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Tunnel of Oppression 2010: From Oppression to Enlightenment

Photo by Anna Sacks.

The Tunnel of Oppression is a program that started at the Western Illinois University at Macomb in 1993. Since then the program has spread to college campuses across the United States. The Tunnel’s purpose is to raise awareness about oppressed people and the forms of oppression they endure generated by things like prejudice and discrimination. Radford University has adopted and adapted this program to pertain and relate to the students here at RU.

The program here focuses more on the cognitive effect on its visitors rather than some programs that focus on a more graphic “shock and scar” approach according to DeLoach. The program is presided over by a committee headed by Dave Falletta and Adrien DeLoach. The committee chooses from various topics they’ve brainstormed that Radford students can relate to.

The goal of this particular program is to inform visitors to the exhibit of the challenges their peers with disabilities, which can be invisible to the naked eye, have to face in their regular lives. After choosing the overall theme, the committee chooses what subjects in that theme to address. This year the committee had to choose what disabilities to focus on. They took into account what visitors would find interesting, what challenges members of the community face and what would inspire those in the community to help their peers become successful.

Photo by Anna Sacks.

“We wanted to make it hit closer to home so when students went through they would be more engaged by relating personally to those topics,” Falletta said.

This year’s motto is