Breaking Barrier events

Breaking Barriers is Housing and Residence Life’s tradition of social justice based programing in the month of February. Breaking Barriers provides the UNCG community with programming throughout the month, including recognition of World Day of Social Justice. Breaking Barriers promotes social justice through the deconstruction of the barriers that prevent the interaction and growth of people, cultures, regions, neighborhoods and campuses.

Breaking Barriers 2017 promotes social justice in the categories of immigration, emigration, gender, campus violence, homelessness, education in a global perspective.


Featured Programming

2/7, 4-6 pm – EUC Cone Ballroom: Brown Is the New White

Taken from the title of a 2016 book, Brown Is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority, this informative and discussion-based program encourages participants to ask themselves, “What would I like to see changed, that would make this diverse campus an inclusive campus? And what can I do to bring about that change?”

This colloquium will give participants the chance 1) to learn some of the facts regarding racial inequality in the U.S., 2) to find out how they can join campus efforts to build interracial and intercultural coalitions, 3) to share the stories of those who feel we have farther to go, and 4) to make plans for further coalition building–among student organizations, with faculty, and with administration. The format will be a short presentation, followed by round-table conversations.
Barrier: Racial and cultural barriers, through education (what really divides us)

2/8, 7pm – Grogan: Hungry Games

During this interactive program, residents will attempt to reach a table of food through a laser field made of yarn. Residents will experience barriers such as accessing food stamps, navigating public transportation and deciding between nutrition and other privileges such as health care and shelter. As residents attempt to reach food, staff will provide education on local, state and national statistics.
Barrier: Stereotypes around homelessness/hunger; it’s not as easy as telling someone to “go get a job” or “walk away from your abusive partner” or “just quit doing drugs.”

2/8, 8pm – Phillips Hawkins: Where Do I Stand?

“Where Do I Stand?” will give participants the space to reflect on their various identities, such as race, religion, and class. During the activity, participants will respond to a series of prompts to better understand the ways in which different individuals experience various levels of privilege and oppression with regard to a given topic. Not only will residents explore their salient identities, but also the implications of their invisible identities. Where do you line up?`
Barrier: “Where do I Stand?” aims to break down barriers of privilege and oppression. And the questions themselves, will allow students to reflect on influences of limitations of different identities such as race, gender, class, sexual orientation, ability, religion, and “others.”

2/20, 6pm – Jefferson Suites: Social Justice Carnival

Through the lens of a mainstream celebration, the social construction of gender will be examined, including the history of Western archetypes of gender, the biological and psychological realities of gender, and the impact of societal roles on the individual. Additionally, an exploration of genders outside the binary will be explored, as well as how to best support and celebrate intersex, transgender, gender fluid, and gender non conforming individuals.
Barrier: As Jefferson Suites staff we have identified top concerns that we see within our society that can be reflected by our students/residents. Therefore we want to focus on the topic of immigration because we know that many times if you live in America you may not understand the process of becoming legal but many foreigners struggle with getting citizenship in America. Secondly, we will discuss the topic of racial divide, we acknowledge that we are seen as the number one school for diversity but we do not visually see that when we are walking around campus. We will address what it actually means to be diverse and being united as a body of students/residents. Thirdly, we will discuss the topic of what does it mean to be “privileged” and how can we fight against that stereotype and have everyone receive equity and not equality.

2/20, 12-1 p.m., Moran Commons: World Day of Social Justice

The Social Justice and Diversity Initiatives (SJDI) Committee of Housing and Residence Life invite everyone to celebrate World Day of Social Justice.

Join us for The World Day of Social Justice for our UNCG campus and community, from 12-2 p.m. at the Moran Commons and the Fountain. We are excited to celebrate the diversity and inclusion in our Spartan Nation. The event will include intentional and interactive dialogue centered around not only breaking barriers of inequality but building bridges to foster and sustain the acknowledgement and appreciation of our various identities.

This year’s World Day of Social Justice event focuses on breaking down socially-constructed myths and assumptions associated with one’s identity. Participants are encouraged to come together to dismantle barriers of misunderstanding and to unite to build more inclusive and educated communities of humanity.

