Each month, SACI sends out a short video covering a social justice topic along with a few discussion questions. We encourage you to involve your team and meet as a group to watch these videos and discuss the questions.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Carlos Fonseca, Jr. (fonsecajrc@wou.edu) or Andrea Piercy (piercya@wou.edu).

January 2022 Video of the Month

‘The Web of Poverty’ – USCCB

Click here for additional information on poverty.

December 2021 - The Danger of a Single Story

‘The Danger of a Single Story’ – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

February 2021 - Civil Rights Movement

This month‘s suggested video and reflection activity is a spotlight on lesser-known stories from the Civil Rights Movement and the leadership of Black women.

For many of us, learning about Black History consisted of exposure to stories about the leadership of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and the Montgomery Bus Boycott that started when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white person. These stories are important, but many voices and experiences are missing from the traditional narrative. Many Black women played an extremely important role behind the scenes in organizing the Montgomery Bus Boycott and ushering in the Civil Rights Movement. This month, we are focusing on Black women of the Civil Rights Movement, and their leadership.

Videos:

Reflection Questions:

  • Learning about Black History doesn’t end on February 28. What can you do all year long to learn more about Black culture, identities, people, and issues in your community?
  • Why is it that the Black History we may have learned growing up is incomplete?
  • Whose voices from the Civil Right Movement have been elevated most often? Whose voices are missing? Why do you think that is?
  • How can you implement what you know about intersectionality, especially with regard to Black women, to better support students?
January 2021 - United States Capitol Attack

SACI is resuming our monthly email reflection. It will probably not come as any surprise that this month we will be focusing on the impact of the attempted coup and display of White Power and White Supremacy that occurred last week. 

On January 6, a group of domestic terrorists in Washington DC sought to overturn the democratic process of confirming Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as our next President and Vice President. They not only attacked the physical structure of the Capitol building and law enforcement officers, but the very democratic ideals they claim to support. This violence was fueled by rhetoric and behavior from sitting President Donald Trump and members of Congress who have continuously lied to the American public about the Presidential election for political gain. 

Throughout the day and late into the evening, various news outlets took notice of the response of law enforcement and compared it to the protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement from the previous summer. The differences are stark and alarming, though many of us are not surprised. We feel it is important to focus on the root of this demonstration, by recognizing and naming the blatant racism and preservation of White Privilege and White Supremacy that led to the assault on Wednesday and continues in our society. 

Reflection Questions:

  • What differences have you noticed about how the media (regardless of what you watch/read/listen to) has reported the Pro-Trump domestic terrorism vs BLM protests? 

  • What do you feel should be the purpose and action of police in society? 

  • What can you do in your sphere/communities to dismantle White Supremacy and take  anti-racist action?  

Relevant videos

Relevant articles: 

December 2020 - Holidays

As we enter Winter Break and many of us prepare to celebrate the holidays, Christmas will inevitably be the holiday at the forefront of American culture. However, there are many other holidays that are celebrated during the winter season, and it’s important for us to stop and reflect on why it is that Christmas has become the most prevalent winter holiday in American culture and how we can do a better job of acknowledging other winter holidays. Take some time to watch and read the resources below and think about the following reflection questions. In addition to the videos listed above, we recommend the following for more information and perspective:

  • We’ve Reached the End of White America
    • What do you think of this video? How would this video change after the 2016 election? After watching this video, check out:
  • Codeswitch podcast: The White Elephants in the Room – 11.18.20
    • The end of this podcast discusses the end of a white, evangelical majority (similar to the video listed above).
  • Editorial: Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?
    • Written by a Jewish student, this provides a first-person perspective on what it’s like to hear about the “War on Christmas” and live in a Christmas/Christian-dominant society while celebrating something else.

We encourage you and your team to review the video and have a group discussion that could be guided by the following discussion questions:

      1. What winter holidays had you already had knowledge of before reviewing this information? What other holidays fall around this time of year that may have been missed?
      2. Having Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as traditional days off from work is one example of Christian privilege that has permeated throughout our culture, even if we do not practice Christianity. Paid days off are always great, but what does that mean for folx who practice other important winter holiday traditions? What are some other examples of Christian privilege?
June 2020 - LGBTQ Pride Month

Today is the start of LGBTQ Pride Month. 

