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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Ray of hope

 
 

The Texas A&M administration’s recent push toward campus diversity has called into question what it really means to be diverse.
Thursday night, A&M students, faculty and staff gained more insight into diversity with the “American Voices” program, hosted by the Memorial Student Center Current Issues Awareness Committee.
“We’ve all become rigid mosaics, every little color in its own right place,” said performer Monique Toliver. “We can no longer be satisfied with the mosaic.”
Toliver, along with Sean Moran, performed the play “American Voices” for an audience of about 30 people as part of the “Campus With a Dream” program. The program is a one-person skit featuring nine characters from various ethnic, cultural, sexual, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.
The program features a series of monologues from an illiterate Latino man, a Muslim Arab-American woman, a college-age Asian-American female with an eating disorder, a Native American lawyer, a black male on death row, a homosexual Christian preacher, a white Neo-Nazi female and a deaf American.
Through the voices of the characters, Toliver preached acceptance and understanding of all cultures to preserve the legacy of those killed in the Sept. 11 World Trade Center bombings. Toliver said that a great variety of ethnicities and cultures were represented in the group of people who died that day, mirrorin America’s diversity.
“We’ve always been a World Trade Center, and that is America’s best kept secret,” Toliver said as the program concluded.
Moran said the performers have received a variety of feedback from audiences.
“People have been angry to ecstatic,” Moran said. “People walk out, people get angry and people cry. It really varies with the audience.”
Toliver and Moran perform the program for universities and high schools nationwide. All of the characters are based on real Americans interviewed across the country and the characters are constantly updated to keep the program fresh and current, Moran said.
“This program is like Pandora’s box,” Moran said. “If you open it up, all of these things will come out, but in the end there is also this ray of hope.”

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