“Racial Awareness at Predominately White Institutions.”

Langston McCatty

WINCHESTER – In recent years as well as this year alone, the American people have seen a lack racial awareness, injustice, and neglect for black people as well as other minorities.

Ignorance of the races does not happen in America alone, it trinkles down through the work force, schools, and neighborhoods.

While the death of George Floyd earlier this year sparked outrage and violence across the country, Americans were divided yet we had never been more united.

People of all races and backgrounds stepped up and spoke out against the injustice that has been going on in this country. Protests were held in the name of Floyd as well as other black men and women who were unjustly killed. 

While Floyd’s death was not the first or the last unjustified death of a black man, his death brought about a change in America. Work environments set up new racial awareness trainings and schools put out declarations of where they stood on racial matters.

Floyd’s death brought about a change in myself as well. His death motivated my Senior Capstone project. In this project, I interviewed 5 students from Predominately white Institutions (PWIs). Two from our campus at Shenandoah and 3 from George Mason University (GMU), Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), and Radford University (RU).

The questions asked to these students were to get an understanding of how they felt their schools handled racial situations. “Did the school handle it well?” “Did the school not handle it well?” “What can the school do better?”

Some students have admitted that their schools have stepped up and tried to be better when it comes to racial awareness, but they want to and need it to continue.

Each student gave different scenarios of what they had experienced on their campuses. While all situations were different, all students had the same message for their schools and other PWI’s in the country.

“Do better”. 

This project was not intended to attack schools or tarnish the school’s reputation. This was to raise awareness and make aware that the minority students recognize the effort that their schools are giving but it needs to continue. 

As I learned much from speaking with these students, the faculty and staff of these institutions as well as others can learn from their students too.

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