I Am TCNJ Docu-Story is a documentary project exploring students’ experiences at The College of New Jersey. While the project consists of multiple interviews, you may find it helpful to explore the content by following a specific theme (i.e. Sense of Belonging, Microaggressions, etc.) or by identifying the title of respective interviews. It should be noted that all of the interviews cover a range of topics and the ultimate grouping of videos by theme and the various titles assigned to each interview should be viewed as subjectively descriptive.
The American Dream
The American Dream is the belief that any American citizen who works hard enough, has an equal right and access to achieve prosperity and happiness, regardless of where or in what circumstances they were born.
An assumption is something that is accepted as factual, even in the absence of supporting evidence. Assumptions often go unchallenged because they have been widely accepted for long periods of time.
Classroom experiences may occur within or outside of traditional places designated as school settings. Classroom experiences include formal or informal interaction that is intended to provide instruction; a teaching/learning dynamic.
Institutional racism is evidenced by the existence of policies and deeply embedded practices that disproportionately limit and/or harm people of color while simultaneously privileging others. Institutional racism tends to manifests through the inequitable application of penalties. It also manifests through the establishment of “success” criteria that are less attainable for people of color due to systemic barriers inherent to the institutional and broader societal spheres.
The social identities of people are multifaceted (e.g. gender, age, race). While in some cultures, certain identity factors (e.g. being young and fit) may be valued and viewed as positive, others may be seen as negative (e.g. being elderly and obese) and subsequently separately or collectively, targeted for discriminatory acts. The intersectionality of identities exposes the individual to multiple layers of discrimination.
Microaggressions are intentional or unintentional acts (verbal, nonverbal, and/or visual) that insult, demean, and/or threaten individuals from a specific demographic group. Microaggressions may occur as micro-assaults, micro-insults, and microinvalidations and are cumulative in negative impact.
Race: The Interpersonal Context
Race is a socially constructed concept that uses variations in skin color and arbitrarily selected physical characteristics to divide people and impact interpersonal connections among humans.
Sense of Belonging
A sense of belonging is the degree to which a person feels connected to others with whom she/he/they share space. Human beings have a basic need to feel included and integral within a system or environment.
Stereotypes are beliefs and generalizations used to provide overly simplistic, typically negative, definitions of groups. Stereotypes ascribe behavioral, attitudinal, and moral characteristics onto individuals based upon the beliefs held about the broader identity group to which she/he/they may belong.
Where Do We Begin?
Students address the recurring question of how do we become situationally aware and how we can begin to broaden our understanding of these complex issues.