Multicultural Affairs held presentations on Monday, March 19 and Tuesday, March 20 following their Cultural Competency series of presentations.
This week’s presentations were over disabilities.
Office of Multicultural Affairs Assistant Tedra Bennett handed out a pre-test to everyone before the presentation began. She then began describing cultural competence as “the ability to interact effectively and coexist with people of different cultures.”
The first event of the evening was an Ice Breaker where the host, Bennett, picked four students (two African students and two Chinese students), and they stood in front of everyone and spoke in their native language. Everyone had to go around and tell how they felt to not understand what they were talking about.
After everyone went around and explained how they felt, the twist was that just as everyone felt left out, people with disabilities feel the same way when singled out.
This led into a short film shown about how life would be if roles were reversed. The film showed people with disabilities outnumbering and treating the main character who didn’t have difficulties different. The purpose of the film was to show how a lot of people in society treat people with disabilities the wrong way.
“The movie was good,” said ETSU Junior Jerrica Dyson. “It was interesting to see how people can be stuck in their ways and the only way to make them know that is to switch the roles.”
This created a student discussion that talked about the messages in the movie, country’s views, media portrayal, employment and labels.
The discussion ended with everyone in the room saying their name, major and if they believe a student with disabilities could work in that industry.
“I thought it was very interesting learning about people of different backgrounds,” said Dyson. “It gave good tips on how to approach people who are different than you.”