The Wright State University culture and identity centers, the Office of Disability Services and the Student Advocacy and Wellness Center collaborated to create the Tunnel of Oppression.
Open from Oct. 7 to 10 in the Student Union Atrium, the Tunnel of Oppression was an interactive, multimedia experience that explored the difficulties and triumphs of marginalized communities around the world. This year’s theme was power-based violence.
The tunnel provided numerous examples of oppressed communities, which were backed up by statistics. Much of the experience was interactive, even allowing visitors to write messages of hope and inspiration at the end.
Some of the marginalized communities addressed were the African American, Latinx American, Native American and Muslim American communities; people with physical and mental disabilities; women; and the LGBTQA community. The tunnel explored violence, harassment and discrimination against these groups as a way to raise awareness against such practices.
Nicole Carter is the director of the Women’s Center and a faculty member in the Student Affairs and Higher Education Program, the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program and the African and African American Studies Program. Carter said the Tunnel of Oppression was a great way for students, faculty and staff to learn about the issues that face these communities.
“It provides an opportunity to reflect deeply on issues that we might acknowledge, but that we may not always think about,” she said. “We hear about these things in the media, and then most of the time we go about our business. This forces people to actually pay attention and reflect on the issues.”
Carter said organizers focused on providing an interactive experience for those who went through this year’s Tunnel of Oppression.
“I think (the Tunnel of Oppression) has always attempted to be interactive, but this year things are a bit different,” she said. “When you have a hands-on experience, you learn more from that and take more away from it. So that was one of our key focuses this year.”