When Sharif Rasheed, a 25 year old African American male, lectures on race relations at universities he fully intends to make you uncomfortable. He speaks candidly and creates an atmosphere that while at times may be unnerving, is ultimately unthreatening.
Mr. Rasheed has the ability to engage people in conversation about issues that have otherwise been taboo. He speaks from a place of experience while providing encouragement to erase all doubt that his speech is just another rant and nothing more. As a result, students feel comfortable discussing their own issues with racial discrimination and inevitably, where they stem from. His ability to relate to his students and create dialogue between races underlines his point about the education systems’ flaws and unwillingness to discuss issues such as psychological enslavement and media’s effect on various races, particularly African Americans.
He combines history with an eclectic mix of current statistics and data to educate people on the troubles that each race experiences, not to convert them. He feels that people, over time, began to embrace their own stereo types. So despite the end of slavery, the vulgar, outdated notion took on a new form that he believes has ultimately created the current state of inequality in this country.
Since creating Bethe1Change, Mr. Rasheed has lectured at Wright State University and has continued to grow a larger following for his blog, which has been featured on several websites.
He is also a 2012 Outstanding Alumni Award Recipient at Wright State University.
As he expressly says in his lectures, “It only takes one.” One person to have the willingness to want to make a difference, to be the change.
Sharif is the head of the “Be The 1 Change” organization. The mission statement of “Be The 1 Change” is:
“The ultimate goal of our organization is to work with youth and inspire them to redefine change and progress. To create a platform that gives people a voice to speak on the change they would like to see. We are inspiring a revolution. One that will initiate new ideas to bring about change and stand up for equality.”
You can connect with Sharif and Be The 1 Change via:
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God bless, peace, be well and keep the faith,
2011 Black Weblog Awards Finalist (Best International Blog and Best Podcast Series)
Black Blog Of The Day – Black Bloggers Network – June 23, 2011
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