Q+A: Mia C. '18

The Race in America program takes students on a 17-day journey from New England to the American South for an in-depth dialogue regarding race relations from 1776 to the present day. Mia Coates ’18 has been invited as one of only 13 students to participate in the June trip.

What about this program interested you?

The idea of visiting some of the most important places in U.S. history with regards to race while learning how to effectively engage in dialogue with peers about tough racial issues really excites me. The student group they have selected is so diverse, which makes this a truly unique opportunity to learn about how racial issues affect not only Americans, but communities elsewhere.

Is there a specific part of the program that you're most looking forward to?

I am looking forward to traveling in the south because I have not visited most of the states there. In politics today, we speak about the south in such broad terms without getting into the nuances of the communities within it or investigating further into the lives of individuals of all races that live there.

How has Marlborough has prepared you to explore the issue of race in the US?

Marlborough has armed me with the confidence to speak up and the knowledge of when to listen. Every course I have taken at Marlborough seems to turn into a seminar-style class with students pushing each other to assess each part of the math problem, historical event, or plot twist in order to come to more justified analyses. These skills will help me to take in everything I can and find my own voice among the other students participating, so that I can more fully engage with our discussions throughout the trip.  

How are you planning to incorporate what you learn from the program into your own life?

In a time in which our political rhetoric is so decisive, I feel that it is more necessary to engage and listen to others and realize that we are not on opposing sides. Though we may have different ideas of how to improve our nation and what intermediary goals we need to set, I believe we all want to live in a more free and just nation. Having these tough discussions and learning more about race will hopefully aid me in becoming a more effective and understanding citizen.

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