The Gustavian Weekly

Diversity Center to facilitate discussion on racial language | The Gustavian Weekly

By Kaity Young Staff Writer | September 28, 2014 | News

Students will have the opportunity to engage in conversation about the use of racial language when Dr. Eddie Moore visits the Diversity Center on Sept. 28.

Students will have the opportunity to engage in conversation about the use of racial language when Dr. Eddie Moore visits the Diversity Center on Sept. 28.

The Diversity Center has invited Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. to facilitate a workshop on campus titled the ‘Nigga(er) Word Workshop.’ The workshop will focus on the history of the N word and the controversies about how the word is used today. Dr. Moore is the founder and program director of the White Privilege Conference, which attracts more than 1,500 people annually.

Director of Multicultural Programs and the Diversity Center Pearl Leonard-Rock noted the importance of having Dr. Moore come to campus to start dialogue about the use of the word following hate crimes which have occurred on campus.

“Students will be better equipped to talk with others about the harm of this word and other harmful words. I’m hoping students will also gain the needed confidence to interrupt hurtful jokes and references in their personal spaces,” Leonard-Rock said.

Students and administrators alike are recognizing a need for this conversation to be facilitated.

Junior Hayley Nemmers emphasized the importance of such dialogue among the Gustavus student body. There’s plenty of language used on campus that should be checked,” said Nemmers.

Through this workshop Dr. Moore hopes to highlight the consequences of uninformed use of the N-word.

“Hopefully people will have a better understanding of what they’re saying after this workshop,” Nemmers said.

Junior Rojo Andriamihaja spoke of a personal experience with use of the N-word in her elementary school.

“In 5th or 6th grade, someone used the word. We all got sat down and talked to about it, so it’s been on my mind for a really long time. It’s finally being talked about. I’m very excited,” Andriamihaja said.

Dr. Moore will also discuss how popular music, movies, and other media have influenced the use of the N-word.

“If you can’t even say it and you have to spell it out, you probably shouldn’t be using it. Use of the N-word can be empowerment, and it can also work against that,” Andriamihaja said.

By no means will the dialogue end when Dr. Moore leaves campus. Students interested in discussing similar topics should look to the Diversity Center for lively discussions, which are offered on a regular basis.

“The D-Center is hosting Courageous Conversations again this semester,” Leonard-Rock reminded.

“I’m hoping students will also gain the needed confidence to interrupt hurtful jokes and references in their personal spaces.”—Pearl Leonard-Rock

The next one will be hosted on Oct. 13.

The “Nigga(er) Word Workshop” will take place on Sunday, Sept. 28 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the President’s Dining Room. All students are invited to participate in what promises to be an informative and engaging experience.