You are a mixed-race male. You grew up in a "good" family, went to a good school and have, against all odds, managed to become a very successful business person. You serve on several boards for companies, charities, and colleges. One of the boards you serve one picks the "best" applicants for a very prestigious graduate program. There is only one spot left and the choice has been narrowed down to two candidates.
"15% of freshmen enrolled at America's highly selective colleges are white teens who failed to meet their institutions admissions standards." (29)
The first candidate is a white male, named Thomas, who has a good, but not great, GPA. He has several good recommendations, been involved on campus and in the community, and has some good internship experience. The other applicant is a mixed-race female, named Sara, from a small town in southeastern Kentucky. Her family doesn't have much money and she has worked very hard to get where she is. She had a part-time job to cover cost of undergrad that was not covered by scholarship. Even with the job she managed to keep a 4.0 GPA, she was involved on campus, did lots of community service, and had very good recommendations from Professors and from her internship experiences.
You have pretty much decided that you are going to vote for Sara to get the position when senior member of the board approaches you and tells you that many of the other members of the board are going to vote for Thomas because his father is very powerful and it would be good for the college to make him happy. Do you want to:
[[Tell the board memeber you have decided to vote for Sara because she is the one who deserves the position.|page 2]]
[[Abstain from voting. You don't want to get involved in the politics this early in your time on the board.|page 3]]
[[Change your vote and vote for Thomas. You never know what making friends with a powerful family can do for your career.|page 8]]
You stood up to the other board members and managed to talk two of the other board members into voting for Sara but its wasn't enough. The board voted 4-3, Thomas got the position. You are upset that the other members of the board caved to the political pressure. What do you do:
[[Nothing, you have worked very hard to get where you are and you don't want to jeopardize that for this one girl.|page 4]]
[[You decide to anonomously leak the story to the media so that everyone can know what happened.|page 4]]
[[You decide to call a press conference and publicly interrput the cycle of socialization by telling everyone about the injustice that Sara has suffered. You are afraid at first that speaking up will fuin your career but you decide to speak up anyway because if you don't this will happen again to someone else.|page 13]]
Thomas is picked for the position by 1 vote. You realized that if you had voted you could have made a difference in this young ladies life. Do you:
[[Decide to reach out to Sara and see if there is anything you can do to help. You also contact some of you connections at the college too see if there are any other opportunities for Sara. You know it won't be as good as the position she missed out on but it could probably help.|page 9]]
[[Do nothing, what's done, is done.|page 4]]
Some how the media find out that Thomas was picked over a more deserving candidate because of who is father is. It is headline news, everyone is talking about it. Many student groups are protesting and calling for change. The schools reputation is going down the drain. Do you:
[[Stick to the decision and try to justify it to the media. Thomas was the best candidate for the position. Try to criminalize the protesters and make it seem like they are the ones doing something wrong. This will take the spotlight off what the board did.|page 5]]
[[Dodge the media and try to stay out of spotlight and let your colleges handle the problem. They did pressure you into voting for Thomas in the first place.|page 6]]
[[Convince the rest of the board members that you should all step up and admit you made a mistake. Provide more opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds and try to find a way to make things right with Sara. All while listening to the community and finding out what they think should be done.|page 7]]
The situation escalates and an investigation has been opened into the college and their policies on discrimination. It turns out that this isn't the only time that something like this has happened. Since you are a fairly new member of the board you don't know much about what has gone on in the past. Everyone on the board is now at risk of being removed from their positions. The board has still yet to take responsibility for their actions but something has to change.
[[You decide that enough is enough. You speak out against the board and admit that it was a mistake to choose Thomas over Sara. Even though you voted for Thomas you want to make sure that this doesn't happen again. You agree with what the protesters are saying.|page 15]]
[[You just try to keep your head down. You are a new member after all maybe they won't remove you. You will try not to make the same mistake again in the future.|page 14]]
[[You continue to bash the protesters and try and make the media protray them as criminals. You will do everything you can to keep from having to make a change.|page 18]]
Avioding the topic only works for so long. After a week or so the story still isn't dying down and the college administration is going to have to do something soon to get the media off their backs. [[Click here to continue|Doing nothing]]
After admiting to you mistake and saying you will implement new diversity programs the media attention starts to wain. Now the the heat is off the board doesn't really feel like the need to move that fast to solve the problems with the school. At the next board meeting many of the members are talking about pushing off implementing the programs they promised. You decide to:
[[Vote to push off the programs and try to talk others into voing with you. The budget is tight and these programs aren't really necessary.|page 18]]
[[Quietly vote to implement the programs as soon as possible. You don't want to go through that media circus again.|page 16]]
[[Encourage your fellow board members to vote with you by reminding them that it is the right thing to do even if budgets are a little tight, the board should make sure that everyone is treated fairly.|page 17]]
The board votes 4-3, Thomas is the one who gets into the program.
