Ep. 12: Racism, Education, and Opportunity in the 21st Century

In this episode, Ziz and Pam share their thoughts on racism, education, and opportunity in the 21st century. Ziz talks about how he learned the importance of positivity and a supportive environment in his early life. They discuss the state of education in relation to society’s inequities, how existing frameworks impede progress, and do not allow for opportunity.

In the current education system, for example, factors such as under-resourced schools and the cost burden of test prep and extracurricular activities, make the playing field unequal. The good news is that new opportunities are emerging that do not rely on this antiquated framework. We see more organizations empowering opportunities and valuing the student’s individuality. 


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Ziz: “It’s very interesting how this pandemic put a spotlight on the inequities of the system…the things that weren’t working very well already.”

Pam: “How do we create environments that allow them to discover, allow them to explore, versus ‘we have to shape them, mold them, frame them in our image of what we say they going to be in order to be successful?'”

Pam: “We not only missed an entire era shift into new opportunities, we also created a huge epidemic of mental illness…because kids were so focused on their performance, so focused on how they were judged, that they couldn’t see anything else except that they didn’t measure up. And they thought life was worthless.”

Ziz: “You can not be successful by yourself. You need a coach, a mentor, you need others around you, your teammates to understand the role and help you, to practice, and do all those things.”

Ziz: “We need to be together to solve this because it affects all of us…We’re all created differently so that we can learn from one another.”

Pam: “We’ve got to break down these school walls and make education everywhere. Local businesses can create opportunities for all kids in their communities to get exposed to real-world learning and problem-solving.” 

Pam: “The health and wellbeing of any one child reflects the health and wellbeing of our entire society. That is why it’s our responsibility to create environments that allow every child to flourish.”

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