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Tunnel of oppression: education and awareness

The multimedia tour is designed to immerse students in oppression awareness

This+story+is+about+the+Multicultural+Center%27s+second+annual+Story+Slam.
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Tunnel of oppression: education and awareness

This story is about the Multicultural Center's second annual Story Slam.

This story is about the Multicultural Center's second annual Story Slam.

The Easterner

This story is about the Multicultural Center's second annual Story Slam.

The Easterner

The Easterner

This story is about the Multicultural Center's second annual Story Slam.

By Emmaline Sylvester, Reporter

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The Tunnel of Oppression, organized by Multicultural Center Director Vanessa Delgado, is coming to the EWU campus for the first time beginning Feb. 19.

The Tunnel of Oppression is a guided multimedia tour made to spread awareness of various types of oppression that may affect marginalized individuals on campus.

Privilege and oppression

Charlie Shih, Multicultural Program Coordinator, explains that marginalized identities go hand in hand with privilege and oppression. Privilege, a set of unearned benefits that a group may have due to being favored by society, can generally be characterized as the flipside of oppression.

Equity educator and senior Alexander Brooks explains that sometimes it’s difficult for those with privilege to put themselves in others shoes. It’s important to see marginalized individuals ‘experiences and problems as valid.

The tunnel

The tunnel will begin with four rooms illustrating daily injustices and prejudices that individuals of marginalized identities face. The themes include domestic violence, ableism, racism and transphobia.

“We’ll have different videos and short simulation activities in these rooms to give students an idea of what it’s like to experience different forms of oppression,” Shih said.

Following the rooms, there will be a Wall of Hate and a Wall of Resistance filled with pictures of oppression and activism. After passing the walls, there will be a debriefing period where staff members will talk with participants about the experience and answer any questions they may have.

According to Shih, a lot of students may be asking themselves, ‘what do I do now?’ after the event.

“When we talk about different forms of oppression they seem like really big ideas that seem hard to tackle,” Shih said. “But there are smaller things you can do everyday. Even just becoming more aware and educated takes away the responsibility that many underrepresented groups feel they have to educate others.”

Taking action

To help students take steps toward promoting social justice, the Multicultural Center prepared a list of action items to share with students. The list is designed to provide students with examples on how they can be allies for marginalized students in everyday situations.  

“No matter where you’re coming from or what your identities are, there is always something to be learned when you go through the Tunnel of Oppression,” Delgado said.

Delgado hopes that this event will encourage an open dialogue across campus and give students an opportunity to learn about and engage in what is happening in the world today to be better colleagues to marginalized people in future careers.

“Everyone has an opportunity to be an ally for an identity they don’t represent,” Delgado said.

Groups have the option to reserve a tour on the Multicultural Centers website. Tours will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. between Feb. 19-21 in Hargreaves 201.•

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Tunnel of oppression: education and awareness