Filmmaker Lee Mun Wah visits campus

Lee Mun Wah
Lee Mun Wah

April 4, 2013 - The University hosted a screening of "If These Halls Could Talk," a documentary film series about 11 college students and their conversations about diversity issues in higher education April 3. Lee Mun Wah, the renowned Chinese American documentary filmmaker who directed the film, led a discussion following the screening.

"If These Halls Could Talk" tackles issues such as the achievement gap,the retention of students and faculty of color on predominantly white campuses, white privilege, classism, homophobia  and racism. In addition, the movie explores whether college faculty and staff are prepared for the influx of students from various backgrounds and whether they're ready to handle diversity issues and conflicts that arise on campus and in the classroom.

"In the process of sharing their stories and different life experiences with each other, these students exposed the complexity and anguish that accompany those experiences, while trying to be understood and validated in a predominantly white environment," Mun Wah said. "Their stories are starkly emotional and the issues they provoke are equally perplexing, begging to be heard and confronted."

In addition to being a documentary filmmaker, Mun Wah is the executive director of Stirfry Seminars & Consulting, a diversity training company that provides educational tools and workshops on issues pertaining to cross-cultural communication and awareness, mindful facilitation and conflict mediation techniques.

Mun Wah also is an author, poet, Asian folk teller, educator, community therapist and master diversity trainer. For more than 25 years, he was a resource specialist and counselor in the San Francisco Unified School District. He later became a consultant to private schools, working with students that had severe learning and behavioral issues.

This event was sponsored by the School of Education, College of Arts and Sciences, Student Affairs, the Office of Multicultural and Global Education, and the Albert Schweitzer Institute.