Event draws attention to variety of injustices
THE SANTA CLARA
April 17, 2014
An estimated 65 million girls are being denied basic education, according to a UNICEF report, which contributes to a future of poverty and hardship.
This example is just one of many forms of human rights issues around the world. The Tunnel of Oppression, sponsored by the Santa Clara Office of Multicultural Learning, sought to advocate for change around the world with the annual event spotlighting various forms of injustice.
Throughout the past week, students were given the opportunity to visit the Locatelli Student Activity Center and experience the Tunnel of Oppression, an interactive, self-guided tour through a tunnel of visuals. It not only exhibited the various ways that people are oppressed all over the world but also provided resources available for individuals to enact change.
More student groups participated in this event than ever before, including 15 different Santa Clara clubs and organizations, such as I Am That Girl, Santa Clara Community Action Program, the Green Club and Christian Life Community. These clubs contributed displays that covered a wide range of topics, such as sustainability, self-image, alcohol, education, sexual assault and autism — issues especially important to each club.
The physical design of the tunnel conveyed a powerful message. Upon initial entrance, students walked through a dark tunnel explaining different forms of oppression existing around the world.
The tunnel gradually became lighter, symbolizing a sense of hope regarding the power that individuals hold in fighting oppression.
Placed throughout the tunnel was information with facts about the different social and justice issues that people face as well as practical suggestions and information about various organizations that work to resolve those problems.
Senior Shaanika Subramanyam remembers when she first experienced the Tunnel of Oppression as a freshman at Santa Clara and realized that even the people around us, those we hold dear to our hearts, are oppressed in ways not often thought about on a day-to-day basis.
Now, three years later and having helped organize the event, Subramanyam hopes that students who visited the tunnel learned about the prominence of various forms of oppression that exists even here on Santa Clara’s campus.
“Helping put together this event and seeing how these issues are all really interrelated gives me greater purpose as I leave (Santa Clara), knowing that these things exist but that there are ways to change it, be a supporter and work for change,” said Subramanyam.
Lead organizer of the event Connie Chang believes that although the Tunnel of Oppression may cause people to feel uncomfortable or shocked by the heaviness of the realities presented, hopefully individuals will also feel inspired to take action using the resources available both on campus through Santa Clara’s student groups as well as off campus through nonprofit organizations.
Looking to the future, Chang ultimately hopes that the Tunnel of Oppression will continue expanding to provide more opportunities for students to become involved in confronting injustice and creating change not just within the local community, but also on a global scale.
Contact Victoria Yu at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.