Student Conversation: John Wayne Exhibit

October 2, 2019, 6:30-8:00pm

SCI 106

Dear SCA Students,

The John Wayne exhibit has produced debate within our SCA community. Last semester, the SCA Council for Diversity & Inclusion heard from students, faculty and staff and discussed different options for the exhibit, ranging from reimagining the display through the lens of current scholarship and critiques of John Wayne, and the Western genre more generally, to dismantling the exhibit altogether. Given last Friday’s protest in which two students requested for the exhibit to be removed, we need to come together and discuss what is best for our SCA community.

The exhibit brings to the foreground important questions about how to deal with historical artifacts and the legacies of racism associated with iconic aspects of the film industry. Our values as an inclusive community are predicated on the idea that our student population needs to be heard and have a say about our SCA environment, especially when information comes to light that changes how we relate to it. We want students to have input and think deeply about how to deal with racist and problematic historical figures. Therefore, I will be hosting a conversation for SCA students on Wednesday from 6:30-8:00 p.m. in SCI 106 to address these issues. The discussion will be a student-only event to listen to various perspectives and produce recommendations to SCA leadership for dealing with the John Wayne exhibit.

I have spoken with SCA leadership and there is not only unanimous agreement that student input is integral, but also that we must act now to make every effort to resolve this challenge this semester.  Since this conversation is about the culture of SCA, we ask that only SCA students attend. Pizza will be served, so please RSVP to reserve space.  Together we form the SCA community, and to be truly inclusive we must participate and engage. The goal for this student discussion is to create a safe space for candid discussion.

The SCA Council for Diversity and Inclusion is an opportunity to be involved with our efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as a platform for students, staff and faculty to advocate for shared values. The SCA Council for Diversity and Inclusion is a group that is open to everyone in the SCA community. For more information on our initiatives and monthly meetings, please email diversity@cinema.usc.edu.

Thank You,

Evan Hughes

Interim Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion

USC School of Cinematic Arts

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Contact Information

Name: Evan Hughes
Email: diversity@cinema.usc.edu