Coming Soon to California State University, Los Angeles:

Contacts: Carol Selkin, CSLA Public Affairs, (323) 343-3050
OR --ism (n.) national contact Kristen Wolf, 202-778-1460

Coming Soon to Cal State L.A.: --ism(n.)
Cal State L.A. Chosen to Participate in National Video Project Exploring and Documenting Diversity on Campus

Los Angeles, November 29, 1995 -- This spring, California State University, Los Angeles will offer a course, Documentary Television Production, where students will learn the necessary skills to produce short documentary productions based on the theme, "diversity on our campus and in our community." This class is being offered in conjunction with a national project, --ism (n.), which is taking place on 12 campuses this fall.

--ism (n.) is a national project that will use video documentary techniques in classroom settings as a tool to explore diversity issues in innovative ways. It will offer gritty, constructive, and compelling stories about the tough issues of racism, sexism, classism, and other "isms" we face in our increasingly diverse nation. California State University, Los Angeles will receive a grant from --ism (n.) to conduct this course.

"The theme of 'diversity on our campus and in our community' will be the focus of the class. This may cause students to confront issues that are uncomfortable or even frightening," says Ivan Cury, Assistant Professor of Communications Studies, who teaches the course. He adds, "The students won't be infiltrating gangs or bungee jumping, but they will be encouraged to create videos that are emotionally involving. I believe the results of the class will provide insights into our prejudices and perspectives for both students and audiences."

Video footage will be created by the students throughout the spring semester. Ultimately the footage will be used, along with footage from other campuses, in a nationwide broadcast scheduled to air in October 1996.

--ism (n.) was conceived 18 months ago by young leaders who traveled around the country, talking with students about their biggest concerns for American society. The issue of diversity was clearly the most important and volatile issue on their minds. The young traveling leaders identified the need for new, more engaging approaches for addressing diversity.

The project's four main goals are to: 1) address diversity issues in new ways using the video documentary process as an educational tool, 2) strengthen teaching related to diversity, 3) help students become more reflective about their attitudes towards diversity and their self-interest, and 4) create constructive public dialogue on diversity issues and build better student relations in this time of heightened tension on college campuses.

Other campuses participating in --ism (n.) projects are Community College of Denver, Dartmouth College, Loyola University Chicago, North Carolina Central University, Oregon State, University of North Carolina, Pitzer College, Southwest Texas State, Tulane University, University of Maryland, and University of Utah.

For more information please contact: Ivan Cury, Assistant Professor, Cal State L.A., at (323) 343-4360; Fax: (323) 343-6467. The --ism (n.) project was initiated and supported by the Ford Foundation.

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