Purple episode one: Discussing race on Lehigh’s campus


Purple is a new mini series that was started by The Brown and White multimedia team and hosted by Gili Remen, ’19. The series centers around exposing the greater Lehigh community to much needed conversations about seemingly uncomfortable topics.

By talking to diverse groups of student leaders and community members, Purple hopes to tackle taboo topics and expose viewers to a wide range of opinions and experiences. The multimedia team hopes to increase discussion on issues through tough but needed conversations.

For the first episode of Purple, and in honor of Black History Month last month, we invited two student leaders, Donterrius Walker, ’19, and Aisha Abdulkarimu, ’20, to talk about race at Lehigh. We sat down in the multicultural room on the second floor of the University Center, otherwise known as the M-room, to discuss the complexities of the black student experience on a majority white campus.
In the episode, Walker and Abdulkarimu discuss racism at Lehigh, how Lehigh can improve, in regards to race, as an institution and the groups of students who are working to empower change at Lehigh.
By hearing about the varied experiences, episode one of Purple hopes to spark an interracial conversation on campus to improve the lives of every student at Lehigh.

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  1. Robert F Davenport Jr on

    Good discussion by two intelligent students.

    I am intrigued by the upset cause by the short hair comment. I would say the friend meant it as “symbolic” of friendship, because anyone would not dare to make the comment unless they meant to disparage. A friend would not have that intent. I can say from experience that Aisha’s response is common as is a friends comment that was meant to verify friendship. This may be a guy thing.

    I agree that you should be told the “truth” about Lehigh. In being recruited for a position at a certain company, the recruiter described many negative points about the position concentrating on the challenges involved but doing so in a somewhat exaggerated humorous manner. After taking the position, the descriptions turned out to be not exaggerated but accurate as well as not being all inclusive. Some new hires quit but could not complain that they were lied to. Most of the others accepted the challenge and were blessed with “horror stories” to relate. If Lehigh told the “truth” likewise I wonder if fewer would enroll, and when enrolled, fewer would leave,

  2. Amy Charles ‘89 on

    Why is the full burden of talking about racism being placed on the shoulders of black students? Are they getting paid, or are they being expected to teach Lehigh students over and over and over, day after day, for free?

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