Catch da Flava - Racism in the Education System

For our September 26th show, Catch da Flava explored the topic of racism in the education system, and how coming back to school affects students. For our first half, our co-host Diamond led the discussion on racism in school. She brought up a recent event in Toronto hosted by Ontario’s Anti-Racism Directorate, which invited 30 Youth from across Ontario who witnessed or experienced racism, and how they participated in an engagement session. The event was held in order to bring a spotlight to the everyday struggles that students face, and to give legitimacy to the experiences that they youth face. Ontario’s Minister of Children and Youth Services Michael Coteau was present to give remarks before the start of the event, as well as the Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism. With the introduction of this topic, Diamond and another co-host, Tyger, discussed their personal experience in dealing with racism. Diamond discussed her general experiences as a young Black girl in the school system, and recalls an incident when she was in primary school where a substitute teacher had declared aloud that “Asians were the smartest” which caused Diamond to question the legitimacy of stereotypes. For Tyger, an international student originally from Vietnam, she discusses how her issues with racism are unique to the fact that she is an international student, and it is often her speaking that is discriminated against, as she has a considerable accent since English is not her first lesson. Wrapping up the first half, for our second half, youth co-host Tyger introduced the topic of the adjustment period that students across Canada are experiencing now that school is back in session. Tyger and Diamond discuss their unique adjustment experience, as they both go to different types of schools. Tyger admits the change in time schedules is not an issue for her. As an international student, Tyger had been used to school in Vietnam, which she described as starting from 7AM and ending at 5PM- it is no wonder she had no issues adjusting! While Tyger is currently enrolled full time in highschool, Diamond discusses the differences for her, as she is enrolled in an adult learning centre, designed for mature students that need to complete their credits to receive a highschool diploma. For Diamond, she is enrolled in order to gain extra credit and to learn in the meantime while she waits for her university application to be approved. So her school schedule has not been very difficult to manage, as she only has a handful of courses to take, so has much more free time than she used to when she was in school. Both Diamond and Tyger continued the discussion on adjusting back into school life with the focus on sleep schedules, managing workloads, healthy diets and proper exercise, and how it can be a struggle for even the best of students. ​

We would like to thank Tyger and Diamond for sharing co-hosting duties, and their willingness to share their personal experience on-air to shed light on the experiences in the school system and ​

how it can affect a students’ health and wellness in many varied ways, through their unique experiences within it, given their unique backgrounds. We would also like to thank them for taking the time out to come in studio to put on a well-organized, thoughtful show.

By: Judy Pham​

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