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OMMA film sparks diversity discussion

By Ike Anyachonkeya
Staff Writer

On Aug. 26 at 6:30 p.m. in room 129 in Old Main, The Office of Multicultural and Minority Affairs (OMMA) hosted The Skin Deep presentation.

The presentation kicked off this year’s Diversity film series.

The series is held once a month and addresses issues within race, culture, ethnicities and different groups. Groups spotlighted were Hispanics, gays and lesbians.

Dr. Frankie Powell from the School of Education and OMMA Director Robert L. Canida hosted the event. The series is titled “Cultural Diversity Movie Series”(celebrating diversity rights). The room was filled with roughly 30 students who engaged in dialogue after the video was played.

The video depicted several students of different ethnicities and backgrounds who were brought from diverse areas of America to a weeklong retreat. In the retreat the young men and women interacted and spoke about prejudices, racism, epithets, stereotypes and numerous issues people face today in the world. The conversations that the students participated in opened one another’s minds and helped each person to be more understanding. The video was educational allowing viewers to watch various walks of life intermingle under a microscope. In the video, many individuals grew emotional as they exposed their negative truths: whether it be their own actions or how they were treated. The dynamics of race, power, culture and prejudice still play a major part in our society today and the video uncovered this theme.

After watching the video, the people in attendance discussed the topics in the film. The crowd was diverse as well and covered many subjects.

It became a forum for discussion and sparked provocative dialogue.

Blame was not necessarily put on any racial group but the fact that whites are still in the position of power was acknowledged. Misuse of their power or oblivious behavior for this truth was discussed as unhealthy and counterproductive.

Also discussed was how some people who are in a small town or closed community are not as open to outsiders as people who are from bigger cities or who have traveled and experienced a plethora of cultures might be. A example used was the town of Pembroke.

“No matter where you go in life there will always be someone judging you,” Canida said.

He instructed the students to continue to be open-minded, think positively and get to know new people. “Just walk up to someone you don’t know and say hey; step out of your comfort zone and get to know someone for their character not their appearance,” he added.

OMMA will continue to arrange many other presentations and events.

Their next event is Sept. 16 where they will be showing the film “Victim of Two Cultures” and celebrating Hispanic culture and heritage. The discussion will be held by Dr. Enrique Porrua. For more information on the Cultural Diversity Movie Series and the Office of Multicultural and Minority Affairs, visit http://www.uncp.edu/oma

You can also visit the OMMA office which is located on the first floor in Old Main.

 

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Updated: June 18, 2008
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