Student Equity’s “Tunnel of Oppression” transitions to documentary format in COVID-defined 15th year

“Tunnel of Oppression” has been one of Student Equity’s primary programs for the last 15 years, and while it typically is an in-person immersion designed to expose participants to oppression, the staff of Student Equity has redesigned this year’s program into a documentary on the experiences of Black and Indigenous students of color.

Four student staff members of Student Equity — Mariela Ruiz, Mateso Ngoja, Paige Harwood and Angel Mora-Carrillo — directed this year’s event. On Friday, Nov. 20, the hour and 20 minute documentary will be shown for the first time at 1:30 p.m., and a second showing will follow at 6:00 p.m, the links to which can be found at the Student Equity Facebook page.

Ro Parker is the senior coordinator of Student Equity and, while this year’s “Tunnel of Oppression” is very different, she’s excited that the staff was able to make it happen, and focus on the voices of four different Boise State students.

“It’s the experience of four different students, and what we really like is that we have one doctoral student, one master’s student and two undergraduate students talking about the oppressions they face,” Parker said.

These students are from various academic backgrounds as well, and each talk about how the oppression they face outside and inside of school impacts their lives.

Those unable to attend the virtual live premiere of “Tunnel of Oppression” can find the documentary on the Student Equity website on Nov. 30, the Monday after Thanksgiving break. The documentary will be accompanied by a discussion guide for faculty or staff to use to facilitate conversation.

Though the live experience of going through the “Tunnel of Oppression” will be missing from this year’s event, Parker hopes that having it online will make it more accessible, and the new format will help people connect with the material in new ways.

“In a sense, ‘Tunnel’ no longer has boundaries or borders,” Parker said.

Graphic courtesy of Tunnel of Oppression

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