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Annual event emphasizes global injustices

by Courtney Deeren - Copy Editor
Wed, Feb 27th 2019 03:00 pm

Between Tuesday, Feb. 26 and Thursday, Feb. 28, The College at Brockport will be the home of the college’s annual Tunnel of Oppression experience in the Seymour College Union. 

The event will be held in the Union ballroom and will feature several clubs and organizations from around the campus. According to the myBROCKPORT page, the event will “showcase various types of oppression throughout the world.”

The goal of this event is to “increase Brockport’s awareness of the different oppression and privileges that impact our world,” according to the event’s description on myBROCKPORT.  

Habitat for Humanity President Caitlyn Roden wrote about what students can expect from the event. 

“Students can expect to be transformed in the way they think about other groups of people and themselves as they walk through the tunnel,” Roden wrote.

 Roden called the experience “humbling” and wrote that it can “help students find something they are passionate about.”

Habitat for Humanity is presenting a display about childhood homelessness as it hopes to break stigmas against individuals struggling with homelessness. 

This event isn’t unique to Brockport. There are several other college campuses nationwide that hold their own Tunnel of Oppression. Indiana University, Wichita State University, Boise State University and several others host their own Tunnel of Oppression events through the help of multicultural departments. It seems fitting for college campuses to host such an event, both promoting empathy and understanding while also educating attendees on these topics. 

Brockport’s English Club will also be part of the event. Last Tuesday, during the club’s regular meeting time at 6:30 p.m. members discussed what they wanted to tackle for a topic. Club President Stacey Baran was urging everyone to get involved and asking for suggestions about topics. The club eventually decided on oppressed writers as its topic of choice.

Members then took turns discussing the different sections and writers they would write about, finally settling on three sections within their theme.

“Minority writers may have historically seemed few and far between,” Stacey writes. “Whether it be women, people of color, LGBTQ+ or otherwise.”

The truth of it, however, is that they were fully present and active, but silenced by their communities, simply for the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, their sexuality, etc. They then broke it down into what writers within those categories they wanted to focus on. 

Club members took turns suggesting writers that had been oppressed based on their gender, race or sexual orientation. Once there was a list, Baran started divvying up those writers to club members for research. The club’s ultimate goal is “to bring to light more obscure figures who gave their voices to literature, despite their suppression.”

There are several topics that will be covered at the event including: religion, classism, rape culture, mental health, bullying, gender inequality, homophobia, education and many more. 

The event is going to be a way for the college to come together to learn more about oppression and privileges and how they affect the world we live in. Students wanting to attend the event can find it in the Union ballroom on February 26 and 27 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and February 28  from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

cbeag1@brockport.edu | @courtneydeeren

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