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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Journalist speaks at Dorantes Memorial about societal injustice

Connor Goss
Dr. Marc Lamont Hill presents his speech “Building Community in an Hour of Darkness” on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in the Garvin Theatre at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif.

To imagine a world without systematic racism, sexual assault and poverty, was Dr. Marc Lamont Hill’s message for attendees during the 29th annual Leonard Dorantes Memorial Lecture.

The Garvin Theatre was filled with students and community members as they listened to Hill lecturing about “Building Community in an Hour of Chaos.”

Hill, a former CNN and FOX news commentator, has received numerous awards for his work and was named one of America’s 100 Most Influential Black leaders by Ebony Magazine.

“2019 was spiteful,” Hill said as he laughed along with the audience. 

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Diving into some issues the world, and the community faces in the sociological climate of today, the goal of the lecture was to represent an opportunity to come together and think about race, along with the importance of diversity. 

“So many of us are struggling,” Hill said. “So many of us are struggling with racism, homophobia, poverty, islamophobia and class arrogance.” 

The question is what you do, how do you turn pain into power?” 

Hill explained the importance of diverse groups and how more perspectives lead to more dynamic, interesting and enduring solutions and topics. 

“We are better with more people that aren’t the same,” he said. “People with different experiences, different ethnicities, backgrounds, religions, we are better when we are diverse. Everywhere.”  

Hill went on to describe what defines diversity.

“Here in the United States, [people] tend to talk about diversity along the lines of race,” Hill said. “But, we can’t just talk about race when we talk about diversity.” 

Hill said it is time to start celebrating diversity, and that working as a group is going to make a difference.   

“The question is what we can do to make the changes that we want to see,” Hill said. “History was made by tens of thousands of people who fought and struggled, and toiled for a freedom they will never see.”

I’m asking you all to have the same vision, of a world that is not yet, and believe in a world better than we found it.”

Hill said that what drives him to visit campuses, such as City College, is his belief that “college campuses are the future, they are the heart of this nation, and they can produce possibilities that we haven’t even considered.”

“I believe that the world can be better than it is right now,” Hill said. “There are people who fought and helped me to make it better, and I want to do that same thing for someone else.”

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