By Erin Hannon
Roanoke College’s Students for Equality Club hosted their first event of the year the last week of September and have many more scheduled for throughout the semester. The club screened the documentary Dark Girls, which was followed by a discussion session.
Dark Girls is a documentary that examines the prejudices and difficulties that dark-skinned women and girls face everyday. Western standards of beauty are limiting, and beauty ideals are often focused on people with light skin. The movie brought up issues like racism and ‘colorism’ and then revealed the detrimental effects that this can have on women and girls’ self esteem.
The documentary featured information and interviews from a variety of sources and included hard facts and figures as well as moving testimonies from dark-skinned women. Celebrities, like Emmy Award winner Viola Davis, shared their personal stories alongside other women and girls about what it was like to grow up facing such overwhelming obstacles.
These issues are not limited to just the United States, they also affect women all across the world, and the documentary was sure to point out how these issues also affect people in other continents like Africa and South America. The complex topic of this movie helps demonstrate Students for Equality’s focus on gender and its intersection with things like race or sexuality.
Students for Equality is a relatively new group on campus that focuses on promoting equality for everyone regardless of race, gender, sexuality or socio-economic status. The goal of the club is to support equality and to educate the Roanoke College about what it means to be a feminist and how we as a community can work to end the inequality that is so prevalent in the today’s society.
Every Tuesday night, the club meets to discuss and plan any upcoming events and, then talk about issues of inequality happening in the world. The club encourages discussion of topics that can sometimes be uncomfortable: things such as racism, sexism, homophobia, and more. It is a club that is open to everyone and it is always looking for new members.
For more information, feel free to join the Roanoke College Students for Equality Facebook page or find them on OrgSynch at Students for Equality. Also, make sure to keep an eye out for future events, because this documentary viewing is just the first of many events Students for Equality will be hosting this year.