Sherman intercepts Students of Color Summit
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Students from across Washington state gathered in McConnell Auditorium, decked out in Seahawks colors, to hear Richard Sherman answer a few vetted student questions ranging in topic from homemade food to police brutality.
Sherman, Seattle Seahawks cornerback and Super Bowl champion, gave a keynote Saturday evening during CWU’s Students of Color Summit.
Several students traveled from schools such as University of Washington, Washington State University Vancouver and Gonzaga University to hear Sherman talk.
“My girl’s jambalaya is really good,” Sherman said when responding to a CWU student about favorite home-cooked meals. “Just throw that on some rice and that’d probably do it for me.”
Sherman kept the mood positive and constructive during his keynote despite more serious subjects.
An unnamed student asked Sherman how he’d advise his 2-year-old son, Rayden Sherman, when navigating this country in light of police brutality against black men.
“It’s a tough answer because all I can tell him is to be respectful in those situations and give him the knowledge that my dad gave me and that was to shut up,” Sherman said. “As a man I could tell him, ‘Hey son, you go and you tell [the officer] these are the laws.’ Well [the officer] can say, ‘That’s not the law today, son’ and slam my kid on the car.”
Sherman grew up in Compton, California and spoke about his background, saying he’s experienced tough situations with police.
“There’s no rulebook for it. There’s no policing the police, if that makes sense,” he said. “You stay calm, you keep quiet and move forward because until they change the system, that’s all you can do.”
The summit focused on bringing together students of color to share stories and experiences from their campuses. Several workshops focused on issues that affect how the educational system treats students of color.
Sherman talked about persevering through the uniques challenges of being a person of color in America.
“It’s always going to be difficult,” Sherman said. “Everything is trial by fire and a lot of time in our lives that’s what you have to go through. It’s unfortunate, but don’t let anybody stop you. Don’t let the color of your skin or any other discrimination stop you.”
Throughout the keynote, Sherman emphasized the importance of improving the world through education and helping others.
“I think it’s the most important thing for young people to stand up and be advocates in their community,” Sherman said. “You can’t expect outsiders to come to your community and improve it. It’s up to you to make your community better … don’t let anyone blow your candle out.”