Springboarders Olivia and Saniya Interview Carrington, Bickley, Maggie and Molly who were part of the 2020-2021 YouthServe Youth Action Council.
Check out the full video interview on the GirlSpring Power YouTube Channel!
Saniya: How did the idea to make an informational site like .EDU come about?
Bickley: Basically, at the beginning of this program, we took about six meetings to just discuss what were the problems in Birmingham that we could help with. Across the country, but particularly in Birmingham, there’s a storied past of suppression [of] minorities. So we thought, “How could we help?” We realized two key things: one, with the advent of online learning with the coronavirus, more students are looking for online resources. And also that many studies say that education about minorities is the clearest path to ending these biases. We decided to make an easily accessible website to help people educate themselves on minority history, culture and misconceptions that are often taught in an attempt to help alleviate these biases in the world.
Olivia: What are each of your favorite topics covered on the website?
Molly: Mine is probably the independent learning tab because it meshes all of the other topics together and is an individual experience. It is a never ending source of movies, podcasts, things that are being published that don’t have a publicized platform. So this is a way to promote them.
Maggie: I think I like social justice best because it is really current and is about all the things that are going on right now. I like current events too, but it links to broader organizations. I like social justice because it has specific articles on things that are happening now.
Bickley: My personal favorite is minority history because I am a big history person in general. I find it fascinating to learn about [how] cultures came to be and how they came to America and incorporated into our society. I just think it does a really good job of giving you both video and tech sources to give you a great understanding of how and why these cultures are the way that they are today.
Carrington: I couldn’t pick one, so I would have to say minority history as well as the independent learning section. I like how the independent learning section appeals to any person whether you are a book lover, or if you are like me and you are more inclined to watch a movie or listen to a podcast; We can still all benefit from it. And the same thing with minority history. I like how it’s broken down into specific sections and races and religions and how you can really focus on different sections in history. I like every page honestly!
Saniya: How do you think this resource will help students?
Maggie: This resource can be used for information for school. If you need to do some research you can use this, especially if it has to do with minorities. It’s a really good history resource as well if you are doing a project. It is all in one place, so you have all this information on minorities organized in different sections and it’s easy to find. It also can teach you something you haven’t known before like things you have been taught wrong in school or rumors that aren’t true that you have been hearing that you can debunk with the resources that we have gotten from reputable sources.
Olivia: Why do you think some of these topics aren’t covered in schools?
Molly: A lot of times the state curriculum is pretty strict and schools will have to get through a few certain topics. I know that in a lot of my AP classes, it’s always like “Go, go, go!” We have to get to studying for the exam and we never take time to learn what is going on in the now, especially in history classes. What’s really important is for kids to know what’s happening right now, and there’s only seven hours in the school day. Also it can get uncomfortable in the classroom when you’re talking about things that are going on right now. Teachers can be fearful of how students will react to certain things they say, but this way it is an outside source coming in purely for the education.
Saniya: In times like this, with minorities dying at the hands of police every day, LGBTQ+ rights being attacked by lawmakers, and anti-asian hate crimes on the rise, how do you think we can use education to make a more just society?
Carrington: Well, I do think now is the perfect time for all of this to come out with everything that we see happening in the country right now. But first, it’s hard, I know, especially as we get older to being open to learning. None of the information can be processed if someone is willing and eager to learn. That is something that will take time, but I honestly think we are getting there. I think it will make a more just society because education almost equals exposure. As you are exposed to more stuff, you are learning more, you have more understanding, your perspective shifts.
I know that is something that has also been big right now in our generation. I know my instagram feed has been completely changed surrounding everybody’s stories, what people are reposting. I know that a lot of my close friends’ perspectives have changed on white privilege for example. It is a word that maybe if it was in our curriculum, more people would understand it for what it is instead of it just being a word or a thing. But now people are educating themselves more and taking time to learn about different perspectives and different cultures. So I think we are on the right track, it’s just going to take time and we have to get people to be willing to learn and open to learn.
Check out Carrington’s video tour of the website!
Want to check out YouthServe or the Youth Action Council? Here are their websites and social medias!
YouthServe Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/youthserve/
YouthServe Website: https://www.youthservebham.org/
Youth Action Committee Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yac.edu2021/
Check out more interviews from GirlSpring contributors!