“During the Ameden Finals, Lanakila’s annual baseball game, I, a black counselor, was sitting in Lakeside watching the game with some black campers of different ages and one white camper. We were hanging out together, we weren’t distracting from the game, and we were having fun. Later, other counselors made jokes with me like maybe I should ‘spread out more.’

Why is it when black people hang out together it’s deemed as exclusive or bad? As if when there’s too many of us it doesn’t look like an inclusive thing, and that’s not true. I never hear this said to white counselors.

When it happened, I was laughing about it, and at the same time felt like I was doing something wrong, but now, if I was there, I’d do it again.

For anyone who had a problem with it I’d say you should probably join in the group and squash your own prejudices and biases. You’re missing out on a great learning experience. You’ll find out that every black person isn’t the same, but authentic and genuine in their own ways.”

—Lanakila, Counselor, 2011

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