Nov 1, 2012
By George Mauzy
For the second consecutive year, Ohio University student group Students Teaching About Racism in Society (STARS) has attracted national media attention for its Halloween awareness campaign, "We're A Culture, Not A Costume."
The campaign was created last year to bring awareness to racism through its Halloween posters and create dialogue on topics that are hard for many people to talk about.
Each poster features an Ohio University student sitting next to an image of someone dressed in a racially or socially insensitive Halloween costume. Each poster includes this year's slogan, "YOU WEAR THE COSTUME FOR ONE NIGHT. I WEAR THE STIGMA FOR LIFE."
The posters are designed to discourage Halloween participants from impersonating these common stereotypes.
After receiving national attention last year from media outlets such as NBC, CNN, Fox News, ABC News and The Huffington Post, the STARS poster campaign once again received national attention. The 2012 poster campaign has been covered by CNN, Colorlines, Fox News and USA Today College.
Laura Hyde, STARS public relations chair, said this year's campaign was expanded to include a new stereotype, Appalachian people.
"This one (Appalachian stereotype) has gotten the most attention this year so far," Hyde said. "Much like last year, we have received both positive and negative feedback about the campaign, but we have gone to a few classrooms since releasing these posters and students have told us that these posters really made them think and not wear offensive costumes."
Hyde said STARS is not an organization that was created to fix the world, but instead is designed to promote critical thinking about issues of marginalization and oppression.
"This campaign was created to address how these costumes are a reflection of the oppression that these different groups face constantly in our society," Hyde said. "We know that not everyone will get something out of our posters, we just hope that if nothing else, we can get people to think."
For more information about STARS and the poster campaign, click here.