Documentary hopes to educate on diversity



By Drew Teague

Students may know the “Candy Shop” tune by 50 Cent, but not all students know what the Appalshop is.

The Student Activities Board, with the help of Appalshop, a non-profit organization that, according to its Web site, aims to document, disseminate and revitalize the traditions and creativity of Appalachia, is putting on Cultural Diversity Week at UK. One of the cultures highlighted will be Appalachian culture.

The CSI Smart Classroom of the Student Center will host a viewing of the documentary “Sludge” with the creator, Robert Salyer, in attendance as part of the Diversity Dialogues event.

Jasmine Whitlow, a journalism junior and director of multicultural affairs for SAB, is in charge of planning this event.

“We chose Appalachian culture because some UK students are from Appalachia,” Whitlow said.

The documentary will show Kentucky and Appalachian culture through recent events and looking at Kentucky’s top export, coal. It views the aftermath of a spill, a trial and threat of coal sludge ponds forming in the area, according to the documentary’s Web site.

After the screening of the movie, SAB will hold a panel discussion on various topics from the documentary to sustainability in the region.

“We will be talking about Appalachian culture and the stereotypes that people have about the culture,” Whitlow said.

Whitlow said panelists from student organizations like Greenthumb and the Robinson Scholars will be at the viewing, and said the event is important for UK’s campus because of the promotion of cultural diversity.

“One of the core values of Appalshop is to promote cultural diversity in a creative fashion, and it is important to discuss things of this nature,” Whitlow said.

Because UK has a wide variety of students from all over the state, Whitlow said it is good to educate students on places different students are from.

“We want to educate campus on issues going on in places where our students are from and what is going on right in Kentucky,” Whitlow said.

The documentary will be shown Tuesday at 7 p.m.