A panel discussion for bicultural N.C. Central University students to discuss their life experiences was hosted by multiple cultural student organizations on Tuesday, Sept. 5 in the Alfonso Elder Student Union.
Águilas Afro-Latino Organization, Association of Students for a Better Africa (ASFABA), the Asian Student Organization (ASO), the Caribbean Student Association and Raíces Latino/Hispanic Organization presented the panel titled “Feet in Two Worlds,” which represents their connections to both their heritage back home and a new culture in American college life.
The panel was to help NCCU students realize that even though they come from various upbringings, their challenges are the same as those in other minority groups.
Upon arrival, students were asked to sign in and list what cultures they identified with. During the panel discussion, they talked about growing up biculturally and practicing one or more cultures back home then departing to take on the HBCU experience. The event intended to broaden NCCU students’ knowledge of the diversity of cultures represented on campus and give individuals a safe space to discuss the transition from one world while walking into another.
Senior social work major Keyona Gotay explained that “Although we (bicultural students) may speak different languages, we’re basically the same; we have the same battles of growing up in different households.”
Senior biology and chemistry double-major and Raices president Nathalie Bravo Batista agreed, admitting afterwards that “living back home (in Puerto Rico) and then moving here was a drastic change.”
Along with the panel discussion, dishes from some of the students’ cultures, including jasmine rice, curry chicken and plantains (a banana-like starch often served fried) were available for the audience to try.