Race, worldviews and misconceptions are being addressed tonight in the International House through the feature documentary, "Crossing Borders."
"I think 'Crossing Borders' can act as a springboard to get people talking," said Amanda McRoy, on-campus recruiter for the Peace Corps. "It allows you to see things from multiple perspectives, which is not something we see or have the ability to look into for ourselves."
The film tracks eight students — four Americans and four Moroccans. The two groups hold negative views of one another based on the prejudices and assumptions they have surrounding each other's cultures.
The students live together in Morocco and are forced to confront many of the misjudgments they have previously formed of the opposing culture.
"This film portrays multiple perspectives on what motivates people and explains their actions and emotions," McRoy said. "It was nice to see the students processing what was said rather than being closed off.
"A comfortable and safe environment is cultivated in the film and these people actually take the time to ask hard questions and listen to one another."
The international film focuses on the mistrust of Muslims which some Americans may hold.
"During my Peace Corps service there was a Muslim neighborhood in my village and I ended doing a few projects in conjunction with a women's group from that neighborhood," McRoy said. "We had a lot of very interesting conversations about their beliefs and their feelings on the prejudices that others have against them."
McRoy is confident that opportunities such as the screening open a wider conversation on campus about prejudices and acts a great start to learning more. Mark Bryant, director of the International House, agreed with McRoy.
"Two years ago I was at a national conference where they were screening 'Crossing Borders,'" he said. "What will be appealing is the fact that young people will be wrestling with prejudices.
"There is power in hearing story and in a different way than facts, not better or worse, but this is a narrative and a chronicle of student experience."
Bryant previously taught abroad in Kosovo for a year. According to him, there are plenty of similarities between the predominantly Muslim country. One of the main things Bryant noticed is hospitality, which is a big part of the culture. When asked what preconceptions Muslims might hold of America, Bryant referenced pop culture as a large part of how foreigners measure Americans.
"Sometimes you may not agree," Bryant said, "but you get a better idea of why something is, and you are so quick to make a judgment."
Bryant said connecting students to international cultures was one of the highlights of his job description.
"There are many amazing aspects to higher education," Bryant said, "but helping students to see and experience the world and other cultures, for me I can't imagine a more enjoyable job to spend my time doing."
Timothy Green, a junior in commuication studies, admitted his jealousy towards those portrayed in the film.
"I'm envious of the four American students, it seems like it would be a gratifying experience and to have someone who hold the other point of view with you at all times," Green said. "If there are stereotypes and stigmas about Americans that Moroccans have it would be really interesting to begin to understand what those really are.
"You can use what you learn to apply to your life and giving foreigners an authentic perception of what an Americans' is."
The screening is free and will be held in the International House Community room at 6:30 p.m. and is open to all students.