Teens in the Valley are coming together to talk about racism.
It may be the year 2012, but some students say racism still exists, and it exists in some of the Valley's schools.
The Harrisonburg-Rockingham County Youth Council held a community dialogue at Court Square Theater in Harrisonburg, after showing a documentary called 'Shades of Youth.'
The documentary highlights racism, power and privilege in schools.
"It has to do with ignorance and fear of the unknown," said a character in the documentary on racism.
"It's not liking a culture or a person because they have a different skin color than you," said another character in the documentary.
Some students attending schools in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County shared their unpleasant experiences about being racially discriminated against.
"Last year, there was this white kid who called me a 'beaner' just because I was Mexican. I was thinking should I say something, but then I didn't want to say anything because I didn't know if they would call me more names," said Sami Leal.
Another student explains how a Hispanic teen won an award and the teachers asks, what kind of award did he receive. A white student replied quote: I bet he got the brown award," referring to the student's skin complexion.
"She didn't say anything about it, and he always does those jokes. I was getting mad because the teacher never tries to stop anything," said Rebeca Vazques.
There was another teen who said he didn't feel welcomed at Turner Ashby High School because of his nationality.
Joshua Diamond, organizer of the event at Court Square Theater says, teens in the youth council expressed frustration about racist tendencies in their schools.
"Some of them said they feel unwanted or, 'I feel like I'm in the wrong place,' or 'There aren't people who I can look up to of my own race or my own nationality in my school system," said Diamond.
The youth council put the event together to start a conversation in hopes that people would hear them.
"It's still going on, you need to open your eyes and see that there are still things going on and they need to change," said Carly Hartje, youth council member.
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