Students talk cultural, racial trauma at open forum

The “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville this August sent shockwaves through the United States. Miami University’s Office of Diversity Affairs and Student Counseling Service collaborated to give students a space to share their feelings in the wake of events such as those in Charlottesville. Monday evening, Sept. 18, around 25 undergraduate and graduate students gathered in the John E. Dolibois room in the Shriver Center for “Understanding Cultural & Racial Trauma.” “Being a support service to students, we want to let them know we’re aware of what’s going on,” said Julian Oliver, the ODA’s assistant director of diversity affairs. The event featured a discussion of how minority students feel affected by racially charged events in the news. “The purpose was to really make it impactful for anyone who attended,” said Oliver. The program began with Lauren Toben of the Student Counseling Service giving a presentation on the reality of racial trauma, mental and physical stress induced by racism and discrimination against people of color.   Students spoke out about their experiences with discrimination on campus. One student described having been called a racial slur during her first week of classes. Participants also discussed the frequent shootings of black Americans by white police officers. Students said they are no longer surprised when another story breaks about similar white-on-black violence. For Kelly Kimple, director for the ODA, putting together the...

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