Associated Students’ Student Commission on Racial Equality (SCORE) hosted a conference called “Against the Gun: Deconstructing Narratives of Violence in Communities of Color” on Saturday in the SRB.
The eight-hour event, which was the organization’s 14th annual Facing Race Conference, consisted of workshops and lectures aimed at examining the concept of violence and how it affects various communities of color, discussing micro-aggressions, sexual violence and different forms of resistance used. SCORE focuses on any issues regarding students of color on campus and helps fund over 100 UCSB multicultural organizations, according to SCORE Co-Chair Navkiran Kaur.
According to Kaur, this weekend’s conference was one of the group’s most important events of the year.
“We fund the delegation of UCSB students to go to the Student of Color conference which is an annual statewide conference,” Kaur said. “The other huge thing we do is this Facing Race conference, which is our own UCSB-wide annual conference.”
According to Kaur, violence was chosen as this year’s topic due to the prominence of issues like gun control and terrorism in national discourse.
“We felt violence was a very prevalent topic in today’s time, what with the professional violence that occurs in India, the different issues with gun control going on, terrorism, like so many different ideas of violence, it’s not just that mainstream idea of a gun,” Kaur said.
One of two guest speakers, Outreach Coordinator and Santa Barbara Unified School District consultant Ismael Huerta spoke on the importance of family ties and secure communities for future generations as a way of avoiding the spread of violence.
Along with the set of lectures, SCORE held 16 different workshops available within three distinctive time ranges throughout the day. A workshop on the growing trend of terrorism as a method of violence hosted by A.S. Outreach Coordinator for Human Rights Board Will Ellis entitled “Who’s the Real Terrorist?” detailed the classification of certain groups as terrorists and the various outcomes that have resulted from creating stereotypes.
Fourth-year sociology major Lizeth Lomeli attended Ellis’s workshop and various other lectures during the event after learning about Facing Race through Womyn’s Commission. According to Lomeli, learning about terrorism from the point of view of those who have been wrongfully discriminated against opened up her perspective.
“It was super interesting because I’ve never gotten that point of view from, I guess, people who have been called terrorists or have faced issues in post-9/11 aftermath society,” Lomeli said.
Another workshop, “Migrant Realities” explained immigration policies from the past and their effects on the immigrant population of today.
“I have parents who are immigrants and it was really interesting to hear those points of views from students who are undocumented now and just the bravery and courage that it takes for them to continue being in school and in an environment where they are risking everything to somehow better themselves,” Lomeli said.
Attendees were also able to utilize caucus spaces, which served as meeting rooms for students who were interested in specific topics such as Mixed Heritage and Womyn of Color. Along with the guest speakers, workshops and meetings, Facing Race included entertainment at the end of the day’s events featuring Mexican folklorito dancers, SCS Zhangra Punjabi folk dancing and Iaorana te Otea traditional and modern Polynesian dances.
Fourth-year political science and French double major Jonathan Fackler, a member of the Sigma Chi Omega fraternity, participated in his fraternity’s singing performance at this year’s Facing Race.
“We were doing the performance and we thought ‘hey let’s check out the event and support our fellow fraternity members’, and it turns out, you know, this event was really well-coordinated,” Fackler said. “There were a lot of people, a big supportive crowd, food, snacks, the performances were amazing and it was really entertaining.”