PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In today’s Justice for All segment students and alumni of Masterman School in Spring Garden are banding together to support each other and end racism at the school.
The names linked to the social media posts may be blurred but the accounts of racism and racists incidents are very clear.
All from students at one of the most prestigious schools in Philadelphia — Masterman School in Spring Garden.
“There was a lot of submissions about the casual use of the N-word and students having to really lobby to administration how that’s unacceptable,” Dr. Ginneha Akbar said.
“You would have teachers very obviously targeting black students,” Madison Tyler said.
The submissions on the public Instagram account dubbed “Black at Masterman” have gone viral and since it came to light a few weeks ago, students past and present are calling for change.
Dr. Akbar is a 1997 graduate of Masterman and she, along with recent graduate Tyler, helped to form an alliance to tackle the problem.
“We sort of just formed a coalition between the Black at Masterman group, 2020 and then the older alums just to get a pulse on what was happening at the school and also see where we could offer our support,” Dr. Akbar said.
The group has met with school officials and recently held a rally at Masterman making their voices heard.
“We had people speaking about times when they were there back in the ’80s next to people like myself who were speaking about things that happened just this year in 2020,” said Tyler.
The coalition of alumni has also drafted a charter detailing changes they want to see happen, like more diversity in the admissions process and in the teaching staff and more accountability.
“We do feel like there should be some sort of procedures against teachers who have 20, 30, 40 complaints, especially in regards to racism,” said Dr. Akbar.
Generations of black graduates are fueling a movement, bound by one school and their passion to make a difference for future generations of students.
“We have the power as alumni to speak and say what it is that we want without fear of being in some way. If we can be there for those students that are still going to be there for however many years, we really want to be there,” Tyler said.