The University of North Georgia (UNG) will screen the film “American Textures” as part of a Diversity Film Series on the Dahlonega, Gainesville and Oconee Campuses March 7-9.
“American Textures” is a documentary that follows six individuals of different racial and ethnic backgrounds traveling through diverse communities in the southern United States as they openly challenge preconceptions and racial tension with dialogue.
Sheila Caldwell, advisor to the president on diversity at UNG, was drawn to this film because of how it makes discussion and dialogue happen in small and large groups.
“My involvement is about enhancing the cultural competencies among UNG team members, and this film is rich with the type of dialogue that helps people challenge their opinions and accepted stereotypes on race and ethnicity,” she said. “It is difficult for some people to be transparent in groups. American Textures does a great job of encouraging dialogue on intercultural and interracial communication.”
Georgia is one of the places featured in the documentary, and it shows people from very different worldviews getting on the same page and understanding each other.
UNG’s Diversity Council intends to begin a diversity inclusion project that will act as a research project on all five UNG campuses that gives topics such as religion and gender the same attention that race and ethnicity receive within the film series.
UNG campuses are not especially diverse, but Caldwell believes that this under-exposure does not denote a lack of interest.
“I have witnessed many changes in students after watching these films – exposing them to diversity increases their awareness and compels them to seek out others who are different.”
Showings for the film are:
- Gainesville – March 7 from noon to 2 p.m.in Martha T. Nesbitt, 3110
- Oconee – March 8, from noon to 2 p.m. in Student Resource Center, 522
- Dahlonega – March 9, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Hoag Student Center Auditorium
The film series on each campus will include a viewing of the film, a strategic meeting with faculty and staff, a classroom visit, and a follow-up consultancy session.
The screening of this film series was made possible by the UNG Presidential Innovation Award. As part of more than $250,000, the awards support various faculty and staff projects and initiatives. Each award represents a grant of up to $5,000 to support faculty and staff development and provide opportunities for interdisciplinary and cross‐functional collaborations among colleagues or individual pursuits.