Tunnel of Oppression Highlights CommUNITY Week

Posted: November 17, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

A number of social awareness events are scheduled during CommUNITY Week today through Sunday, sponsored by the Coalition for Social Action and chaired by Kimberly Saunders, associate director for the Office of Diversity Programs and Services.

CommUNITY Week was inspired by the need for a traditional event that highlighted diversity awareness and promoted unity. One of the major events this year is the Tunnel of Oppression, with walk-through tours beginning at noon tomorrow in the Johnson Center Dewberry Hall.

The tunnel is a multisensory experience designed to increase awareness and sensitivity of various types of oppression and to create an understanding of the effect and organization of oppression. It consists of 15 scenarios that cover all types of oppression related to gender, race, domestic violence, abilities, and sexual orientation. Participants will begin in a dark area of hate and end with a lighted area of hope.

“The most important part of the experience will be the debriefing area at the end of the tunnel,” says Saunders. “Participants will have the opportunity to discuss the program’s content and impact in debriefing groups staffed by faculty, counselors, and graduate students. The goal is to challenge ourselves to right the wrongs of our society through increased awareness, dialogue, and social action.”

Registration is required for the tunnel. Individuals or groups of 8 to 12 may register. The event takes approximately one hour to complete, and time slots are limited. For more information, call (703) 993-2700 or e-mail odps@gmu.edu.

Other events during CommUNITY Week include door decorating contests, prejudice reduction workshops, and a Hillel Jewish Center and Muslim Campus Ministry canned food drive. Today at 4 p.m. in the Johnson Center, Room A, Chief Billy “Redwing” Tayac, the present Sangamore of the Piscataway Nation and son of the late Chief Turkey Tayac, speaks about the American Indian movement. The annual Hunger Banquet will take place Thursday at 6 p.m. in the SUB II Ballroom. On Sunday at 4 p.m., the Anointed Voices of Unity will perform their fall concert in Dewberry Hall.

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