Colleges across the country are hosting “Tunnel of Oppression” events, where students can experience oppression and social justice via an “interactive theater.”
The Illinois State University (ISU) police department advertised the event with on Facebook, stating, “Hey School of Theatre and Dance at Illinois State. We’re in the airport lounge with Diversity Advocacy recruiting Actors for the Tunnel of Oppression. Stop by and help us smash some stereotypes!”
ISU’s event, hosted by the Diversity Advocacy contingent of the dean of students office, will address ableism, classism, racism, sexism, homophobia, and language. Presumably given its recreational nature, ISU’s “Tunnel of Oppression” will be hosted in the Bowling and Billiards Center. The event poster features a chain being broken.
“This interactive demonstration will provide awareness, education, and a call to action to students, faculty, and staff,” reads the event posting on ISU’s website. “Debriefing sessions will be held after the Tunnel of Oppression for participants to express their thoughts, concerns, and learning experiences.”
The dean of students office at ISU also advertised the program twice.
The events aren’t just found in Illinois — they’re happening at campuses across the nation.
“All of the scenes have been written with the Chapel Hill students in mind,” details a UNC Chapel Hill post, “and include stories that are directly contributed by members of the Carolina community.”
“The Tunnel of Oppression is an immerse experience,” reads a post from a Texas Tech University’s group. “You will encounter first-hand different forms of oppression through interactive acting, hearing monologues and multimedia presentations.”
TTU’s event will address ethnocentrism, homelessness, cyber bullying, and suicide, among other topics.
The “Tunnel of Oppression” events are reminiscent of the “Tunnel of Prejudice” segment of a “South Park” episode, in which the boys venture into a tunnel and have identity-based epithets hurled at them.
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