurture do not impact one’s beliefs and outlook on life, racism is not passed down through birth. While this seems like a fairly simple concept, it can change how one might approach a misinformed or uninformed person in the way of enlightening them on history.

  42. I found it a bit surprising when someone asked Dr. Bernard how to help educate blatantly racistic individuals and she responded by saying that sometimes it is not worth wasting your energy on trying to convince others who are quite clearly rooted in their beliefs of your point of view. Do you agree with her perspective or have you come across any methods in your personal life experiences that have helped you to be successful in conversing with and potentially educating a racist individual?

  43. There were many parts of Dr. Emily Bernard’s that stood out to me. One major idea was Dr. Bernards selfless in her teachings and true dedication for informing people, especially white people during her University of Maine example, the history of African-Americans and the n-word. Ignorance is truly a problem for white people in many areas around the world, and Dr. Bernard understands the issue and wants to spread awareness so the uninformed may be informed. The development of knowledge on black history starts with the places that have not been exposed to it in the first place, and my heart goes out to Dr. Bernard for choosing these areas to lecture students.

    Another aspect of Dr. Bernard’s lecture that stood out was her affirmation that “bridges are built with words, and walls are built with silence.” Dr. Bernard and her family struggled with racism growing up, and she wantsher story to be exposed to people that may relate to her writing as she did in African-American literature. She never wants the spotlight to be on herself, and only looks to the best interest of her students and readers. Dr Bernard’s admiration for her family and their stories spoke to me because she undoubtedly wants others that were struggling like her to find relief knowing that they are not alone.

  44. The most striking conclusion I have gathered from Dr. Emily Bernard’s conversation tonight is that we all need to read more black literature both in and out of the classroom. My heart jumped upon hearing Bernard mention the strong vulnerability of Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” because it is truly one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. I had read it in a class about literature by women and it is a moving piece to me as it intimately shares the life of a black woman’s journey of identity with the reader. At one point in the lecture Bernard said that being vulnerable is being strong so telling your truth by writing or whatever medium is a process of healing and brings people together. “Their Eyes Were Watching God” and Bernard’s own “Teaching the N-Word” are two works of black women literature that are raw exposures of truth that hold incredible power and therefore this genre must be more accessible to students in order to provide them with a well-rounded education and perspective of life.

  45. Dr. Bernard’s indifferent response to individuals who are unwilling to be educated struck a chord with me, and made me wonder how many people might be beyond saving from their ignorance. Have you ever encountered an unreachable student or colleague? If so, how did you respond to their stubbornness, and did they ever realize the error of their ways?

  46. Throughout Dr. Bernard’s insightful lecture, I found the particular point about discourse and how we are taught to read literature extremely thought provoking. Taught to find a weak point and to exploit it, students consistently have a negative lense and outlook on much of what they are reading. This negative initial outlook has affected our ability to marvel and immerse ourselves in just reading. It is interesting how we can be negative towards others through comments or just viewpoints, but become surprised and angry when others critique our own work.

  47. Although I was not able to attend the lecture held by Dr. Bernard, I did read a few articles about her and what she hopes to accomplish. I’m very interested in how she urges people to have more open conversations with people about race to try and make the topic less “taboo” or “sensitive”. I was surprised though, that she said that sometimes it’s not worth the energy to try and educate people who already have such firm beliefs on race. I feel like this contrasts the educational ideas that activists promote which poses the question of which view point is correct, if either. Is it better to work with stubborn people to try and educate them, or is it better to focus time on doing other activities that might have a more successful outcome?

  48. After listening to Dr. Bernard’s lecture, I gained new insight into how ignorance in classrooms deepens the roots of racism. Discussing racism in classrooms is an uncomfortable and sensitive issue, and Dr.Bernard shares how she learned to incorporate it into common areas. She does this by assimilating multiple aspects and stories when discussing uncomfortable issues. Bringing together history by accepting various individuals’ stories builds a vulnerable and safe space. I personally found her ability to communicate this idea really inspiring and effective.

  49. Discussing race has become a sensitive topic in the United States due to the American’s racist history. It no surprise that schools in the United States do not deal with race in the classrooms well. Having both the students and teachers make themselves vulnerable is necessary to conduct proactive conversations about race. Being vulnerable has a stigma, yet it is just as crucial as projecting strength. A society can only fight for equality after acknowledging the injustice that currently exists.

