‘Say What?!’ dialogue explores the language of race


Brian Smith

Shana Lee and Trinidy Jeter, both of whom work at the Student Multicultural Center, host a dialogue series titled “Say What?!: That’s my N!@%*” on Feb. 6. Lee and Jeter discussed with the audience derogatory words and how they are used in modern culture. Photo by Brian Smith.

Kelsey Leyva

Shana Lee, director of the Student Multicultural Center, and Trinidy Jeter, program coordinator for the center, generated a lively discussion about language of race and ethnicity Wednesday at the “That’s my N!@%*” event.

Lee and Jeter focused on the concept of certain words being considered as self-discrimination. The goal of the program was for the attendees to gain a deeper understanding of the power of words.

“Say What?! is a dialogue series where we deconstruct the idea of language and how language has power and depending on what you say and how it’s used, how that power resonates throughout society,” Jeter said.

Lee and Jeter covered norms, self-discrimination, personal stories and the history of some common slang terms during their presentation.

“It’s so funny how you come up with these terms, you know, as key words to try to explain something that you’re unfamiliar with or something that you’re uncomfortable with,” Lee said.

Anastasia Tietz, freshman visual communication design major, found the event to be educational and interesting.

“I thought it was really good,” Tietz said. “For not ever being introduced to anything like this, it was pretty good.”

Jeter said that she and Lee were chosen to speak at this particular event because of their involvement with the Multicultural Center. There will be four more events in the dialogue series.

“This series will talk about different aspects, be it ethnic, cultural, body image, LGBTQ community and the words that we use and how that can either harm or uplift,” Lee said. “We need to have a civil and more just society where we show mutual respect people regardless of their differences, where they come from, their classification and all of that.”

For more information on upcoming event in the dialogue series, contact Roxie Patton, program coordinator of the LGBTQ Center, at 330-672-8580 or [email protected].

Contact Kelsey Leyva at [email protected].