“I Too Am UGA” is a campaign that allows students at the University to tell their stories about racial micro-aggressions that have occurred on our campus. This year, I Too Am UGA has partnered with SGA to create the public “iTooAmUGA” event on March 20.
In order to create this event, students have volunteered the past few months to share their stories with I Too Am UGA.
“Students come to Russell library and we talk to them. We ask questions like, ‘What are your passions? Why did you choose UGA? What drives you?’ Naturally, the conversation takes its own course,” said Tifara Brown, creator of this year’s I Too Am UGA event.
I Too Am UGA has threaded these 15 students’ stories together into a video showcase. This video will be shown at the event on March 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Library.
“The event is a lot about giving the students who want to speak out and have a voice the pedestal that they need to do so,” said Molly Malone, an interviewer for I Too Am UGA.
After the event, attendees can stay for a short talk with the students in the videos and discuss their stories and the effect of racial microaggressions on our campus.
“Following the videos, we will have a discussion about the project. This will be about why it’s important to tell stories and how cool it is that we, as students, at our young age, are able share our experiences effectively,” Brown said.
“[The discussion] is a good way to get things out publicly and in a safe environment in order to discuss those things told within the interviews and within campus communities,” said Vernessa Clemons, founder of I Too Am UGA.
This campaign is about awareness and giving a voice to students around campus.
“There are people that are younger than me or the same age who don’t feel included, who deal with racial microaggressions on campuses and elsewhere," Clemons said. "This event is to show that there is still a need for a voice of the youth."
The creators of this project at the University are hoping for an even larger effect after the event on Friday. The main populations they hope to attract to the event are the victims of microaggressions and students unaware of the issue’s presence on campus.
“Some of the benefits we want are raising awareness among the population that isn’t experiencing micro-aggression and starting prevention of micro-aggression among the suffering population,” Malone said.
There are plans to continue extension of this project and its purpose, both on campus and around the country.
“I hope that SGA will extend the project and send a message to other schools and nationally. What we’re doing is we’re taking strides towards a more open and inclusive campus. We need a movement towards that direction,” Brown said. “Ultimately, I’m hoping some sort of healing occurs through what we’re doing.”