Posted on February 14, 2012
Faculty and Staff
Parents and Visitors
"Race, Gender and Popular Culture" was the theme of an informative dialogue session held in the Rondileau Campus Center, where more than 120 students, faculty and administrators gathered to deliberate on that topic and others.
The one-hour discussion, part of the Power and Privilege Dialogue Series organized by the Office of Institutional Diversity and the Diversity Inclusion Resource Institute, was lead by Dr. Joyce Rain Anderson
, of the OID and Dr. Arthur Lizie
, chair of communication studies.
The two delivered a presentation on visual and print ads in popular culture that depict women, people of color and transgender individuals in potentially demeaning ways. After the presentation, the students, faculty and administrators formed groups to discuss ways to promote gender and race equality on campus and beyond.
The aims of the dialogue series are manifold, said Dr. Anderson, who is also an associate professor of English. "Our goals are for participants to deeply listen and speak around issues of power, privilege, equity and justice for all," she said. "Also, we want participants to consider areas of personal and institutional strengths, as well as places we need to grow and change, and take action from their own position on campus."
Since 2008, campus community members have come together on a monthly basis for power and privilege discussions. Topics have included societal issues with race, gender, nationality, immigration status, age, disability status, sexual orientation and religion.
Senior Danielle Emond
of Taunton joined in a group with Michael Jean
, a junior from Randolph, at the most recent discussion, where they reflected on negative stereotypes and derogatory images of certain populations in the media. Upon leaving the event, the two classmates had much to say on their topic and on the importance of hosting such events on campus.
"We're used to what the media tells us is normal," said Ms. Emond. "It's good to have these discussions, because it helps change our perceptions on what we see in pop culture."
Mr. Jean agreed, saying a majority of BSU students are frequently exposed to elements of pop culture and need to unite in critiquing those elements. "We need to stick together," he said. (Rob Matheson, '07, University Advancement)