People who aren’t like you can’t always relate to you, but they can understand you.
Dimitri Moore ’21 arrived at Fitchburg State four years ago coming from a predominantly Black area in Boston, an area where seeing a white person walk down the street was out of the ordinary.
At Fitchburg State, he found himself in the minority for the first time in his life. “It was the first time I was in a large environment with a lot of people who were different from me, and I didn’t know anybody,” he recalled. “All my fears were washed away very quickly. I was excited I could make new friends who were different from me.”
Still, Moore said he sees the importance of having other Black students in his circle of friends. “As a Black community on campus, we definitely stick together,” he said.
Moore was one of the speakers at the Unity Rally on campus in September and was proud to see the university engage in its series of Courageous Conversations over the summer. “I think conversation needs to be brought to the table,” he said. “People who aren’t like you can’t always relate to you, but they can understand you.”
And getting to know and understand one another is key to progress in creating equitable communities. He would like to see greater interaction between the university’s Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness and students in the criminal justice program, for example.
“We see these horrible things in this country because people don’t understand Black lives, or Hispanic lives, or trans lives,” Moore said. “It’s very easy to be a trend, but I want this school to be extremely progressive. I’m a big believer in the idea that you’re not looking for perfection; you’re looking for progression.”
This article was originally published in the Winter 2021 edition of Contact magazine.