Learning from being called ‘out’ for offensive statements

Megan Hays, Staff Writer

Embracing and respecting diversity has become a hot topic on college campuses around the country. A Sept. 29 workshop titled “Life After Being Called Out,” presented by Assistant Director of Yale University’s Afro-American Cultural Center Shane Lloyd and human geographer from Rhode Island School of Design Maura Pavalow, Ph.D., helped students explore the productive ways in which the University community can break away from oppression and an inability to accept diversity. “Life After Being Called Out” is a collaborative presentation which helps students achieve a campus and ultimately a society defined by equality.

Lloyd and Pavalow define being “called out” as when one person points out that what another person said or did was offensive and how that could negatively affect people who belong to a specific racial, religious, gender or socioeconomic group. The workshop is primarily made up of activities which focus on how to mature from being called out and how to properly apologize to the affected group. The two speakers also stressed the importance of refraining from defensive statements and instead taking note of ways to change one’s words and actions.

“I think that the workshop was really important because in today’s day and age, people are beginning to fight back systematic prejudices and disown negative stereotypes. It’s important for us, as Bucknellians and humans, to be able to understand how to handle being called out,” Quan Harris ’20 said.

Lloyd and Pavalow heavily emphasized the importance of making the University campus an inclusive and welcoming environment, where anyone can learn and succeed. The workshop also introduced an impactful word to the students in attendance: “allyship,” defined as the ability for people to work in accordance with one another. Allyship promotes working at all times together toward a goal of eradicating racial discrimination. According to Lloyd and Pavalow, if more people work in allyship, discrimination can be reduced significantly. They were also hopeful that if all students learn the themes of the workshop and spread positivity to the world beyond Lewisburg, then these small acts of allyship may translate into much larger acts.

Director of Multicultural Student Services Rosalie Rodriguez designed the series of which this workshop was a part, “UnHerd.”

“If we can learn the steps to apologize sincerely and change our behavior, then we can create a supportive environment where we can all challenge each other to grow in a positive way,” Rodriguez said. 

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