  50. The issue of “teaching race” in the classroom has always been a controversial and sensitive topic in society. Many people choose to be ignorant of the topic as long as racism does not impact them personally, which allows them to take on the bystander role comfortably as others are being discriminated against in apparent or obscured ways. By sharing her personal experience during lecture today, Dr. Barnard urges the idea of anti-racism instead of simply understanding racism. Rather than to turn away from the painful truth that people of one community are wrongfully hurting each other, Dr. Barnard emphasizes the importance of facing our vulnerabilities in order to become a more well-rounded version of ourselves: one that is willing to step out of the comfort zone to learn and grow. Censoring the teaching of race in the classroom will not cease racism of its existence; racism is only addressed when we are strong and confident enough to confront the damage that it brings to our community.

  51. One of the most important components of a conversation about race is knowing when to shut up and let people with different, more relevant perspectives to say their piece. Therefore, I have nothing to say.

  52. One thing I found particularly interesting in the lecture is the way Dr. Bernard drew on the concept of individuality and the singular person. The discussion surrounding vulnerability shows how prejudice must be addressed from within and can be terminated on a personal level. If each individual shared their story and was purposeful in consuming other’s stories, the ignorance which plagues the world and race relations could become desolate.

  53. Something that stood out from Dr. Bernard’s lecture is the importance of vulnerability. People need to understand how necessary it is to be vulnerable to others even if it’s scary. Without vulnerability, a constant fake facade is plastered on our faces. In turn, not only are we individually hurting ourselves, but we also hurt others. By creating a persona and not being true to ourselves, we slowly abandon what makes each and everyone of us unique to a point where it seems like it’s impossible to achieve the truth of ourselves. This act of being vulnerable doesn’t only need to be present in classrooms but in society itself as it creates a homey comfort blanket around us that fosters our ability to be vulnerable. There are two cycles associated with vulnerability: the cruel and struggling one of fake facade or the warm and welcoming one of acceptance. It’s up to us to choose which one we want.

  54. A thought that intrigued me during Dr. Bernard’s lecture was when she said there are no winners when the goal is to win, there are only variations of loss. This idea caught my attention because it gave me a new perspective when considering many things, including race. Although racism has always been an extreme issue, the goal can not be simply to end all racism, but many goals leading up to that larger goal. Smaller goals can lead to greater change because there is more focus on the roots of racism and the smaller issues that cause the greater problem.

  55. My question is: How do you introduce the topic of race to a person who has never been exposed to race, wether it is a caucasian who has only been around other caucasians or a person of color who does not know hate or race because he has only been around other persons of color? And, Is being ignorant an excuse for racist conduct?

  56. Dr. Emily Bernard’s lecture really helped give me a new perspective on the concept of vulnerability, and how it is actually one of our strengths. I believe many would think that being vulnerable is a sign of weakness, but Dr. Bernard states that we should not be afraid of it. Softness matters just as much as strength, and being vulnerable is what helps us build connections with one another. Many fear the idea of being judged, and view vulnerability as a weakness. However, we must allow ourselves to personally connect and share our stories with one another as it is an important step into a progressive society.

  57. Dr. Bernard talked about how we should normalize talking about rasim in class and confront our vulnerabilities. What do you think it is the best way to set up the most comfortable learning environment for every student to discuss rasicm in class?

  58. One key takeaway that stuck in my mind was how Dr. Bernard tackled the question along the lines of “what to do with people who don’t want to be educated”. Her response was quite a somber one as she essentially told us to come to the realization that not everyone can be saved. It is not worth the time to try to convince someone when the person is too far-gone and obstinate on their beliefs. Indeed, I agree that it is virtually impossible for everyone to be equally educated and there isn’t much we can do to the ones who truly deny education.

  59. An insight that I found really fascinating was when Dr. Bernard discussed how to navigate discussing race with people who aren’t willing to listen or learn. I thought her answer was really important and powerful, since she prioritized her own mental health and wellbeing over the education of a stranger. At this point in time, with the Internet at our fingertips and education a simple click away, there is no excuse to not be aware of racial issues or, at the very least, to not be willing to learn. Black people and POC should not have to exert mental and emotional strength to try and force someone to listen to their experiences and struggles. I thought her answer was a good reminder that the onus should not be on marginalized people to educate privileged people if they’re not open to learning, and that sometimes its best to just walk away and not expend energy on people who are not receptive to changing their hateful beliefs.

