Manchester University
Oak Leaves

October 6, 2018

Power Hours Offer Space for Powerful Talks

Samantha Bontrager


Power Hours, hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), address controversial topics during an animated, one-hourlong discussion session.

Michael Dixon, director of Intercultural Services, International Student Advisor and Chief Diversity Officer, explains their function. “Each Multicultural Affairs Programmer (MAP) is required to do one Power Hour program each semester they are employed in the Office of Multicultural Affairs,” he said.

On Sunday, October 14, at 5 p.m., Nuhamin Tesfay will host a Power Hour entitled “Stereotypes: truth by definition or malarkey?” A stereotype can be defined as a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing. This Power Hour will look at the use of stereotyping and the impact that stereotyping has on subgroups.

Tesfay will ask and discuss two main questions during the session. The first of these two is “Do certain stereotypes contain truth?” The second, which ties into the first, is “Does that make them okay to be used?”

With the new access to the Jean Childs Young Intercultural Center, these types of conversations can now begin to happen more frequently and in a well-appointed space on campus. Dixon’s hope is to bring rich conversation and campus-wide growth that starts on an individual level and seeps out into the whole campus.

On Sunday, October 21, at 5 p.m., Angie Gonsiorowski will host the second Power Hour for the month of October entitled “Does society discriminate against people with disabilities?” This Power Hour will look at the history of discrimination against those in our society with disabilities. To avoid only focusing on negative topics, this Power Hour’s MAP will also look at the positive ways society has adapted everyday life to make things more inclusive for individuals with special needs. This Power Hour will also take place in the Jean Childs Young Intercultural Center.