#WeNeedToTalk hosts dodgeball game Tuesday
By Erika Hollis
Student organization, #WeNeedToTalk will host a dodgeball game Tuesday at the Wellness Center. Attendees will defend their opinions and enjoy refreshments from 7-8:30 p.m. Admission is $2.
#WeNeedToTalk was founded in 2013 at Lander University and Director, Sharia Warren leads the second collegiate branch at USC Upstate.
How did you find out about this organization?
Sharia Warren: Allen Obi is a graduate from Lander University in Greenwood. The NAACP invited him to host a #WNTTALK discussion in the CLC Ballroom one night in January 2016. I attended the discussion because I was a member of the NAACP. After the discussion, I walked up to him, told him that I loved it, and he asked me to start a #WNTTALK here at Upstate.
How many affiliations of #WeNeedToTalk are there?
Warren: Currently, there is a WNTTALK at Lander and Valdosta State University. We are currently working towards adding some more campuses to the list so if you know anyone that would be interested in starting one on their campus let me know.
Why did you decide to start this student organization at USC Upstate?
Warren: When Allen first asked me to start #WNTTALK I turned him down because I did not believe I had the ability to start my own organization on campus by myself. After I found two people, Iman Lelani Johnson and Joseph Ali-Cassin, that’s when I decided to start the organization. I don’t believe I would’ve been able to do it without them.
What are some of the topics that you have discussed? Or want to discuss?
Warren: Last year we discussed topics based on diversity, gender roles, the true meaning of happiness, stereotypes, colorism, sex, chivalry, and a great range of other topics. This year it was suggested that we discuss religion, goals, body image, and many other things.
What are some of the events that #WeNeedToTalk has hosted or participated in?
Warren: We have held weekly discussions every Tuesday from 7-8:30 p.m. We hosted a voting discussion where Rep. Mitchell attended about whether it was important for our youth to vote or not in the 2016 election. We hosted an awards show during homecoming where we awarded students on campus for their talents in art, music, writing, community service, and theater, while having a dub-smash competition. We won best multicultural event on campus and homecoming event of the year.
What would you like students to get out of #WeNeedToTalk after they leave?
Warren: I would really like for students to feel that it is important to sit down and have mature conversation with our peers whether they agree or disagree with one another. I would also like for students to feel comfortable while we have these types of conversations. Going beyond what and who we know can be difficult at times but having a sense of understanding amongst our peers can one day unite us in ways that separate us.