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‘Defamation Experience’ aims to educate about diversity

| Tuesday, October 2, 2018

This week, Saint Mary’s will be hosting “The Defamation Experience”, a three-phase interactive event that aims to promote diversity in various settings. There are three phrases to the diversity program: the play, the deliberation and the post-show discussion. It is sponsored by the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL), Multicultural Services and Campus and Community Events.

“The Defamation Experience” was created and written by award-winning playwright Todd Logan. It premiered in November 2010. Logan wanted to write a play that encourages greater tolerance and understanding by spurring self-examination and promoting compelling civil discourse. According to “The Defamation Experience” website, the experience was first performed at DePaul University for an audience of 12, soon after President Barack Obama took office.

“[It was] just a few months into the Obama Administration. It was an interesting time for American race relations, with some declaring our society ‘post-racial’ and others cautioning, as does one of the characters in the play, ‘just because Barack Obama is president, we’re a long way from a level playing field,’” Logan wrote on the Defamation Experience’s website.

Sophomore Francesca Monsisvais said she hopes the Saint Mary’s community learns a lot from the experience and continue to promote diversity on campus.

“Students of all majors should attend the experience because this form of discussion is much needed around our campus,” she said.

CWIL director Mana Derakhshani said in an email she hopes the experience is beneficial for the Saint Mary’s community as the College seeks to deepen its diversity.

“We hope to provide an opportunity for various College constituencies to engage in civil discourse around important issues regarding how people identify themselves and how that impacts their lives. We contacted a number of other institutions that had brought ‘The Defamation Experience’ to their campus and heard some very good reviews,” she said.

The experience will take place Tuesday, October 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Moreau Center for the Arts. It is free and open to the Saint Mary’s community and the public.

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