The Tunnel of Oppression is an eye-opening experience designed to help first-year students at Wright State University appreciate diversity and fight discrimination.

“There’s a lot to take in,” said Amber Sanders, a freshman at Wright State. “There’s so much stuff that happens that I’m unaware of.”

The Tunnel of Oppression is a series of rooms that students walk through at their own pace while reading presented educational materials on racism, sexism, religious discrimination, classism, homophobia, veteran status and genocide as well as ableism, discrimination toward people with physical or mental disabilities; lookism, discrimination based on appearance; and transphobia, discrimination toward transgender people or gender nonconforming behavior.

Trained tunnel facilitators help students process their experience with post-tunnel discussions designed to get the students to open up about their feelings.

The tunnel will receive a SOCHE Award for Diversity and Inclusion from the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education on Nov. 10 at the Dayton Art Institute.

The tunnel will be on display in the Student Union Apollo Room until 5 p.m. on Oct. 12. This is the 17th year the Tunnel of Oppression has been on display.

Originally founded as a branch campus of The Ohio State University and Miami University, Wright State became an independent institution in 1967. It celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017.

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