News

A walk through injustices around the world

Nathalie Fleitas, Francesca Filiberto, and Heisy Asusta set up the Global Health room for the Tunnel of Oppression on Sunday afternoon. Adrianne D'Angelo//The Miami Hurricane

Oftentimes, it would seem that the worst cases of malicious oppression happen in distant countries and far-away lands. One event will allow hundreds of students to experience the consequences of pressing human issues here on campus.

This week, Tunnel of Oppression will give students the chance to walk through a variety of rooms to be exposed to visual and audio experiences of first-hand encounters with the worst aspects of social injustices.

“Tunnel of Oppression is a sensory-based learning experience where students go through and get exposed to different challenges and different tools that people use to oppress in the world today,” said freshman Ryan Schooley, the community and volunteer chairman of Tunnel of Oppression’s executive board. “It’s basically so we can spread awareness about these issues and inspire someone to get out and change it.”

The event began as a result of a $10,000 grant from the Ford Foundation in 2008. Originally, the grant was for an event tailored to discussing Christian-Muslim-Jewish relations.

Over 70 colleges and universities across the country host Tunnel of Oppression.

Since the grant was spent, the Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership (SLC) has continued to fund the organization.

Different areas of the ballrooms are devoted to specific issues. The rooms display topics of oppression against people with disabilities or that have undergone sexual assault, personal body image problems, Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transsexual-Queer discrimination, religious persecution, racism, poverty, inadequate education and other social issues.

About 450 students experienced Tunnel of Oppression in 2008, and about 500 did so in 2009, according to Brittany Tedeschi, executive board chair and founder.

“The main point of [it]is to raise awareness of different issues going on in the world, and give participants a way to see the issues rather than read about them through statistics,” she said.

The reflection wall allows students to share their experiences and is accessible at the end of the event.

“We had people who wrote on the reflection wall: ‘That was me in that room’,” Tedeschi said.

Before entering Tunnel of Oppression, participants are asked to turn off their cell phones and other noise-making devices.

“For 20 minutes you have to pay attention to what’s in the rooms,” Tedeschi said. “You can’t turn away from it.”

Among those organizations who are helping set up rooms are No Zebras, Kids and Culture, SpectrUM, Catholic Students Association and Minority Women in Medicine.

According to Tedeschi, UM’s Tunnel of Oppression is unique because of the amount of participation from student organizations. Other Tunnel of Oppression events across the country aren’t as interactive or as dependent on one’s multiple senses.

“What I think is unique about our [event]that other schools don’t have is that [others]are more science-fair-like and you choose what issues you go to,” she said. “You have to experience everything, you have to listen to what everyone is saying, and it’s put on by student organizations.”

Ramon Galiana may be contacted at rgaliana@themiamihurricane.com.


April 25, 2010

Reporters

Ramon Galiana

News Editor


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Miami coach Jim Larranaga and his staff spent recent practices pushing his players to whip the ball ...

The University of Miami confirmed in a written release Sunday that starting cornerback Malek Young s ...

In 2016, the Miami Hurricanes had tight end David Njoku, who went in the first round of the 2017 NFL ...

Four days had passed since his University of Miami basketball team squandered a 13-point second half ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ search for offensive line help is set to continue on the weekend of Jan. 26, w ...

Presidents at three higher education institutions in Miami "lend our unified voices” to the cal ...

Thirty high school English teachers from Brazil are spending six weeks at UM in a new skill-building ...

Global and local efforts needed to respond to biological threats, UM President Julio Frenk warned at ...

As artificial Intelligence takes hold, tech visionary David Kenny stresses keeping human values in t ...

UM’s First Black Graduates Project committee visits an iconic D.C. museum for inspiration to create ...

Bruce Brown Jr. scored 19 points leading Miami to victory over NC State in Raleigh. ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team picked up its third straight win in eight days ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team (1-2) closed out its opening weekend with a 5-2 loss ...

With the help of dominating victories and dramatic comebacks, No. 19 Miami finished the day with an ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team (1-1) returns to action on Sunday, as it travels to N ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.