The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NE shoots diversity training video

By Terry Webster/reporter

A new Tarrant County College video on diversity issues is designed to communicate a powerful, yet non-threatening message.

The video, filmed last week on NE Campus, places voices and faces on stories of people who were hurt by insensitive comments, said Nydia Gonzalez, associate vice chancellor for institutional diversity.

Perspectives from a range of ethnic backgrounds — Hispanic, black, Middle Eastern, Asian and white — are represented in the video.

Also represented are gay people and those with learning or physical challenges.

During filming, an actress portraying a student talked about some people falsely assuming everyone from the Middle East is a radical.

In another scenario, a woman in a wheelchair talked about a lack of access in certain places and her belief that her competence is sometimes questioned.

Eleanor Forfang-Brockman, an English as a second language continuing education instructor on South Campus, portrayed a female staff member who is in a wheelchair because of a progressive neurological disease.

Her voice wavered with emotion at one point during taping Oct. 15. Although Forfang-Brockman was acting the part, some of the issues still hit home.

“I have a colleague who is in a wheelchair,” she said after the taping. “She is one of the people I respect the most.”

As an ESL teacher, Forfang-Brockman has also seen the struggles from that perspective. Students who are sometimes asked to complete paperwork in English are just one example, she said.

It’s important to reflect on diversity because it can impact the climate for students and staff, Gonzalez said. Certain attitudes are not only hurtful, but they can hinder a student’s chance for academic success, she said.

“This places the issues on the table in a non-threatening way,” she said.

After coming to TCC in March, Gonzalez began working to assess what the college is doing right on diversity issues and where improvements are needed.

Part of that assessment involved hiring a consulting firm to survey a cross-section of students, faculty and staff on diversity issues.

All of the interviews were conducted anonymously.

The stories were gathered and compiled into scripts that represent a composite of the issues uncovered during the interviews.

Then auditions were held, and students and staff were chosen to read the scripts.

Those who actually had the hurtful experiences are not in the video. A couple of people in the video were hired from a talent agency.

College leaders and selected community members will preview the video during a diversity conference in mid-November.

Other plans include using the video as a training tool for new students and employees.

“It will be powerful to see a face with these stories,” said John Gonzales, instructional television manager on NE Campus.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian