Friday, April 20, 2012

Thank You, Professor V!

We just received and responded to an email from a professor at Norwich University. Here is our response:

Dear Professor V,
    Thank you very much for asking your students to read Jessica’s story and to consider the validity of her perspective.  She had hoped from the beginning that this project would, in some way, eventually help to improve the operation and effectiveness of the Marines (and the military in general) for all of its members, and for the good of the nation. Your assignment is doing just that.

Here is the email:
I want to let you know that students in my Introductory Sociology classes at Norwich University (the nation's oldest private military college and the birthplace of ROTC) had the option to read Shade it Black this semester. I am now grading the essays they wrote focusing on the experience of token minorities, with Ms. Goodell's story providing a significant portion of their material. I have suggested it as a future summer reading book for incoming students, and for inclusion in our reading & writing for Vets class, as well as in our military literature courses. I am repeatedly struck by how effectively her story resonates with my many male students, and how it opens their eyes. They now "get it" in terms of what it means to be a woman in the Marines, or in the Norwich University Corps of Cadets, or in other organizations. I appreciate greatly Ms. Goodell's contribution to our understanding of what it means to experience persistent discrimination, even from those who mean well. With luck, the students reading her book today will become much more enlightened leaders tomorrow than those we have today. Thank you both.

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