After hosting a handful of inspiring speakers, the Mary L. Seifert Cultural Series “The Realities of Race” is getting a bit more interactive with The Neighborhood Game, scheduled for 7 to 8:30 p.m. March 26 in the multi-purpose room of Gemmell Student Complex. The Neighborhood Game is a simulation designed to get participants talking about issues of race. This event is free and open to the public.
Led by Clarion sociology professor Jane Walsh and members of her fall 2012 Race and Ethnic Relations course, The Neighborhood Game is designed to expose color-blind racism, with a specific focus on the concepts of inequality and privilege. Color-blindness promotes the invisibility of race, relying on the notion that the world is free of race issues. Detractors of color-blindness state, however, that this notion is a myth, and that not “seeing” race in today’s world can lead to more covert forms of racism.
The Neighborhood Game invites those attending to take part in a 45-minute construction phase, followed by a 30-minute debrief. The activity was designed by Kathleen Bulger Gray, assistant professor of sociology at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina. Walsh was trained as a Neighborhood Game facilitator and has led the game at Duquesne University, the University of Pittsburgh, Carlow University, and most recently at Clarion University with students in two of her fall 2012 courses.
“One of the biggest challenges for both faculty and students in the classroom is to engage in critical and thoughtful discussions about race,” Walsh said. The Neighborhood Game, she indicated, is a way of advancing that conversation.
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