On November 21st the forth cohort of the Remember Project met on zoom to discuss and learn about some useful resources through the Anti-Defamation League. This year's Remember Project cohort is comprised of 11 teens from diverse backgrounds. These 11 teens represent eight local public and private schools in the greater Charleston area. Read below as Suzanna Carlsten, Junior at Academic Magnet shares about the fifth cohort meeting.
I am a junior at Academic Magnet High School, and it is my first year in the cohort. During this month's virtual meeting on Monday the 21st, we discussed identity in bias. We covered the difference between implicit bias or unknown prejudice and bias itself, a known prejudice. Personally, the most memorable part of the meeting for me was learning about intent vs impact. Erin gave a clear example through explaining Christmas in the south being Jewish. Southern Christmas is much more emphasized, being told to decorate and wear Christmas outfits is fun for many but can have a negative impact by not allowing others to express their own cultures. Bias fits in with intent vs. impact, through many not realizing their impact on others' views and opinions. Through joining the Remember Project I am excited for each meeting to learn new information about events around our world, furthermore, I am interested to learn about the Jewish culture and religion. The most surprising information I learned is how common bias is. Implicit bias and explicit bias run the world around not only through decisions and social interactions but also through prejudice. An important quote from our meeting which stood out to me was “The goal is to be aware of your bias and understand how it affects you and others.”. In order for progress to occur between groups, people need to become more aware of themselves and their identities. One's identity is discovered through self-realization of not what someone looks like, but their tendencies and personalities. Learning about bias and how bias can be influenced by identity insecurities, has taught me the importance of self-awareness and respect toward others.
High school students have a rare and unique opportunity to study the Holocaust and other genocides by becoming an ambassador in their school and community through the Remember Project. For high school students looking for a meaningful and profound community service experience, this cohort is an excellent option with monthly meetings to ensure this next generation is committed to ‘Always remembering’. For more information on the Remember Program visit https://www.jewishcharleston.org/remember