Friends Against Racism promotes love and diversity

After the death of George Floyd in late May, America was in a state of civil unrest. People across the country were fighting for justice for Floyd and countless other Black Americans who they believe were wrongfully killed. 

While none of these events happened in Inman, English teacher Susan Hall and special education teacher Leslie Boyd recognized the need for awareness in and around Chapman and decided to begin Friends Against Racism (F.A.R.) in an effort to spread awareness. 

“I think there are pockets around this community that don’t realize how valuable every race and every culture is,” Hall said. “We just need a little incentive to come together.”

As a Black American, Boyd has an even more personal reason to want to work for equality and awareness.

“The George Floyd situation was really emotionally heavy for me, having two kids, and that really started the thinking process of us wanting to do something that could help our community,” Boyd said. 

Because Inman hasn’t been in the spotlight of any recent protests or any of the issues happening throughout this year, many people within the community don’t realize that they can still help the situation and advocate for justice. 

Sophomore Clara Gramling was interested in F.A.R. from the beginning. 

“I’ve always been a huge supporter of everyone being equal and having a right; it’s not about your skin color, it’s about who you are as a person, no matter what,” Gramling said. “When I found out that this was going on, I really wanted to be a part of it and show that even as a white female, I can still work with Black and Hispanic (members of the community) and anybody I can to make a difference.”

F.A.R. isn’t centered around protesting or fighting for legal changes, but rather just actively looking for little ways to make a big difference. 

“We’re going to be advocating for different issues and trying to spread awareness to Chapman and just see how we can change things here and in the community,” sophomore Kaley Jackson said. 

The F.A.R. mission statement says it most succinctly: “Friends Against Racism emerges as a positive force to promote and to embrace love and diversity.”

While the group is just starting out and is only meeting with a select group of students right now, they have plenty of plans for the future. 

Beginning in January, F.A.R. will begin to open meetings to the student body, where there will be student-led discussions spotlighting various leaders in the fight for justice and current events. Boyd also said the group is looking to have awareness days, like Unity day or days supporting the various cultural appreciation holidays. 

Friends Against Racism wants to work together to fight racism and advocate or justice throughout Chapman and the community. 

“We’re doing something for our community, and we’re doing it as all races coming together and doing it out of love and compassion,” Hall said.