On Wednesday, April 17 at 5 p.m. there was an open dialogue in the lower level of the John A. Barone Campus Center that talked about the issue of mass incarceration in this country. This talk was led by the CARE team and Romina Pacheco, associate director for student diversity and multicultural affairs.
Students voiced their own opinions on many different opinions expressed from multiple points of view.
This talk centered on racial disparities in America’s prison population. According to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, compared to whites, African Americans are incarcerated at a rate five times higher than whites. In 2015, African Americans and Hispanics were 32 percent of the total US population, however, they made up 56 percent of the prison population.
The CARE team on campus aims to spread awareness for lesser talked about political topics.
“Anyone who would like to learn and be trained in how to lead difficult conversations as well as listen to those conversations are welcome to apply to be a part of the CARE team,” Pancheo added.
This conversation also touched on the importance of education in keeping people in schools rather than in prison. In recent years, more money has been spent on prisons and jails compared to spending on pre-kindergarten through grade 12 public education.
Some students shared their experiences regarding discrimination by law enforcement based on their ethnicity.
Junior Dayanna Mazo was hopeful about the impact of the event. “I think that if we targeted more of Fairfield’s population then we can start to really move mountains.”