Equity Training: An Eye-Opening Experience

Senior Vinny Kabat

Senior Vinny Kabat

By Vinny Kabat

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This past Friday, along my fellow NWN staffers I took part in an all-day training session in which we were forced to self reflect. We all shared with one another what we feel are staples of our identities, instances in which we have been victims of stereotypes or perhaps times in which we were mislead in our own personal beliefs about a group of people. In addition our trainers pounded into our minds the difference between race and ethnicity — I feel that the knowledge of this importance difference is something that I can carry with me as a writer so that I don’t mistake the two in any future pieces.

As a journalist, I’ve always liked to feel that I am unbiased but I definitely learned — and I think every other person on the NWN staff did as well — that absolutely no one can be completely unbiased. For instance, we were shown articles describing similar crimes that were committed by people of different races and the difference in their wording was undeniably less critical of white people than black people regardless of the crime they committed. This really took me by surprise as I would think nothing of the wording of the headlines if I read any of the pairs of articles we were shown by themselves.

So, why did the NWN take part in this training? Here at Niles West, we feel fortunate to be a part of one of the most diverse communities in the nation. We feel that we owe it to the district and to Niles West students to give students of all races a chance to have their voice heard and for those who may have been oppressed because of the color of their skin to spread the word to make the school a better place. For this reason, starting in January, the NWN will be kicking off a five-part series pertaining to race, which will include features, opinion columns, and videos profiling the various experiences — good and bad — in which several students and faculty members from the very diverse population at Niles West will have the opportunity to have their voices heard.

Stay tuned by following the NWN on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for updates on when you can see the first installment of the series.