SACI is sharing a video about the Stonewall Inn riots, which marked a pivotal moment and ultimately, were a catalyst for the Gay Liberation movement. We feel it is important to highlight this moment in Queer history, especially in light of current protests against police brutality and treatment of our Black community.

The Stonewall Inn riots were a protest against police raids and brutality towards the LGBT community. These protests, and the Gay Liberation movement that followed, were initiated by drag queens and trans women of color. It is important when celebrating and learning about Pride Month to center those lives that are still at risk today and the violence they still experience; the lives of our Black community and our Black and Brown LGBTQ+ community. 

We are able to celebrate diversity because of those who stood up to adversity 51 years ago; and those who still challenge violence and ignorance towards the LGBT community, Black and Brown communities and LGBT People of Color communities. 

LGBTQ equality = racial equality. Black Lives Matter. Black Queer Lives Matter.

If you’re interested in learning more about these topics, we recommend:

We encourage you and your team to review the video and have a group discussion that could be guided by the following discussion questions:

  1. What is something new you learned about Stonewall from this video?

  2. How were/are People of Color disproportionately affected by police raids, harassment, etc?

  3. Why is Stonewall an important movement today?

  4. What do you know about WOU’s Stonewall Center, and resources for Black, LGBTQ, and PoC on campus?

  5. What connections are there between Stonewall and current protests against police violence and treatment of our Black community?

May 2020 - Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month

May is Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month. It was observed annually for 7 days from 1979 until 1989. It has been observed for the entire month of May since 1990.

This month, we’d like to share a poem written by climate change activist and Marshall Islander, Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner to her daughter.  Jetnil-Kijiner performed this poem at the UN Climate Summit in 2014. The Marshall Islands were a US nuclear test site during the Cold War.

Video: Dear Matafele Peinam: UN Climate Summit Poem

The lyrics can also be viewed on Jetnil-Kijiner’s blog.

If you’re interested in more information on these topics, we recommend:

Climate activism and race: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ikrd/vanessa-nakate-cropped-photo-climate-crisis

US relations with Marshall Islands:

We encourage you and your team to review the video and have a group discussion that could be guided by the following discussion questions:

  1. What is the United States’ responsibility for the environmental state of Marshall Islands?
  2. Why has the focus often on individual behaviors to affect climate change instead of on large corporations?
  3. How can you support populations who are being ignored in the general climate change discussion, particularly island nations, or those particularly vulnerable?
  4. What’s the historical relevance of the US relationship with Asian American/Pacific Islanders? How has COVID-19 impacted that relationship?
February 2020 - Women's History Month

March is Women’s History Month, so SACI chose a video from renowned author and speaker, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This TedTalk is titled “We Should All Be Feminists.”

You can find the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg3umXU_qWc.

For the video in Spanish, please click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_2MPxaxG7U&list=PLDuKXs-qp_GdY5fy1Yj0sPdLBRaGyRXkI&index=12&t=0s

If you’re interested in this topic and would like further information, please check out:

We encourage you and your team to review the video and have a group discussion that could be guided by the following discussion questions:

  1. Do you call yourself a feminist? Why or why not?
  2. Feminist is frequently used as a negative term, why do you think that is?
  3. Why do you think intersectional feminism is important? How can we work to make feminism more inclusive to LGBTQ+ folx and people of color?
  4. How can feminism inform your work at the university?
January 2020 - National Sex Trafficking Awareness Month

This month is National Sex Trafficking Awareness month.

The video is called “Face of Human Trafficking: An Introduction” and can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nb66R-Amcz8&list=PLDuKXs-qp_GdY5fy1Yj0sPdLBRaGyRXkI&index=3&t=0s

If you are looking for more information, please check out:

www.ovcttac.gov/taskforceguide

The discussion questions are:

  1. In what ways did the video change or challenge your assumptions about human trafficing?
  2. How would you define human trafficking in your own words?
  3. How does the information you learned in this video impact your work?
  4. What relevant resources (on and off campus) can you refer students to?
2019 and Prior

How Microaggressions Are Like Mosquito Bites – Fusion Comedy

Reflection Questions:

  1.  Does the “mosquito” video help you reflect on your own behavior as it relates to micro-aggression?
  2. In situations where micro-aggression’s have occurred, what do you do next? How do you correct and move forward?

