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AKRON, Ohio – Rethinking Race at The University of Akron recognizes racial diversity while raising awareness of societal issues in our culture. Rethinking Race is celebrating its 10-year anniversary as an on-campus event and will feature speakers, discussion panels, films, interactive activities and community events. Rethinking Race will take place at UA from February 3 through February 17. All events are FREE open to the public.
Rethinking Race will host multiple speakers during the week including Jane Elliott, an internationally known teacher, lecturer, diversity trainer and recipient of the National Mental Health Association Award for Excellence in Education. She is widely known for her “Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes” exercise that labels participants “superior” or “inferior” based on eye color, then shows the audience how it feels to be a part of a minority. Elliott will speak on February 6 at 6 p.m. at EJ Thomas Performing Arts Hall. This event is free and open to the public. No ticket needed. Seating is first come, first seated. Doors open at 5 p.m., general seating begins at 5:30 p.m. Event parking is $5.
The Tunnel of Oppression is one of the most popular events during Rethinking Race and highlights the concepts of privilege, power and oppression. Visitors walk through the tunnel to view and interact with photos, stories and biographies of people who have faced significant diversity or domination during their lifetime. The Tunnel of Oppression will be available in the Student Union Third Floor Study Lounge from February 6 – 7 from 3 – 10 p.m. and February 8 from 3 – 8 p.m.
On February 16 at 6 p.m. in the Student Union Theatre, UA will unveil a short film made possible through a partnership with ancestry.com. A month ago, 30 UA community members provided DNA samples to determine their ethnic backgrounds. During this event, those individuals will share their thoughts and feelings about the findings via a panel and Q&A session following the film.
Face-2-Face (F2F) is a component of Rethinking Race where students talk with other students and discuss controversial topics openly, honestly and without confrontation or aggression. The conversation starts with a moderator making opening statements, reading from a passage or presenting a question. F2Fs are taking place throughout Rethinking Race and include topics such as What Race is a Hero?, Fighting Abstract Racism, Let’s Save the World! and Why Akron Matters in a Refugee Crisis.
On February 3 at 6 p.m. in the Student Union Theatre, Rethinking Race will kick off with the film 13th, a movie about the United States’ prison system and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality. Other films that will be shown throughout the event include Race, The New Mad Men, The Negro and the American Promise, Loving and Mainstream, USA.
For more information about events taking place throughout Rethinking Race, visit the UA website at http://www.uakron.edu/race/.