Media Relations

Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Polly Burks
561-297-2595, pburks@fau.edu

FAU Debuts Website for South Florida Youth to Explore Contemporary Race Relations

BOCA RATON, FL (August 14, 2012) – Florida Atlantic University has debuted a new multimedia website on diversity titled The Race and Change Initiative Youth Outreach Project. The new site, sponsored by the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies in FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, includes a groundbreaking series of audio and video programs produced by and featuring college and high school students from Palm Beach County.

“The Race and Change Initiative Youth Outreach site gives young people a forum to tell their own experiences and concerns that we need to understand,” said Kitty Oliver, Ph.D., a race relations oral historian and adjunct communication professor at FAU. “FAU is the most culturally-diverse institution in the Florida state university system, and South Florida is the most diverse area in the country, so the voices of these young people represent a true 21st Century dialogue on the complexities of race today. Hopefully, we can continue producing more programs, and sharing them with educators and the community.”

Some of the recurring themes on the website include Caucasian students talking about encountering and confronting prejudice, Hispanic youth talking about language and generational differences, Jamaicans and Haitians sharing concerns about intra-racial conflicts while immigrants to the United States, in general, describe feeling like racial outsiders forced to choose sides. The site features interviews, personal reflections and archival oral histories of elders who came of age in the Civil Rights Movement-era. The student commentators were introduced to the Race and Change Dialogue strategy for talking about race in public forums like the media in a non-confrontational way developed by project director Oliver.

The Race and Change website offers free downloads of 46 audio podcasts and videos on race relations produced by and featuring FAU students and teenagers who represent a range of cultures not usually invited into the discussion of race. This includes some newer immigrant communities such as Guatemalans, Salvadorans, Brazilians, and Colombians. The stories, as well as transcripts and instructional activities, can be viewed and accessed on the site found at proteus.fau.edu/raceandchange/yop_comm forums.html and downloaded on FAU’s University iTunes and on YouTube.

The Youth Outreach Project is funded by a $32,000 Knight Foundation grant from the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties to the FAU Foundation.

For more information, contact Kitty Oliver, Ph.D. via email at koliver@fau.edu, or by visiting www.kittyoliveronline.com.

-FAU-

About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.

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