Students from diverse backgrounds showed unity through many activities on gender difference at the “Battle of the Sexes” MIC event.
Image by Justin Brown

The Multicultural and International Club (MIC) sponsored an interactive discussion about gender differences titled “Battle of the Sexes.”

Justin Brown, CEO and president of Diversity Awareness Program (DAP) visited campus on Saturday, November 4 to lead the event. His most recent appearance at King’s was for a discussion on the Black Lives Matter movement last February.

Brown kicked off the event with activities about gender differences. He gave the students several adjectives to describe men and women, and the students had to describe their viewpoints.

The students learned from this activity that men and women have different opinions about which gender is more submissive, how a mother or father is defined, and other social issues.

Next, Brown ask if chivalry is really dead. Many students were not exactly sure based on their definitions, but Brown explained that chivalry oculd be defined as having respect for one another. He thought that society has drawn away from the civilized notions of respect and courtesy to form self-centered ideas about themselves.

The next game Brown initiated was called “Please Don’t Hit on Me.” Six students, three of each gender, were asked to reach the same objective of setting up a date, but some succeeded more than others. Brown wanted students to realize that men and women have different perspectives on dating .

It was also the favorite activity of Vanessa Yao, a junior mass communications student at King’s. She said the game “showed how different men and women get to the same goal, and in the case of the exercise, some people were more tame than others.”

Part of Brown’s presentation challenged students to count how many “F’s” were in the sentence, “Finished files are the result of years of scientific study, combined with the experience of years.”

Many, including junior Ida Dumbaya, correctly answered six, but some forgot to count the “F’s” in “of.”

“It showed different perspectives, because even though we read the same thing, we view things differently,” Dumbaya said. “That is how life is.”

The next activity involved two students, one of each gender, and two more students that served as their consciences. The first students had to do what the instructor told them to do, but there were times in which the activity may not have been deemed appropriate, and it was up to them to determine if the action was necessary.

Throughout all of the activities, many of the students drew examples from historic and current constructs that fit in the discussion and its goals of unity.

There was also an important discussion about the difference between standing and kneeling for the national anthem, which has been a highly debated topic ever since NFL players began kneeling in protest at games.

Although many people are all for one side or another, Brown believes dialectical thinking is necessary to reach a solution.

“Everyone needs to have both sides talk about it [the anthem protests]; we need everyone to step up and be active participants,” Brown said.

The talk garnered positive feedback from students. Many of the students appeared enthused with all the activities Brown presented.

“Justin has a very good presenting style attract attention,” said senior Liz Novak, who has experienced Brown’s presentations in the past.
Another student who was satified with Brown’s presentation style was freshman Zoe Smith.

“I loved how it was so interactive, and everyone had their own views. I got to know someone else not just because of the color of their skin,” Smith said.

Finally, Brown showed his love for King’s, which he has visited in what has become an annual basis.

“It is a second family to me. Students are more diverse than people think,” he said.

Brown is a well-known diversity instructor. He has directed the DAP since its inception in 2007, and is the author of the 2017 book “UGH!?! Not Another Diversity Book.” He has visited more than 300 higher institutions since he started the program and has more than 25 chapters of diversity awareness set within those higher institutions.

More information about the program is available at www.facebook.com/Diversityaware/ and at www.diversityawareness.wix.com/program.