Monday, all of the UELIPs attended an event called REES-U, which stands for Race and Equity Education Seminar .This event was designed to help break down the racial barriers that we set up for ourselves. It provided a comfortable and safe environment to discuss the issue of racism in order to better understand ourselves and our colleagues. One on one small group discussions were used throughout to help us learn not only how to speak, but to listen. We read many articles in preparation for this event, but the one which focused on micro aggressions really hit home. Sometimes its the simple things that don’t seem like a big deal like little jokes or stereotypes that hurt people the most. My favorite activity involved the comfort, risk, and danger zones. During this activity, we were given different hypothetical situations and we had to determine which zone we would be in if confronted by these issues. Comfort being that you didn’t really care to respond and danger being completely frustrated and on edge. I found that I straddled risk and danger very frequently, but that sometimes I was in the comfort zone simply to avoid confrontation. Race is somewhat of a taboo in our politically correct society and this workshop helped to remedy this. I know that my fellow UELIPs and I greatly benefited from this experience and I hope that many others get this same opportunity in the future.
UELIP, Innovation and Development