Consciousness Rising will empower, raise awareness

By: Laney Gibson, Chief A&E Writer

The world is a huge, complex place. Finding your place and how you can do your part to help our world is an intimidating task, especially when it seems that if you are not a human rights expert or an outspoken lobbyist, there is little that can be done. The media can be negative, spouting out problem after problem while barely scratching the surface on any solutions or a realistic way to make an impact. Consciousness Rising, March 20-22, is an eye-opening event that aims to empower each student with the awareness that they can make a difference.

At first, I had only a small idea about what Consciousness Rising was. I knew it was an event on campus that had something to do with human rights. However, after speaking with the president, senior marketing major Erin Peery, and vice president, junior history major Tim Kraft, I was thoroughly impressed with both the event as a whole, and the dedication and hard work that went in to creating this amazing event.

Consciousness Rising focuses on three main tracks: Sex Trafficking and the Hyper-Sexualization of Culture, The Invisibility of Privilege: Racial Divides in America, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The event kicks off with a talk by Dr. Walter S. DeKeseredy in Sears Recital Hall today, March 20, at 6 p.m. The event continues through Saturday, March 22. There is a concert tomorrow, March 20, featuring recording country artist Eric Hutchinson, Remedy and the Leap Years at the RecPlex beginning at 6 p.m. The full schedule in detail can be found online on the Consciousness Rising web page, www.udayton.edu/students/consciousness_rising/#6.

At River Campus on Saturday, March 22, exhibitions will feature each of the three tracks. The exhibitions are a complete sensory experience where students will be immersed in each issue. As Kraft and Peery explained one of the exhibitions from last year, I was already planning how I was going to get everyone I know to attend. They created an entire exhibition on American obsession with chocolate, showing how the media has left the public uninformed on how it is produced – there was even a life sized hut to show how those who produced chocolate lived.

One of the most inspiring parts about this particular event is the message that it sends.

“CR is tailored towards every single major in every school at UD,” Peery said. “We just have this hope and this vision that everyone can leave empowered and a strong sense of how their own specific talents can make an impact. “

Unlike other events, Consciousness Rising offers solutions alongside awareness. At the end of each exhibit, there is a “What Now?” portion that shows how each student can make a difference.

“The important thing about all this, you wont go out of it feeling guilty,” Kraft said. “It’s meant to be something to
empower students and raise awareness.”

From speakers to music to the incredible exhibitions, there is something for each person at Consciousness Rising. The event is one of the more creative and intensive experiences for UD students and should absolutely not be missed.

To get involved, visit the UD Consciousness Rising Facebook page and contact Erin Peery at peerye1@udayton.edu or Tim Kraft at kraftt2@udayton.edu.