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BEND, OR -- The Season of Nonviolence is underway at Central Oregon Community College. COCC’s Director of Multicultural Activities Karen Roth says the first big event called “What’s In a Label” will be facilitated by Ann Su (pictured), "She’s a public interest lawyer and a community activist and her conversation is going to explore how the words that we choose can influence understanding of diversity or stereotypes."


Roth says it’s important to be aware of our own misconceptions, "This whole notion of labeling and stereotyping is actually something that we all do around all kinds of things." But, she says, that doesn’t make it Okay, "There’s something in our brain that wants us to categorize things; it makes it easier to navigate our day to day lives. But, when we take those labels and we apply them to everyone who’s a member of that group, that’s when it’s dangerous." She tells KBND News, "Sure; do we have the right to say most word that we want to say? But, if we want to have a respectful interaction with each other, choosing words that are more respectful to describe our communities is going to allow us to have a better interaction with each other."
The “What’s In a Label” discussion starts at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, at Wille Hall on COCC’s Bend campus. It's free and open to the public, although reservations are suggested. Click HERE for details. 
COCC's Season of Nonviolence is now in its tenth year. It started as a way for the college to honor Martin Luther King Junior, and has since expanded to include the human rights work of others, including Gandhi and Cesar Chavez. Click HERE for a list of other events in this year's series. 

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