BLACK VOICES
10/08/2014 12:13 pm ET Updated Oct 08, 2014

This School Is Way Into Diversity (On Its Promotional Materials, Anyway)

Welcome to Winchester University, the "third most diverse private school that begins with the letter W."

OK, fine, so the school isn't actually real, but this clip -- promoting "Dear White People," an upcoming satirical film about tokenism and being black in majority white environments -- makes a powerful point about the lack of racial diversity on some college campuses and communities across the country.

"It's part of Winchester's mission statement to prepare our students for a global community," the fictional vice president of admissions says in the clip above. "So it's very important that they interact with the same amount of people of color that they would outside of our school. Two, three, even up to four blacks on a regular basis."

Joking aside, it's important to recognize the disparity between the way a school might advertise itself and the real experience a student of color might have on campus.

Research by Tim Pippert, a sociologist at Augsburg College in Minnesota, shows predominantly white schools tend to heavily depict diversity in their promotional materials.

"When we looked at African-Americans in those schools that were predominantly white, the actual percentage in those campuses was only about 5 percent of the student body," Pippert told NPR news in December 2013. "They were photographed at 14.5 percent."

As one way to get the conversation started about this lack of diversity on campuses, the filmmakers of "Dear White People" have started #TokenTuesday, a trend that involves posting photos in which a person appears to be the token black friend.

Like this:

"Tokenization is real indeed," Mic's Derrick Clifton writes. "But what matters most is making sure anyone from a different background is included, appreciated and affirmed, not objectified or turned into a diversity prop."

H/T Dear White People

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Diversity
CONVERSATIONS