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NYU social work school acknowledges ‘institutional racism’ after classroom episode
Shahem Mclaurin says he didn’t go to school to be a “revolutionary leader.”
But that’s the role he finds himself taking after his tweet about an incident at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work spurred university officials to acknowledge “ongoing institutional racism” in their classrooms and inspired other students to lambaste the Silver School for failing to address racist behavior on campus.
On Feb. 12, Mclaurin described the incident in a widely shared Twitter thread. The 24-year-old graduate student was in Paris and didn’t want to miss his Social Work Practice II class. After receiving permission from the professor, Mclaurin emailed his classmates that morning to ask if someone could connect him via FaceTime during class. No one responded.
After class, one of the students emailed Shahem and explained why he didn’t answer. “I found it easier to lead the discussion without black presence in the room, since I do feel somewhat uncomfortable with the (perceived) threat that it poses — something which I have been working on, but it will take more time than I would like it to be,” the student wrote.
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