Culture Shock to use hypnosis to highlight racism, stereotypes


Culture Shock

What: Racial Hypnosis

Where: Student Center Ball Room

When: Doors open at 7 p.m.

Attendees of Tuesday's Culture Shock will get a chance to be hypnotized to take on a new racial, gender or social identity.

The event will showcase the two directors, Patrick Head and Darnell Wilson, and hypnotist Chuck King gathering audience participants to engage in “racial hypnosis,” according to the Culture Shock website.

Head and Wilson will ask for audience participants to get hypnotized. Through the hypnosis, the participants will take on a new racial, gender or social identity, said Ro-Anne Royer Engle, director of the Multicultural Center.

“We started Culture Shock when were students in 2006 because there was a lot of racial tension on the campus that we were at [River Valley] and we didn’t know how to handle the tension. So we started it then. And we thought, ‘What if we hypnotize students to think they’re a different race or gender?'” Head said.

Culture Shock uses cultural hypnosis to highlight racial, social and economic stereotypes and sets up a framework for breaking down stereotypes that are unique to Ball State, Head said.

“We send out a survey for every school. We feel that it’s important to get the voice of the student. If we see that there’s a lot of responses and it’s more about financial inequality or gender issues, we will touch on those a little longer,” said Head.

Head and Wilson sent out a survey to students, staff and employees of Ball State that identified which stereotypes are common here, Engle said.

Engle discovered Culture Shock at a conference she attended in May.

“I thought it was a really good idea to have them here. [Stereotypes] are a difficult topic to breach and Patrick and Darnell use the hypnosis to make it funny. It makes people laugh but it also makes people think,” Engle said.

Engle decided to reach out to other multicultural organizations on campus to include them in the event. When Engle reached out to the Presidents of ‘The Big 4’, which are the Black Student Association, Spectrum, Latino Student Union and Spectrum agreed that it would be fun and educational. Culture Shock is expected to have many participants.

“I’m hoping for a lot of participation,” said Engle, “We’re having it in the Student Center ballroom which is set up for 200. I think it’ll be a really good environment to engage students.”

Head said the goal of the event is to create an environment that is light, fun and entertaining but also creates conversations about tense subjects among students.

“It all stems from trying to find a space that’s safe to talk about race that doesn’t come from personal opinion, research or somebody’s own ideals, instead it comes from the students,” Head said.

Doors will open to the Culture Shock event at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the L.A. Pittenger Student Center.


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