NOT YOUR STEREOTYPE

During times of the year where dressing up in costume is common, too often people choose culturally appropriative costumes that perpetuate racist stereotypes. Cultural appropriation is the act of taking certain elements of a culture or community with which you do not identify.

This act is typically manifested as someone from a dominant group taking elements of marginalized cultures for artificial or leisurely purposes and that undermine their cultural context and significance. The impacts of choosing to buy, make and wear a culturally appropriative costume are significant, including trivializing violent historical realities and ongoing struggles, as well as spreading stereotypes and falsehoods about marginalized communities.

In March of 2014, member Chasity Delorme reacted to a racist costume display from another university in her community with a creative social media campaign. The #notyourstereotype hashtag encourages Indigenous people to identify instances of cultural appropriation on their own terms and in their own words.