Lunch and learn talks costumes, cultural appropriation

Social Justice Rapid Response hosted a lunch and learn discussing Halloween costumes and cultural appropriation on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

Students discussed what they saw in costume trends and what’s appropriate when dressing up for Halloween.

Social work senior Angel Gomez talked about how his daughter’s preschool was having a pajama day instead of allowing students to wear costumes to school to ensure appropriateness.

“I feel that having a pajama day is a very inclusive idea,” Gomez said. “Not everyone celebrates Halloween or can afford a costume.”

Those who attended the session discussed what could be done to prevent students from wearing culturally appropriative costumes.

Much of the conversation fell back onto education about cultural sensitivity.

“I would like to see more education about cultures in school,” Gomez said. “I feel that people will then be less likely to pick an offensive costume.”

The lunch and learn session also brought light to confronting those who are wearing an appropriating costume.

Students talked about strategies for informing others when their costumes are racist or culturally offensive.

Social Justice Rapid Response plans to host biweekly talks for the remainder of the semester. Their next session will address topics relevant to Thanksgiving.

“We choose topics that are current so people can apply them to every day,” Gomez said.

The goal is to educate students and allow open discussion about subjects that are sometimes difficult to talk about.

“The whole idea is to offer a respectful place to share ideas, knowledge and resources with people interested,” Gomez said.

Melissa Vennix
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