Student of Color Testimonies

“If you ever wanted to know one thing about what it’s like to be Armenian, it’s Tsvats Tanem. Let me take your pain away. The only time you will experience an angry Armenian is if you try to pay the bill at a restaurant. Our mothers without us even asking, barging into our rooms saying “ari mirq ker” meaning come eat fruit. Our Armenian pride is everlasting and even overbearing. Every corner of my house has a khatchar (engraved cross), evil eyes to protect us from the char atchk (bad spirits), and Armenian letters on my wall. We celebrate until three in the morning at weddings, we Michigan hop until our heels dig bleeding busters into our jumping feet, and we serve Armenian food to anyone and everyone until you can’t eat another bite. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

  • Maddie Belemjian


“In my experiences, being a student of color at Minnechaug is a question of invisibility. Purposeful or not, in social and learning situations, I found myself wondering if I felt invisible BECAUSE of my race or if my race was invisible to those around me because it was being disregarded. I found myself erased in the lessons of my history class and in the stories of my English class. Meanwhile, I was bombarded with ignorance and insensitive comments from my peers. At one point, I believe I even found myself purposefully erasing my blackness to adapt to my environment. Now I don’t know what changed, what switch went off in my head to realize the importance of my racial identity, but I know Diversity and Culture Club helped to usher in that change. Being in a space with other students of color where all of our struggles are acknowledged and understood, where our dialogue is open and truthful, where our presences aren’t hindered has been vital to my growth as a young black woman. And the way I carry myself today, with pride for who I am, will never be erased.”

  • Maya Glenn