Discrimination is real

10 April 2006

Over forty students and faculty were involved in a whole day workshop held at AKAM on April, 04, 2006.

Over forty students and faculty were involved in a whole day workshop held at AKAM on April, 04, 2006. Mr. Karumba, co-faculty advisor with Mr. Bardai, stated that the conference was organized to "sensitize youth to issues that affect society." An innovated exercise commenced the workshop by placing some students in a position of having to feel what it is like being categorized and excluded. "It was totally unfair," stated Samantha, one of the students who was victimized. The debriefing illustrated that those that have the comfort were less likely to accept responsibility and speak out against the injustice. This reflection paved the way for an interesting, widely recognised discussion on racism. During the period, the students watched a clip from a movie "Crash", which accentuated racist behaviour. The students were then given a chance to consider upon these disgraceful acts and enlighten the impact of these behaviours. As the discussion progressed, Mrs. Khan, Mr. Dudi, Mr. Karumba and Mr. Serem introduced the topic tribalism and gender discrimination. They emphasised the problem facing Kenya, allowing the student to truly understand the vastly degrading effects of discrimination. Their Enlightenment Period continued with an intense movie "Hotel Rwanda" – a story based on the gruesome war between two tribes. "Oh my God!" was the only expression the participants let out after watching parts of the movie. They, for the first time, were introduced to the barbaric, criminal acts of tribalism and hatred. The shock instilled further developed their understanding of the worldwide threat of segregation. The next activity allowed students to express themselves in a creative manner through reflective writing or artistic drama. All work conveyed a depth of understanding relating to the concepts of discrimination. One participant stated that the creative aspect of the day allowed her to "reflect all that I learnt through out the day." The final aspect of the day consisted of the participants developing a plan of action. Creating awareness, educating students and faculty about the types and effects of discrimination, and the importance of focusing were manifested concepts from the discussion. Mr. McLean stated that, "individually, each one of us is a change agent."