Diversity Student Programs and the Ethnic and Gender Studies departments at Emporia State are collaborating on a social justice film series viewing this year in the William Allen White Library Learning Commons.

This event is offered to students and staff on campus and gives them a place to watch and discuss the social justice topics that the films cover. The plan is to have three events in the fall and three events in the spring to try and reach a variety of people, according to Teresa Taylor Williams, director of Diversity Student Programs.  

The film series is a way to reach out to the campus community and a way for individuals to have an out-of-class activity where they are able to learn more about social justice events, according to Mallory Koci, director of Ethnic and Gender Studies.

“It’s interesting to use film because it's something that is a really good medium for storytelling and for hearing perspectives and voices of people we don’t always have real life interactions with. It’s a way to learn about experiences that are different (from) our own, learn about struggles, about triumphs, history, current challenges, and also joy and excellence,” Koci said. 

Last school year, DSP hosted a book club for students on social justice topics. The success of the book club is what sparked the idea for a film series, according to Williams.

“We want to highlight off-the-beaten-path documentaries or movies where people's differences are celebrated, acknowledged, or where people go through challenges because of their differences,” said Williams. 

Some of the topics may be more in-depth and heavy for people to discuss, but both programs are encouraging anyone to be involved, according to Williams. 

“The arena of social justice and inclusion is a process of people being open to these topics,” Williams said. 

The first film in the series was scheduled for Sept. 23. However, only one student showed up to the viewing so it was postponed. Koci and Taylor have not decided when the new date will be.

“I would say that there is a challenge to get people’s attention and energy. We value students being able to take care of themselves and we are trying to cut through expectations and asks of students schedules,” Koci said. 

Both programs welcome any student suggestions for the film series, according to both Willams and Koci. If any students have questions or suggestions, they can reach out to Mallory Koci at mbishop@emporia.edu or Teresa Taylor Williams at ttaylorw@emporia.edu

“I really hope that if students come, they find the experience meaningful and it shows a model for them to do in their own lives to practice in their own way,” Koci said. 


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