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Students start series to ask 'What the Heck is Systemic Racism?'

Posted at 12:33 PM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 22:23:49-04

CINCINNATI — Systemic racism is a phrase that has been used in many political circles for years, but after the events over the past weeks, students from the University of Cincinnati are putting together a series to help explain what it means and how to address it.

After attending some of the protests around Cincinnati, students Myriam Wane and Aloni Welker created Cincinnati For Justice, a group which has over 2,000 members, according to their Facebook page.

The group calls itself a "forum to share information, rally support, and connect those who want to help with those who need it." One of the ways they plan on accomplishing this is through a workshop series called "What the Heck is Systemic Racism?"

"We’re just trying to make it very clear to everyone that racism is not a binary," Welker said. "It’s not just the harsh things we see on TV and everything like that. There are systems that uphold it.”

The series plans on bringing together black-owned food trucks, voter registration volunteers and social justice organizations to Mt. Echo Park. There, they plan to discuss questions such as what is systemic racism, and what can we do about it?

Wane said they wanted to create an atmosphere where "learning can happen safely, where the questions can be asked safely, where the tears, the pain, all that can be felt in a safe environment."

"Showing up imperfectly is better than not showing up at all," Welker said. "If you’re there and you’re willing to learn, that’s what we need.”

The series "What the Heck is Systemic Racism?" starts Saturday at 4 p.m. in Mt. Echo Park.