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Tunnel of Oppression
March 9 - 11, 2015
What is the Tunnel of Oppression?
Working in collaboration with various campus departments and campus student groups, the University Center is hosting the 6th Annual Tunnel of Oppression – an interactive event that highlights contemporary issues of oppression. It is designed to introduce participants to the concepts of oppression, privilege, and power. Participants are guided through a series of scenes that aim to educate and challenge them to think more deeply about issues of oppression. At the end of the tour, participants are provided with the opportunity to discuss their experiences with each other. Facilitators help participants reflect on their experiences and put their newfound knowledge to use in their everyday lives.
Tunnel of Oppression is a campus grassroots diversity program that originated in 1993 at Western Illinois University. Using the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, California as a model, Tunnel strives to give people a way to experience oppression in a hands-on way. By engaging emotions of the participants, it allows for the accounts expressed in the program to be truly effective. People may have never been placed in these types of situations, and they obtain a sense of what it actually feels like to be oppressed or discriminated through the sights and sounds they experience. While Tunnel may be disturbing, it is an effective tool used to teach people about how it really feels to be in the various situations.
The success of the Tunnel is dependent on our campus commitment to diversity issues and community building. We are looking for student groups and individual volunteers to help make this year’s Tunnel a success. Together we can work together to promote a positive attitude about differences and encourage each other to learn, respect, and appreciate diversity.
Volunteer for the Tunnel of Oppression
The Tunnel of Oppression offers a great opportunity to volunteer and collaborate. If you are interested in volunteering for the day of, preparations prior, clean up after or anything in between we would appreciate your help. In order to volunteer please fill out the short form. The form will help us to know your availability, interest, and contact information.
Contact our Associate Director of Student Involvement & Communication Adrianne Donald by email at email@example.com or by phone at (406) 243-6029 if you are interested in joining the committee.
Keynote Speaker: G Yamazawa
Thursday, March 12th | TBA | UC Ballroom
G Yamazawa is a Japanese-American poet/emcee born and raised in Durham (Bull City), NC. Growing up with a Buddhist background, he first began spittin' as a young child chanting mantras and sutras with his father. Influenced by hip hop culture and music, he began writing his first rhymes at the age of 12. During his freshman year of high school he wrote his first spoken word piece and started performing at local venues, but didn't think it was for him at the time. Aspiring to become a famous rapper, G dedicated his writing towards hip hop music but his life took a sharp turn when he was expelled from high school at the beginning of his junior year. That following year was when poetry found him again, and soon G stopped rapping all together and started competing in poetry slams. After experiencing the Brave New Voices Poetry Festival in 2008, he made the transition from a rapper to a poet and realized the importance of his words. Quickly moving into the adult slam scene, G started competing at the Southern Fried Regionals and the National Poetry Slam in 2009. In 2010 the Bull City Slam Team won Southern Fried and placed 3rd in the nation. That summer G was also honored to share his experience in faith and perform a poem at the Rock the Era Youth Buddhist Festival in front of 11,000 people at Temple University. He also ranked 5th in the world at the Individual World Poetry Slam 2010 in Charlotte, NC. Widely considered one of the top spoken word artists in the country, G has released a book of poetry and a spoken word album, and has decided to return back to his first love, hip hop. After an amazing three year journey of spoken word and slam poetry, G is challenging his pen to write bars with conviction.
The 2015 Tunnel of Oppression features eight exhibits planned and presented by UM student groups and local organizations.