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Helping kids of color feel at home in the Upper Valley – WCAX

HANOVER, N.H. (WCAX) Children of color in the Upper Valley have a welcoming place to play at Dartmouth College. Our Adam Sullivan takes you there and explains the motivation behind the weekly event.

Dartmouth College students are testing their baking skills at the Afro-American Society house on campus. And they have a few helpers.

“I love coming here. This is my favorite part of the day because it’s just fun. We all have fun and do a lot of fun things,” said Sophia Checz Marzouk, 9.

Every Friday afternoon, the Dartmouth Alliance for Children of Color hosts a play date with the younger generation. It’s an opportunity for kids of color to connect with Dartmouth students on a deeper level.

“I think it is very important for all of us that these children, who may be the only black students at their school, have a place where they can come and race just isn’t a question and they can just be themselves,” said Sophia Carter, a member of the class of 2020.

The Upper Valley, like many regions of northern New England, is predominantly white, which can influence a kid’s behavior.

“Sometimes you feel like you do have to fill a token role being the only black kid in your school, you kind of feel like you have to play into that,” Carter said.

The weekly events provide role models who say it’s OK to just be you. It comes at a time where racial tensions across the country are making headlines.

“And also remembering that the African American legacy of this country has affected where we are today and how great and also difficult that history is,” Carter said.

When asked how the play dates make her feel, Checz Marzouk needed just one word.

“Safe,” she said.

The group holds the event every Friday at the Shabazz House on campus. All children of color throughout the Upper Valley are welcome.


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