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Continued: Blake, Henry High swap students for a day in conversations about race, class

  • Article by: GAIL ROSENBLUM , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 13, 2013 - 10:42 PM

Spring break was another eye-opener. The Blake students said they take for granted that they will travel with families and friends. David Rodriguez and Beth Vang of Henry worked through their spring break. Vang was grateful, in fact, that she could work eight-hour days and save more money.

Such challenges, Crushshon told them, can build admirable resiliency, something Blake students also could benefit from. But it can also lead to “anger and sadness, feelings that would be quite natural. How do you at Patrick Henry keep from being buried in resentment?”

Rodriguez said he sees value in hard work. Ibrahim says her family laughs a lot. Bridges said it’s natural to want what others have, “but I wouldn’t hate the person or resent them. The biggest thing is, I know that no matter what situation I’m in, there’s always someone in a worse position.”

So, more similarities or differences? Well, both. These 10 are all smart and empathetic college-bound kids, which means they are well-suited to tackle the less-than-desireable inequities between them.

While the largely cordial conversation led to no great epiphanies, it was an admirable start. Kudos to them. How many grown-ups would leap into a similar discussion?

The schools already are talking about how to improve the exchange for next year. One suggestion is to have the students live in one another’s home for a while. That would be interesting.

But Feroe, a hockey player, and Cat Vang, a hip-hop artist and Hmong dancer, already have a plan. They’re going out soon to eat pho.


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