Tunnel of Oppression promotes respect and celebrates diversity

The College of Staten Island presents its fifth annual Tunnel of Oppression on Thursday, November 4 in the Campus Center.

The Tunnel of Oppression, part of the “I am SI” initiative, is a multi-sensory experience that is free and open to the public. It is designed to increase awareness and sensitivity of various types of oppression and create an understanding of the effect and organization of oppression, as well as promote respect, diversity, critical thinking, and civic engagement.

During the 45-minute walkthrough, attendees will have an opportunity to get a glimpse of what life is like for people who are experiencing some form of oppression in their lives. Participants make their way through a “tunnel” where they are confronted with images related to oppression, hate words, and realistic depictions of social injustice.

The purpose of the event is to elicit dialogue and promote positive social change throughout the community. The participants are able to “see what it’s like to walk in the oppressed person’s shoes,” explains Brian DeLong, Director of New Student Orientation and CLUE at CSI.

After experiencing the visual and auditory representations of hate in the tunnel, attendees join interactive workshops where they will be able to participate in interactive skits and discuss their experiences with professional staff members.

Tunnel of Oppression participants are welcome to arrive between Noon and 3p.m. during which they will walk through the tunnel and be involved in interactive skits and workshops. The event ends at 4:00 p.m. so attendees should be sure to arrive by 3:00 p.m. to ensure they will receive the complete experience. Each participant receives a diversity booklet.

The program takes place in the West Dining Room and Green Dolphin Lounge of the CSI Campus Center (1C) and is sponsored by the Pluralism and Diversity Program.

The walk-thru is free and open to the public and is Double-CLUE certified for CSI students.

By Carlo Alaimo