American River College’s Community and Diversity Center will screen a film about racial relations on a college campus to facilitate a discussion on racial identity, race relations and racism.
The film “Dear White People,” directed and produced by Justin Simien, is a satire on racial relations that follows four African-American students at a predominately white college throughout their year on campus as they deal with racial politics, stereotypes, and their own identity. It will be shown Friday, Feb. 27 at 1 p.m. in the Hub.
The movie has received high praise from critics and won the 2014 Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent.
“I saw this as a great opportunity for diversity and multicultural discussions,” said peer mentor Brett Spencer of the ARC Community and Diversity Center.
Spencer had the idea to show the movie last semester because of the concepts of stereotypes and racial identity shown in the movie.
“I believe showing this movie is beneficial to the campus. We can use it as a springboard to produce organic conversation for voices that need to be heard and shared,” said Spencer.
“We hope that this movie generates people to begin thinking about the way they think about racial relations and bring forward varying views to understand one another,” he added.
Music major Manjore Zaki agrees that this topic needs to be discussed and can be beneficial to students on campus.
“It’s good to see a different perspective. Diversity is good for man, it’s educational, even if it can be seen as negative,” said Zaki.
Zaki, a Houston native, recently relocated to Sacramento and is pleased with the diverse culture he has found in California and on campus.
“I have friends of all different ethnicities here – everybody comes together and gets along – I don’t see what’s on the outside because what’s on the inside is all that matters,” he said.
According to the ARC website, the student body is a little under 50 percent white, 19 percent Hispanic, 11 percent Black, and 9 percent Asian, with 11 percent identifying with another race or races.
Spencer hopes the event will have a big turnout.
“I hope the place overflows — this movie is not limited to the Black community — it is deep, multi-faceted and relates to other marginalized groups who have been oppressed,” Spencer said.