The Tunnel is an extrasensory activity to raise students’ awareness of oppression that exists today by capturing participants with auditory, visual, intellectual and emotional stimuli. Students will be exposed to a variety of topics including racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, body image, anti-Semitism and more.
Joe Blackwell of UWG’s Housing and Residence Life helped to coordinate and plan the event on campus.
“The idea is that when you go through the event, it will overwhelm you,” said Blackwell. “Too often there are students who cruise through this world without realizing that all of these things happen. They block out all of the media that comes to them.”
For this reason, one of the displays offered at the Tunnel is a Words Hurt wall, where all of the hurtful words that people say are drawn, uncensored, on boxes. The display is a way to inform people that words used in everyday language is rude, crude and hurtful.
The Tunnel of Oppression program started in 1993 at the Western Illinois University. Based on the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, the program has swept the nation as a whole, giving students everywhere the chance to experience oppression hands-on.
This is Blackwell’s sixth year participating with the Tunnel of Oppression, and his first year bringing it to UWG.
“This is a foundation year for the event,” said Blackwell. “We’re hoping to make it annual and to enlarge the event as a whole. We’re also hoping more student organizations will get involved and that we can make the event part of an entire diversity week.”
This year, students, faculty and staff from the Excel Center, the Multicultural Achievement Program, LAMBDA, and the RA staff on campus have helped with funding and setting up the event.
“The planning and work of many makes this a very powerful event and hopefully one our students will learn from,” said Blackwell in a statement to UWG.
For more information on the Tunnel of Oppression contact Joe Blackwell at 678-839-2251.