CDI movie viewings promote representation

Brian Luck

Contributing Writer

On Tuesday, Feb. 18, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), Dean of Students Office and Allen Scholars provided College of Wooster students with the opportunity to see a free, private screening of the new movie “The Photograph.” CDI provided free transportation to the Wooster Cinemark for this event as well.

“The Photograph” follows the story of Mae Morton (Issa Rae) as she uncovers aspects of her deceased, estranged mother’s early life thanks to a photograph found in a safe-deposit box. On her jour- ney, she and journalist Michael Block (LaKeith Stanfield) begin their love story. Two parallel plots in different time periods follow Mae and Michael, as well as Christina, played by Chanté Adams. The film is rated PG-13 and received a 76 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Amanda Anastasia Paniagua, director of Multicultural Student Affairs in CDI, noted that “The Photograph” was a great choice for a Wooster private screening.

“Representation matters,” she said. “A film starring two black leads is significant. It is Black History Month, and the film screening was after Valentine’s Day weekend. Love is universal.”

Paniagua also emphasized the importance of providing students with opportunities like free movie screenings as a means of strengthening the campus community. “I have background in the arts and truly believe that art — in its many forms — is a means to bring people together from different backgrounds,” she said. CDI and the Dean of Students Office work together frequently, putting on different events throughout the year and placing emphasis on the students themselves. The private screening of “The Photograph” represented a partnership of these two groups, along with the Allen Scholars, in order to create an accessible experience for the entirety of the Wooster student body.

“The event idea came out of an Allen Scholars meeting as a way to create visibility for the Allen Scholars, but also provide the larger student body an opportunity to share a common experience — what better way than a movie?” Paniagua said. “I have been working very closely with Allen Scholars since my arrival in November 2018 and am ex- tremely grateful for the support from CDI and the Dean of Students Office.”

The Allen Scholarship acted as a direct response to the 1989 Galpin Sit-In to increase the African-American student popu- lation of Wooster. Named after Clarence Beecher Allen, the first African-American student to graduate from The College of Wooster in 1892, the scholarship awards up to $37,000 to African-American students each year they attend The College of Wooster.

Paniagua encourages all students to email cdi@wooster. edu or visit CDI in Babcock Hall if they have questions, ideas or suggestions for other events. She also suggests that students “Slide into [CDI’s] DMs” on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.