WVU official on combating racism: “we are all Americans.”

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – With political unrest, public demonstrations and protests popping up around the country, you may wonder how you can be an ally to the African-American community.

“This is a right constitutional issue that people should be upset about violating,” said Meshea Poore, vice president of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at WVU. “We have a responsibility to hold each other accountable and it is very important that we stop the divide. The reality is people are fighting for their rights and most importantly, they’re fighting for their lives and that’s something that we should all be upset about.”
The unrest comes after George Floyd died at a law enforcement officer’s hands. That officer is now charged with second-degree murder.
As protests continue, Poore says that efforts to heal the country can’t stop there.
“You don’t have to have all the information, but you do have a responsibility to learn something. You do have a responsibility to move beyond what we currently are and you do have a responsibility to do your part, to take ownership of what your mindset is and any influences around you that have caused you a level of divide.”
You can find material to educate yourself on the problems activists protest against on a variety of platforms. Once you take the time to educate yourself, it’s time to have difficult conversations with others.
“The most important thing is talking to your colleagues, your friends [and] your family members first and breaking down those things that you just know doesn’t feel right.”
At the end of the day, fighting against racism is not one person or one group’s job.
“I think what’s crucially important is that we understand that regardless of your race, regardless of how you might identify…we are Americans in this movement.”
Visit diversity.wvu.edu for more information.
Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com