A portion of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville community gathered to engage in a panel discussion of the movement Black Lives Matter in the Ballroom of the Memorial Student Union Building.
The event provided a place for information to be presented to the public in attendance about a topic that is relevant today but is still misunderstood by many.
The panel openly discussed questions that were submitted from the audience.
The panel members were Ike Amaliri and Tiffany Trevino joined by faculty member and coordinator Barbara Collins with Dr. Nirmal Goswami as moderator. Opening statements were given by all panelist members about the event, what it meant for them to be given the opportunity to serve on the panel and the perspective they would be bringing to the conversation.
Amaliri’s opening statement spoke of the Plato story “The Allegory of the Cave” and related it to the same problems of not wanting to understand a problem because one has not experienced that problem personally.
“It’s okay to have different experiences. Just because you don’t know my experience, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.” Amaliri said relating his quote to the Plato story he referenced.
Trevino during her opening statement gave a quote from Desmond Tutu stating, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
Collins went into detail about the perspective that she would be bringing to the panel as an African American wife and mother. Collins made it a point to get across that “All lives matter but in this particular moment black lives need to matter.” Collins closed her opening statement with this quote.
Once the introduction statements concluded the discussion of audience submitted questions took place. A total of nine questions were discussed during the hour that was dedicated for the event with each panel member given two to three minutes on each question.
The questions varied from a wide range of topics all centered on the BLM movement, from what the movement actually protest, to how white students could get more involved.
“The event went real well, the set up was great, the questions were amazing. I wish it was longer.” Amaliri spoke of the event as a whole.
The moderator Dr. Goswami opened up about the environment that we were in and how this is a great thing and should not be seen any otherwise knowing faces of all colors sat in the crowd.
“ This is a Hispanic institution discussing BLM with a moderator from Assam, India. This is a wonderful thing that it is.” Dr. Goswami spoke of how great it was that the campus, students, staff, and community allowed this event to take place.