SOU to Host Race Awareness Week

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(Ashland, Ore.) —Southern Oregon University will hold its annual Race Awareness Week Nov. 2 – 6, with multiple presentations and panel discussions designed to encourage attendees to think and talk about race and its impact on the community and nation.

“Race has always been a hard topic for our nation to talk about. It will often become a flashpoint following a tragedy or other controversial event where race is a factor, then it falls of the radar,” according to Marvin Woodard, coordinator of SOU’s Multicultural Resource Center and one of the organizers of Race Awareness Week. “Race Awareness Week provides an opportunity for our community to address the issue from a positive, productive standpoint, not an ‘us vs. them’ perspective.”

Highlights of this year’s Race Awareness Week include a presentation by Claudia Alick on “Exploring the Racial Divide.” Her presentation will take place Monday, Nov. 2, at 6 p.m. in the Rogue River Room inside the Stevenson Union on SOU’s main Ashland campus. Alick is an associate producer with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and has been named one of the top 25 theater artists who will shape American theater in the next 25 years.

On Tuesday, Nov. 3, also at 6 p.m. in the Rogue River Room, a panel of students, faculty, and community members will share their experiences as people of color in Ashland and surrounding cities.

Keynote speaker Lee Mun Wah will give a presentation Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 9 a.m. in the Rogue River Room. Lee Mun Wah has garnered national attention for his work as a master diversity trainer, documentarian, folk story teller, writer, and educator. A screening of his documentary “If These Walls Could Talk” will take place Nov. 4 at 6 p.m., also in the Rogue River Room.

Thursday, Nov. 5, Marc Weinblatt of the Mandala Center for Change will present “Theater of the Oppressed: Rainbow of Desire,” a workshop utilizing image and forum techniques to investigate internalized oppression and identify greater social issues and opportunities to act for change. Weinblatt’s presentation will also take place at 6 p.m. in the Rogue River Room. There is a $10 admission fee for this presentation, but all other Race Awareness Week presentations and forums are free and open to the public.

For more information on Race Awareness Week and a full schedule of events, contact Woodard at 541-552-8793 or via email at woodardm@sou.edu.

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About Southern Oregon University

Southern Oregon University is a medium-sized campus that provides comprehensive educational opportunities with a strong focus on student success and intellectual creativity. Located in vibrant Ashland, Oregon, SOU remains committed to diversity and inclusion for all students on its environmentally sustainable campus. Connected learning programs taught by a host of exceptional faculty provide quality, innovative experiences for students. Visit sou.edu.