[[Click here to continue|page 4]]
After reaching out to Sara you find out that if she doesn't get some kind of assistance for graduate school she won't be able to go. This was her dream and now she is about to give up on it. You hear back from your connections in the college and there is another opportunity for Sara. This one isn't as good as the one that she missed out on but, now she can go to graduate school and fulfill her dreams.
[[Click her to continue|Congratulations!]]
You have made a huge difference in Sara's life and entered in to the cycle of liberation. If you would like to know more about how you can help [[Click here|page 22]]. The media made a huge difference in how this situation turned out. News stations and social media sights have a lot of sociocultral power and if you trap into that power and use it in the right way, you will really start to see things change.
"Liberation politics: seeking social and economic justice for all people; supporting inclusion, autonomy, choice, wholeness; building and honoring relationships; developing individual and institutional integrity, responsibility and accountability; redefining and sharing power." Reading for Diversity and Social Justice, Reading 127, Suzanne Pharr.
"A Different Mirror" by Ronald Takaki is a great source to learn more about the history of the different cultures in the U.S.
Readings for Diversity and Social Justice is a good source to learn about some more recent examples of oppression in our society. It also gives you some resources to help you become an ally to these oppressed groups. Some specific reading that you should check out include readings 6, 23, 24, 38, 41, 41, and 27-37.
After you hold a press conference an investigation is opened. You notice that with all the media attention the incident is getting Sara's story is falling by the wayside. Should you:
[[Just let it go, Sara will figure something out.|page 20]]
[[You call her but she doesn't answer. You get busy and don't try again to contact her|page 20]]
[[You continue trying to contact her until you get ahold of her. When you get ahold of her you try to help her find a way to make ends meet and get into a program that is at least close to the one she got passed up on.| page 21]]
As the investigation continues almost everyone on the board is asked to step down including you. You handle the situation by:
[[Stepping down quietly so maybe everyone will forget you were even involved|Doing nothing]]
[[You realize that you made a mistake so after stepping down you try to right your wrong and find Sara to see if she could use some help finding another way to reach her goals.| page 21]]
[[You step down but you continue tocritize the media and the protesters. You still think that you did nothing wrong and that it is stupid that you are being asked to step down.| page 30]]
The public sees that you realize that you have made a mistake. They protests die down after you make the announcement and things start to get back to normal.[[Click here to continue|page 7]]
Even though you voted to implement what was promised the vote doesn't pass and the board pushes it off again. [[click here to continue|Doing nothing]]
You have caused the cycle to start over. You should try learning from your mistakes next time. [[Click here to go back to get in a time machine and go back to begining and fix your mistakes|page 4]] or [[click here to learn more| page 30]]
The board votes to immediately impliment the promised programs. These programs are a huge step in the right direction for the college and will really help a lot of students reach their goals. [[Click here if you would like to learn more about how you can make a difference.|page 22]]
When you finally get into contact with Sara you talk to her and find out that it is her dream to go to this graduate school but she won't be able to without some help. You help her get into contact with people who will be able to provide her with financial aid and loans if she needs them. Even with the system working against her Sara manages to get enough aid to go to graduate school and she even gets into another program that is almost as prestigious as the one she was passed up on.[[Click here to continue|Congratulations!]]
You later run into Sara and she tells you that even with all the media attention that the her story got she was still unable to go to grad school. She got a job but it isn't anywhere near as good of the ones she could have gotte had she gotten into the program. You realize that you should have interupted to the cycle. If you would like to learn more about how you can help [[click here|page 22]]
You really have a lot to learn. We need to work together as a society to try and make sure that everyone is created equally. You should [[Click here|page 22]] to learn more about how to be a better person.
Staying nuetral never helps anything. It normally has the same effects as being discriminatory. If you really wnat to make a change you have to act. [[Click here|page 22]] some sorces that are avaliable for you to learn more about how you can become an effective ally.