Two documentary showings are meant to engage students in dialogue. The Inclusion Project at Illinois State University will sponsor the showing of White Like Me on Tuesday, February 26, and I Am Not Your Negro on Thursday, March 28.
Both films will be shown at 6 p.m. in the Escalante Room of the Vrooman Center, and will be followed by a panel and time for discussion. The viewings are free and open to the public.
White Like Me is based upon a book of the same name by anti-racist advocate Tim Wise. The film explores the advantages afforded to whites throughout the history of the United States, and the extent to which they have defined a culture of racial discrimination that continues to this day. The panel will include Illinois State faculty and staff members Deneca Avant, Charles Bell, Beth Hatt, Christa Platt, and Touré Reed.
I Am Not Your Negro is a 2016 documentary film directed by Raoul Peck, based on the unfinished manuscript of writer and activist James Baldwin titled Remember This House. Narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson, the film explores the history of racism in the United States through Baldwin’s reminiscences of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr.
The showings are part of the efforts of the Inclusion Project to invite students into talking about social issues. The project launched last year through the Multicultural Outreach Team of Student Counseling Services. “The Inclusion Project is intended to create programs, events, and spaces on campus for conversations and work toward inclusion at Illinois State,” said Inclusion Project member David Adams.
Other initiatives from the project include a postcard campaign to share messages about what it means to be a student of color on a predominantly white campus, and “Ball Pit Discussions,” where students are invited into an inflatable ball pit to talk about their experiences at Illinois State. “The project is about finding fun and interactive ways to have dialogues—not debate—about important issues,” said Adams.
For more information on the Inclusion Project, call Student Counseling Services at (309) 438-3655.