Dean of Students Art Munin discusses racism in book 'Color by Number'
Published: Saturday, April 21, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
Typically inside pre-school classrooms, children are learning how to associate colors with numbers by filling out Color by Number worksheets. Art Munin, Dean of Students at DePaul University, takes this familiar concept and relates it to topics of racism in his book “Color by Number.”
“There’s an incredible amount of despaired information out there throughout the academy about racism, and we don’t often all pull it together,” Munin said.
“Color by Number” is a book that splits the topic of racism into five separate categories: health care, environmental justice, juvenile justice, access to higher education, and K-12 education. He argues the phrase “If you work hard enough, you can do anything,” is just a myth.
“I wanted to write this book so that I could pull together [these topics] all in one place so we can see how the greater picture is formed,” Munin said.
On Monday, April 16, Munin held a presentation about his book in 314AB of the Lincoln Park Student Center. Not only did Munin speak about his new book, but he also had the audience interacting with each other and talking about these issues. His main objective was to get people concerned.
One topic that caught the audience in particular was the fact public schools are located towards carbon continental blocks, which are filled with hazardous carbon block powder. This hazardous environment can cause health issues for students in the area, which can also affect performance in school.
“While building public schools [in new locations], it has to go through school boards and approvals, and those school boards are members of that community. Are they not doing the research or do they not care?” asked Ana Rosetti, Director of Student Affairs at the Illinois Institute of Technology Stuart School of Business.
“I’m interested to know what came first and when,” said Shannon Howes, Director of Student Leadership Development at Loyola University-Chicago. She questioned if the schools were being built near hazardous waste sites, or if the schools were already there in the first place.
These issues, which are discussed in greate detail in “Color By Number,” are exactly what Munin wants from the community. He points out that numerous people feel racism does not exist thanks to President Obama’s race. However, this is not the case at all, according to Munin, and people should pay attention to it.
“Justice is inherently community based work, and I hope this provides an opportunity to come together and enhance diversity education efforts,” Munin said.
“Color By Number” is expected to be published June 2012.