Premiere of DEEP Impact draws a crowd

Elon students, faculty and staff visited Carousel Cinemas on Oct. 27 for the premiere of DEEP Impact, a diversity education tool that includes a student-produced film created by the Multicultural Center at Elon University.

The film depicted the stories of eight students dealing with various forms of ignorance in a college setting. The vignettes, performed by students in Elon’s Department of Performing Arts, touched on issues of race, gender, national origin, religion, disability, sexuality and social class.

An African-American female was faced with a noose at a Halloween party while a Jewish male was greeted at his dorm by “Hitler wishes you a Happy Hanukah” posters. A friend called a Hispanic janitor a “Spic,” not knowing his own friend was from Honduras.

“We can’t keep perpetuating the stereotype,” Leon Williams, director of the Multicultural Center, said of the motivation behind DEEP Impact. “How can we address these issues?”

DEEP Impact will be shown in Elon 101 classes, Residence Life assistants training, Elon Volunteers, Orientation Team, and various other departments with the Division of Student Life. It will also be shown Nov. 7 as diversity training for faculty members.

The vignettes included exercises focused on the issues covered in the film. It puts viewers in the shoes of each person and gives them a chance to apply the situation to themselves.

Smith Jackson, vice president for Student Life and dean of students, said he was pleased with the turnout of the movie and the feedback it received.

“It was terrific that so many people from different areas of Elon came out,” he said. “(DEEP Impact) provides a great opportunity for further dialogue.”

Ryan Mintz, one of the student producers for DEEP Impact, said he wanted the movie to be interesting and apply the students everywhere. Most of the stories filmed were based on real events that have been reported on college campuses, he said.

“Everyone has seen something like them,” Mintz said. “(DEEP Impact) is not an afterschool special.”

– Information submitted by Cyntra Brown

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