Beyond the Bricks
by Traci Turner | published Apr. 2nd, 2014
Michelle Obama Tours China to Promote Study Abroad and Foreign Affairs
During spring break, Michelle Obama and her two daughters, Malia and Sasha, visited China to emphasize education and opportunities from studying abroad, The New York Times reported. In a speech Obama delivered at Peking University, she talked about how crucial it is for students to communicate with other countries and learn how economies are interconnected. Although 200,000 Chinese students are studying in the United States, only 20,000 American students are studying in China. Obama said the primary reason why students do not take advantage of studying abroad in China is because of expense and fear.
While the main topic of the trip was education, Obama also spoke about the importance of free speech in a society. The Chinese government is known for blocking all antigovernment websites as well as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. She addressed this issue by stating that she and President Obama are often criticized for their actions but how hearing all sides of an argument can lead to a more prosperous country.
Trayvon Martin’s Mother Speaks Out Against Racial Injustice at U of R Panel Discussion
Sabrina Fulton, mother of deceased Trayvon Martin, participated in a discussion that addressed the topic of racial discrimination of African American youth held at the University of Rochester March 21, according to the Democrat and Chronicle. During the session, Fulton expressed her disapproval of how the media negatively portrayed Trayvon based on his clothing and race. She also commented on the unfair treatment she received from journalists during the time of his death. "I think they come out of who they are just to chase down a story. They need to be more mindful of how the person on the other end feels,” said Fulton according to the Democrat and Chronicle.
The panel also included retired Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard and rapper “Silky Slim,” also known as Arthur Reed, and many others. Sheppard addressed questions about how officers communicate with youth and their perceptions of each other. He stated Rochester officers do receive discipline if a mistake in communication is made. Reed expressed his concerns about how rap music has shifted to promote violence instead of activism. In order to reduce violence, Reed said rappers need to stop encouraging crime in their music.