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Intern Reflections


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The following are excerpts taken from Interns' final papers in which they reflect on their internships:

 

  • "In my memories of CCI I know a place that was safe to learn in, but never would have allowed me to forsake this learning; I know a place that taught and led by example about how I intend to live my life; and I know a place that connected me to others who had chosen to make their life’s work what had already become my passion, which in turn, reconnected me to myself." (Julia Koch, 2004)
  • "Ongoing discussions about current events pertaining to issues of racial disparity took place in the office on an informal basis. I was also encouraged to take advantage of the resources in the library and to read as much as possible through out the summer. I learned a great deal about myself and about the ways in which racism continues to plague our society. My beliefs about racial injustice and inequality have been strengthened and my confidence in speaking about and addressing these issues has increased."
  • "I enjoyed preparing for the community hearing on affirmative action, including the meetings I attended with community and coalition leaders. One thing that made an impression on me was witnessing how much more constructive and effective it felt to be in a more multiracial coalition, taking leadership from the people of color."
  • "I have learned more this summer than I realize yet, and that just being present with the affirmative action coalition will allow me to return to school knowing more deeply what needs to happen and how."
  • "I helped to plan and facilitate two workshops. For one of these workshops, a number of girl scouts involved in a weeklong program about social justice came to CCI to learn about racism. The girls were fairly young, ranging in age from twelve to fifteen. Nearly all of the girls were white and had grown up in predominantly white neighborhoods. We began the workshop by asking the girls how race affected their lives. Each of them responded that race had never really impacted them, as they grew up in homogenous neighborhoods. We then spent much of the workshop discussing white privilege and disproving race as anything but a social construct. By the end of the session, it was obvious from the conversation that all the girls had realized the effect race plays in their lives on a daily basis. They were energized and begged us to explain to them how they could most effectively share this knowledge with their friends and families." (Emily Goldberg, 2004)

 

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Community Change was born out of the Civil Rights Movement and in response to the Kerner Commission which named racism as "a white problem." CCI has done what few organizations are willing to do: shine a spotlight on the roots of racism in white culture with the intention of dealing with racism at its source, as well as with its impact on communities of color.

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