 

When Every Word Doesn’t Belong to Everyone – Ta-Nehisi Coates, YouTube

Reflection Questions:

  1. What were your initial reactions to Ta-Nehisi Coates perspective on words that do not belong to everyone?
  2. Coates explains the normality of reclaiming derogatory words: why do you think this is an important practice or not? Consider the various student populations and their identities.
  3. How can we be mindful and more aware of our privilege and its’ intersections with language?
  4. How might you approach this topic with a student who frequently misuses a “word that does not belong to everyone”?

 

What is Inclusion – Inclusive Imperative

Reflection Questions:

  1.  Promoting and educating diversity and inclusion is part of our Strategic Plan, but what are we doing to ensure we are cultivating a truly diverse and inclusive environment for our students and staff?
  2. Did you have any reactions to these videos that surprised you or made you question why you were feeling a certain way?

 

Diversity and Exclusion – Donnetrice Allison, TED Talk

Reflection Questions:

  1. Take a minute to make sure you understand the difference between tokenizing students and serving niche populations on campus.
  2. What mindsets or biases did you see in yourself as you watched these short pieces?
  3. Did you have any reactions to these videos that surprised you or made you question why you were feeling a certain way?

 

Banning Syrian Refugees: Unsettled in America – VICE News

Reflection Questions: N/A

 

Shedding Light on Student Depression – Jack Park, TED Talk

Reflection Questions:

 

  1. Can you think of a time when you have reinforced the stigma associated with mental illness? i.e. “The medical center and the counseling center are in the same building, if you go there, no one will know you are there to see a counselor.”
  2. How are you personally, or how is your department, reinforcing the normalization of mental illness?
  3. What impacts might culture or up-bringing have on students struggles with mental illness?

 

Why Pronouns Matter For Trans People – BuzzFeed

Reflection Questions:

  1. What gender pronouns do you identify with and why is that important to you?
  2. Why would people feel uncomfortable about a gendered (male or female) pronoun?
  3. What is the difference between “preferred pronouns” and “your pronouns?”

 

Using Preferred Names and Gender Pronouns – University of Iowa

Reflection Questions:

  1. What gender pronouns do you identify with and why is that important to you?
  2. Why would people feel uncomfortable about a gendered (male or female) pronoun?
  3. What is the difference between “preferred pronouns” and “your pronouns?”

 

Five ways to listen better – Julian Treasure, TED Talk

Reflection Questions: N/A

 

The Danger of a Single Story – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, TED Talk

Reflection Questions: N/A

  

“Now, After” PTSD From A Soldier’s POV – Blue Three Productions (contains graphic imagery; viewer discretion advise)

Reflection Questions:

  1. What are some of the challenges, not represented in this video, veterans may face when integrating back into civilian life?
  2. In your work with student services, how can you be more supportive of the veterans within our WOU community?
  3. When reflecting on this video, were there parts of the video that had an impact on you?  

Defending the rights of a Hijab-wearing Muslimah: What would you do? – VICE News

Reflection Questions: N/A

 

How autism freed me to be myself – Rosie King, TED Talk

Reflection Questions:

  1. What are your reactions to Rosie’s comment that she considers Autism and ability rather than a disability?
  2. How did this video presentation impact your current understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder?
  3. What are the limitations of striving for “normal” personally or expecting “normal” of others?

 

I’m Muslim, But I’m Not… – BuzzFeed

Reflection Questions:

  1. What is your reaction to the video?
  2. How did this video challenge your own stereotypes of Muslims?
  3. Did you have any reactions to this video that surprised you or made you question why you were feeling a certain way?

 

The danger of silence – Clint Smith, TED Talk

Reflection Questions:

  1. Think of a time you were silent when maybe you shouldn’t have been. Why did you stay silent?
  2. Have you ever been like the student who needed someone to speak up for you? What did it feel like to be powerless and without an advocate?
  3. How do you stay motivated to say what needs to be said? How can you avoid being silent in your role at WOU?

 

Color blind or color Brave? – Mellody Hobson, TED Talk

Reflection Questions:

  1. Does the topic of race make you feel uncomfortable? Why or why not?
  2. Observe your environment – at work, at home, everywhere. Who is missing from your environment, conversations, and interactions? How can you intentionally create more opportunities to engage with others who are outside of your “normal” experience?
  3. What are some ways you could intentionally include and incorporate diversity conversations and practices into your daily work?