  60. During the question and answer session, Dr. Bernard’s view on what to do with people who don’t want to be educated is very interesting. She tells us that not everyone in society is willing to get education to change their ideology. So no matter how hard one tries to convince them, they would still think the way they used to think. She believes trying to convince those who don’t want to be educated is a waste of time. I totally agree with her argument. Indeed, we cannot make everyone get education in the same way; neither can we make everyone reflect on their offensive behaviors. Therefore, instead of trying to convince people who are immersed in their own ideology, we should consider making ourselves act better when facing race issues.

  61. I think Dr.Bernard’s lecture was heartfelt and filled with inspiration. She encourages opening up about insecurities when the race conversation comes up, speaking on the importance of it. I find that these types of conversations are needed to have especially in the classroom setting are these uncomfortable conversations. In our society race has become a sensitive topic because it differentiates us from others, we all want to “fit in” when we really confuse that with wanting to be accepted. For someone to show their vulnerability, especially in a classroom, it opens the gate for others to be outspoken and transparent about their thoughts. We all grew up in an environment that molds our thoughts but that could be very restrictive when that’s all you know, a classroom is a place outside of that to open our eyes into different worlds. We can learn from each others stories and perspectives which is what makes us grow and become more educated.

  62. How does the lecture she gives related to her personal experiences? Is there any specific event that happened in her life help developed her ideas?

  63. One piece of advice that stood out to me was when Bernard said “..you have one life and you do not owe it to someone who does not respect you.” I thought this was interesting because a lot of times, we hold on to things or people that don’t help us in any way. Here she is advising her listeners to not necessarily “give up the fight” to change their views, but to put energy into other things that will better serve their purpose.

  64. Dr.Bernard’s lecture was inspirational and touching. She proved to me the importance of storytelling, and how the literature that you read shapes and influences who you are. Her lecture also reminded me of my experience during high school when my English teacher taught us the Adventure of Huckleberry Finn. She also stated an interesting understanding of being an African American. She viewed her experience as an African American not only to help her to be more connected with the people who have the same color as she is but also to give her a better understanding of “the experiences of people whose lives I can’t even imagine. “

  65. I have been digesting the intense and thought-provoking lecture for hours now. Immediately after the lecture, I found myself amazed at how eloquently Dr. Bernard was able to articulate her arguments that often dealt with her inner fears and emotions. Particularly, I was moved when she discussed her past in such an emotional way.

  66. Something I got from Bernard lecture was how it is not my responsibility to educate those who have certain views. After the lecture Bernard talks about how draining it is to go out of your way and show someone why what they’re saying may be rude or insensitive. I agree with this point because as a poc in the US you want to be accepted by those around you and seen as a human being but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your humanity.

  67. Something that really stuck with me from Dr. Bernard’s lecture was her advice on dealing with race and how we can tackle the issues of racism. She emphasized the importance of learning and educating yourself to be able to tell your own individual story rather than following a community culture which can be extremely damaging to society. Her transparency in knowing that some people are unwilling to be educated on racial issues, and even acceptance of this was initially very surprising to me, but her reasoning throughout her talk clearly explains her point of view and is a new perspective I had not previously been too aware of.

  68. Dr. Bernard’s lecture emphasized the importance of being vulnerable— not just to address race, but also to effectively talk about anything. Inside and outside of the classroom, speaking openly and freely gives way for real discussion and allows for people to learn and grow, not just as scholars, but as people.

  69. Some points that stuck with me from Dr. Bernard’s lecture was the way she discussed how we should normalize the conversation of race. Today, this is very important for everyone to feel comfortable discussing especially because the racial injustices our country faces. We need to keep open minds and acknowledge the emotions that come along with the conversation of race. In regards to the conversation of race in the classroom, we need to educate and make sure that we discuss the past in order to change the issue for the future. Bernard talks about race in the light of it being a perspective, this made me relate back to high school when we would learn about history from the perspective of a white male. Bernard’s lecture was very insightful and all of her ideas really stuck with me.

  70. The most interesting portion of the lecture for me was the part where Dr. Bernard responded to a question about what one should do when trying to help someone that does not want to receive help and does not want to listen. She told the student very simply that “not everybody’s worth it.” I found this extremely insightful because to her understanding, wasting your time with someone who is not willing to learn will take away from the time that you can spend educating someone who is willing to open their eyes in regards to other viewpoints.

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