2/22, 6pm – Haywood Clubhouse: Gender Reveal Party

Through the lens of a mainstream celebration, the social construction of gender will be examined, including the history of Western archetypes of gender, the biological and psychological realities of gender, and the impact of societal roles on the individual. Additionally, an exploration of genders outside the binary will be explored, as well as how to best support and celebrate intersex, transgender, gender fluid, and gender nonconforming individuals.
Barrier: Imposed views of gender roles for cisgender individuals, hypermasculinity, transphobia, femme invisibility


Community Programming

2/1, 6pm – Cone: Passport to Poverty

During this interactive program, residents will attempt to reach a table of food through a laser field made of yarn. Residents will experience barriers such as accessing food stamps, navigating public transportation and deciding between nutrition and other privileges such as health care and shelter. As residents attempt to reach food, staff will provide education on local, state and national statistics.
Barrier: Poverty and barriers associated with living under the poverty line

2/1, 6pm – Spencers: Oxfam Hunger Banquet

Interactive dining program providing a forum for students to sit, eat, and discuss barriers and resources related to accessing food. Participants access is based on pre-determined luck of the draw— just as in real life some of us are born into relative prosperity and others into poverty.
OxFam Hunger banquet creates an opportunity for students to experience hardships related to employment, family, and society which can directly impact one’s financial standing in the community.
Barrier: Barriers related to accessibility of food; locally, nationally, and globally

2/7, 7pm – Spartan Village I, Hunger Banquet

Spartan Village in conjunction with Oxfam presents: The Hunger Banquet. This program brings to light the issues of global poverty and hunger. 2.2 billion people in the world live in poverty and go hungry each day. Learn about how people from all over the world deal with the daily struggle of malnutrition. Play a character from a different part of the world and see how their food compares to others. What part will you play? May the odds be ever in your favor.
Barrier: Global Poverty, Classism, What poverty looks like on a global scale.

2/16, 7pm – Moore Strong: Clue at Moore Strong

The program will also address the power of stereotypes and assumptions in a fun way. Students will participate in a life-sized game of Clue to uncover who is responsible for the murder at the Moore-Strong Estate.
Barrier: Stereotyping others based on race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, veteran status, disability or genetic information.

2/16, 7pm – Phillips Hawkins: Bunny Bias – Screening of Zootopia

Bunny Bias: A Zootopia Film Screening will provide an opportunity to watch and analyze the Disney film Zootopia from a critical lens. Judy Hoops, the main character of the film said “I thought this city would be a perfect place where everyone got along and anyone could be anything. Turns out, life’s a little bit more complicated than a slogan on a bumper sticker. Real life is messy.” Following the film screening, residents will engage in dialogue regarding the relevancy and implications of bias through examples displayed in the film. How has bias impacted Bunny Judy Hoops to begin realizing Zootopia isn’t always the perfect place?
Barrier: This program aims to break down stereotyping and bias through the film Zootopia. In this film, characters display various stereotypes, biases, and microaggressions that can provide tangible examples as to how people often oversee personal bias, forget about the impact of stereotypes, and not recognize the influence of microaggressions. Zootopia uses terminology and strong character personalities that can depict the influence of these barriers such as the words “cute” in reference to bunnies, “his side of town” in reference to lower social class, or “articulate” to reference race and education in Zootopia. With a critical lens on the narrative Zootopia provides in contrast to our society today, we are able to critically analyze the barriers stereotyping and biases have.

2/22, 9pm – Mary Foust/Guilford: Post It Privilege, Power, and People

RAs and Upper Class Mentors will write various “buzz words” and identity categories on a series of post it notes, e.g. “alt right,” “trans,” “male privilege,” “feminism,” “racism,” “working class,” and so on. These notes will be posted on the walls around the room. Attendees will be invited to walk around the room and reflect on their immediate or “gut” reactions to the words they see, and to add additional post it notes of their own. As the attendees gather to share the reflections, RAs will facilitate an open conversation. The guiding ground rule is openness to difference, including to political, social, and ethical beliefs. The goal is not to argue but to hear perspectives that align and conflict with our own.
Barrier: We aim first to get beyond the increasing tribalism of identity markers and listen respectfully to different perspectives, including to those which we find oppress our own. We aim also to consider with an open mind our own privileges and prejudices.

2/22, 7pm – Quad: It’s Not a Right, It’s a Privilege

Often, many are uncomfortable with the topic of privilege and what privilege means to the society as a whole. We live our lives according to the privileges we possess and seldom consider the how our peers live without these privileges.
Barrier: This activity allows for participants to explore the concepts of privilege and oppression, and take a look at how they benefit and are held back by these systems.

2/22, 7pm – Reynolds: Humans of Reynolds

Humans of Reynolds is a multi-layered, interactive program designed to help students share experiences and challenges they have faced as a result of their identities. The program will be modeled after the popular “Humans of New York” social movement, in which candid photographs of everyday citizens are accompanied by a short description of that individual’s personal story. To increase the emphasis on social justice, we will be placing a slight twist on the program by asking residents to focus their story around the prompt of “I am this, but not this.” For example, “I am black, but I am not a thug.” By reading and seeing the stories of their fellow residents, members of the Reynolds community will gain a deeper understanding of each other’s lived experiences.
Barrier: This program aims to break down barriers created by stereotypes and lack of communication between people of different identities. We often fear what we do not know, and misinformation or assumptions about other people based on identities that we do not share can prevent us from working together and understanding one another.