Sit down, take a stand

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    It’s as though the tribute was predestined.The day following the death of a crusader for civil rights, TCU held a daylong conference on inclusiveness.

    It may have been a simple act when Rosa Parks refused to stand for the unequal treatment of her race, but in that case, as with many others, a little spark ignited a fire in those of varied backgrounds to fight injustice.

    Great leaps have been made for civil rights in the 50 years since Parks took her seat in history on a Montgomery, Ala., bus one evening, but race remains a serious and contentious issue in American life and politics.

    The heart of the civil rights movement was a message that we are all people and deserve to be treated as such. With all of the problems we have, however, other corners of the world still grapple with racial and gender issues that far overshadow our own.

    The TCU Inclusiveness Conference discussed a broad range of issues from the role of women in developing countries to the continuous cycle of genocide around the globe.

    Around the developing world, women become prostitutes because they have no other place to go. Their families see them as burdens and men, and even other women, are waiting to trick them into a life of prostitution because it is the only choice that remains.

    Groups are singled out because of their religion, sexual orientation or a variety of attributes by the media and by the general populace. In extreme cases, this leads to the dehumanization of these groups and mass exterminations.

    Events like the inclusiveness conference bring many problems to light – problems that demand our attention.

    In life, Rosa Parks was a catalyst for a powder keg of social reform. No one can take away that legacy. Perhaps the death of one civil rights pioneer will inspire others to stand up for what they believe.

    No matter the problem, an action as simple as sitting down in the middle of a controversy could be the pivotal moment which will elevate the world to a new level of inclusiveness.

    Opinion Editor Brian Chatman for the Editorial Board.