“This was a great experience and it felt great knowing that I was doing something to help make a change. I really got a lot out of it, and can’t wait for the next dinner.”
— Jake Meyrowitz, BYSC Student Leader
On January 22, 2018, Backyard Sports Cares and the White Plains Youth Bureau initiated the first in a series of frank dinner discussions about race relations in the Westchester community. Facilitated by Fred Goldberg, an active community member and retired assistant principal from Scarsdale High School, Frank Williams, director of the White Plains Youth Bureau, and Danny Bernstein, executive director of Backyard Sports Cares, the evening provided an open forum for student leaders to communicate with one another about their feelings and perspectives on race relationships, as well as their engagement with difference.
Backyard Sports Cares student leaders Karina Eaton, Jake Meyrowitz, Emma Brodie, Ethan Underweiser, Cade Lahn, Noah Haberman and Tony Fontana, along with high school partners from Iona Prep, and the White Plains Youth Bureau, participated in the discussion, which was tied to the 55th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King’s seminal speech, “I Have a Dream.”
Danny Bernstein, executive director, BYSC, points out that despite the progress that has been made over the last half-century, racial and socio-economic discrimination and silent segregation still co-exist. “Our objective in bringing together this group of students today is to positively impact the future viewpoints of tomorrow’s leaders and citizens,” said Bernstein. “By continuing to share feelings and maintain an open dialogue about racial diversity, we will establish greater understanding and acceptance of our neighbors and peers whose race or cultures are different from our own.”
BYSC and the White Plains Youth Bureau are providing a template to build on the energy of the January 22nd event. Students will reconvene to dig deeper on this topic on February 28th.