Monday, February 7, 2011

UIS hosts Tunnel of Oppression event Feb. 9-10 as part of Black History Month

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield will host Tunnel of Oppression, an interactive event that highlights contemporary issues of oppression as part of Black History Month. The event is designed to introduce participants to the concepts of oppression, privilege and power.

WHEN: Wednesday, February 9 from 4 to 7 p.m. and Thursday, February 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WHERE: The Public Affairs Center (PAC) first floor conference rooms

DETAILS: 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. Additionally, Jessica Pettitt, a speaker well-versed in issues of social justice, will engage with students in a dialogue following the event.

Tunnel of Oppression is a campus grassroots diversity program that originated in 1993 at the 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.

For more information on the Tunnel of Oppression contact student organizer Jessica Enock by email at

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