Tunnel of Oppression organizers continue fight against hatred

LAWRENCE — The Tunnel of Oppression will return for its 10th year at the University of Kansas. The Tunnel of Oppression is an intensive, interactive multimedia experience that forces participants to face different types of oppression, such as racism, ableism, sexism and homophobia.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, and Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center. Tours will occur in groups of 10 and will last approximately 20 minutes, and includes video and audio recordings as well as live role-playing situations. Some of the events actually occurred at KU or on other campuses. Scenarios include dating violence and a student simulating symptoms of an eating disorder. Others are international in scope, such as footage of a concentration camp or scenes from movies. Visitors also will hear a variety of slurs and hate speech.

“The program is designed to create an awareness of different types of oppression, and its effects, within society and the campus community,” says Precious Porras, assistant director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs. “The primary goal of the project is to create an experiential program for KU students, staff and faculty. The program challenges participants in a safe environment. We can’t recreate experiences and history, but we hope to educate people about oppression.”

Each year, approximately 300 students, faculty, staff and other Lawrence community members attend The Tunnel. Because The Tunnel contains some harsh and ugly realities, children are discouraged from attending. Provisions to exit The Tunnel are also made for individuals who find it difficult to complete the experience. Once participants come to the end of The Tunnel, they debrief by engaging in a small group discussion with a licensed University counselor from Counseling and Psychological Services.

The event is free and open to the public.

Wed, 11/16/2011


Precious Porras

Media Contacts

Erin Curtis Dierks