UprootED sheds light on serious topics

The darker a person’s skin is, the worse they have it, no matter their ethnic group. 

That was just one of the revelations from a presentation Wednesday by Timothy Berry, interim associate vice president for faculty affairs and equity initiatives. Berry’s talk was part of the Interactive Theater of Isms show. This was a two-part talk show called “UprootED,” where audience members participated actively in the experience. The speakers performed as characters, but their stories were true. 

Beth Beschorner, associate director of Equity Initiatives in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, was one of eight speakers at the shows. She said performing made her nervous and pushed her outside her comfort zone. 

Despite that, she said she hopes students got a lot out of these shows. 

“Theater or role-playing gives the audience a different type of learning opportunity than a traditional lecture or workshop. The audience is often able to make deeper connections to this type of presentation style because it is engaging and realistic,” said Beschorner. “I hope that students, faculty and staff saw themselves and others in some of the characters and think about what that means for them personally so that they can reflect on their own next steps in advancing equity, inclusion, and justice on campus.” 

Speaker Dani Scott, an associate professor in communication studies and disorders, said speaking at this event during Black History Month was important to her as a woman of color as they discussed anti-blackness. 

“We have to learn and unlearn. If you do know about it, you might have learned a misconception, and most people have not learned about a lot of the things that we’ve been talking about,” said Scott. “To center topics that are foundational to DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) work, especially in higher ed, there’s a lot of red tape, so we don’t get to have very candid conversations often, so this just presents an opportunity to have those.” 

Sophia Lee was one of the students in the audience. She said she was there for extra credit as one of her professors was a speaker. She said she was engaged in the conversation. 

“It was eye-opening to have a show, but also some realism too. It was really interesting to watch,” said Lee. “Some of it kind of resonated with me, and some of it I definitely would maybe not see myself doing as much. That kind of led me to dive deeper into my thought process of how everything was going and how I interact with certain situations.”

Photo caption: Courtesy Roszina Scott

Write to Lauren Viska at

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