As part of Black History Month, students both of all colors, gathered to learn about discrimination from Director of Affirmative Action LaNeeca Williams.
The activity, hosted by the Office of Student Activities, began when Williams discussed the history of laws having to do with discrimination. It began with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and led to the modern act of 1991 which protects United States citizens from employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex or religion.
Williams also gave examples of the different forms discrimination harassment can take including making employers work with customers of the same race and denying a person a job based solely on race, religion or sex.
She informed students about some of the laws regarding employment and what a potential employer can ask at a job interview. The question and answer format used questions such as “can employers discriminate based for having friends or family of other races?”
The discussion ended with an activity in which students were asked to fill a clear tube with different colored beads to represent their “worlds.” Williams told students to pick a bead based on what they are, what their parents are and what most of their friends are. Bead colors represented different races, black, white, Asian, etc. They also represented personal differences such as gay, transgender or even old.
After students had their “worlds” in the form of a plastic tube, Williams asked “how many of you want to change your worlds?”
Most students agreed they wanted to make their lives more culturally diverse.
“I challenge each and every one of you to introduce yourselves to someone else you don’t know today,” Williams said to end the gathering of students and faculty.