Kelly Norris: Shabazz ‘dedicated, courageous’ leader in Amherst
VICTORIA PEARSON Amilcar Shabazz, chair of the Afro-American Studies Department at Umass, is now a candidate for the Amherst School Committee. Purchase photo reprints »
To the editor:
As a member of the newly formed Equity Task Force in Amherst, I feel compelled to put in context recent comments made by our chair, Amilcar Shabazz, and to emphasize the incredibly important and difficult work he is doing.
At our last meeting, Shabazz was speaking passionately about the need to empower the children in our community so that they do not feel they have to resort to violence. He cited the incident where two kids of color assaulted a white student as evidence of the urgent call we have to support students in our schools who are feeling frustrated.
And Shabazz is doing just that. He has demonstrated his concern for the well-being of our youth by stepping up to the task of examining the district’s history of equity and providing leadership for a diverse group of voices to come together and problem-solve — no easy feat. Let’s not let one unfortunate comment tarnish the reputation of a dedicated, courageous, and much-needed leader in our community.