Students talk ‘Confederate flag’

Lisette Castillo/Staff Writer

The FIU Multicultural Programs and Services is hosting an event called The Confederate Flag and Misappropriated Symbols where students discuss controversial topics regarding different symbols in society and their true meanings.

The event, which will take place March 29, will involve a guided discussion where students will learn about the background and history of these symbols as well as share their own opinion on the matter.

“Knowledge is power,” said Jeff Mcnamee, associate director for MPAS.  “The more you know about a subject and its history, the more you can form a better opinion.”

MPAS has been facilitating social justice workshops for a couple of years. One of the main subjects they are touching base on for this years’ events is the confederated flag.

“The confederate flags is one of those symbols that are really popular in southern culture and it’s also in many people’s view as a symbol of hate,” said McNamee.

McNamee said there are a lot of symbols that are used for fashion or trends and people don’t necessarily know the history behind them. The MPAS workshops bring up these subjects that usually are hot topics and trending in social justice.

“We find that arming FIU students with critical thinking skills is the best thing to do,” said McNamee. “We’re not here to tell you what to think or to form your opinion for you.”

Mark Harris, graduate assistant for MPAS said students should attend the event to be more educated about things that are going on in society and how they’re being used.

“A lot of times society can grab something from the past and twist it whether it’s for good or bad,” said Harris.  “It’s important to know exactly what society does.”

Harris said there is history and meaning behind symbols.

“Sometimes we may not know the historical value or specific heritage of some of the symbols that we use today,” said Harris.

The event will kick-off at 1 p.m. at the Wolfe Center on March 29. There will be food and a critical thinking activity.

“We don’t believe that we’re going to solve a lot of these issues in 50 minutes but to get a good start… [we encourage] people to start to critically think about things and do their own research, have intelligent conversations without yelling and screaming like 5-year-old kids,” said McNamee.

McNamee encourages students to come out to the event and partake in the discussion.

“Regardless on which side they fall on, we welcome all kinds of conversations because I don’t want to preach to a room of like-minded individuals,” said McNamee. “We want to have both conversations so that we can reach both sides.”

Images retrieved from Flickr. 

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