It is a widespread belief that the separation of race is prevalent in modern day society. Differences in culture range from a variety of customs and beliefs from around the world, differences that often lead to communication breakdown, or unhealthy interactions amongst races unfamiliar to one another.
The multicultural depart at Central Oregon Community College has aimed to tackle the issue of unspoken communication amongst the diversity on the different COCC campuses in Central Oregon. Last week, sixteen COCC students, instructors, and staff held a meeting entitled “When to ‘Call out,’ and when to ‘Call In’,” which dealt directly with the issue of language that demeans cultures other than one’s own.
“We [members of the multicultural department] wanted a conversational meeting to give students the chance to really talk about the diversity in cultural differences here at COCC,” said Karen Roth, Director of Multicultural activities.
According to Roth, the need for students to start talking about cultural differences were apparent after a student Engagement Survey taken in 2010 at COCC. The results of the survey were not up to her expectations and so she began to organize the “Get the word out” series.
“Our goals was to get students on campuses around Central Oregon talking more about their differences,” said Roth
Calling in was the main focus of the meeting. Calling in is a modern phrase advocated and coined by Sian Ferguson, a South-African feminist, writer, activist, and Ngoc Loan Tran, wa Viet/mixed Writer, storyteller, and inventor of the phrase. Calling in is targeted toward people interested in helping others’ awareness of the derogatory and hurtful statements, or slang, kept alive by choosing to use language of hurt in their conversations or arguments.
Mindy Williams who is a humanities instructor at COCC was the facilitator of the meeting.
Jose Alvarez | The Broadside