By Max Schneider and Noah Koy
Our time in Memphis is flying by, but here’s a recap of life on JAM thus far.
On Saturday we met with Jen Stollman, the academic director at the Winter Institute, an organization that seeks to end discrimination. Jen talked to us about poverty and how to stop the association of stereotypes. Jen really knew how to talk–not just to teens–but to people, in general. She has a very intelligent view without being condescending. Jen was full of wisdom on all types of subjects, and patiently and thoroughly answered our questions related to stereotypes, race, and activism. Before speaking with Jen, most of us rolled our eyes at people who complained about song lyrics or stereotypes prevalent in our culture, but Jen changed our minds. She managed to use her knowledge about racial segregation and negative stereotypes to give us the knowledge to decide for ourselves that we should no longer sag our pants or sing along to the inappropriate and offensive words in songs. More importantly, it’s up to us to correct our friends or tell them not to say certain words that relate to stereotypes. That’s how we can make change and be part of a cultural shift.