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Cal Poly produces 'My Culture is Not a Costume' video

My Culture is Not a Costume video on YouTube

An official Cal Poly Greek system event last Halloween season caused reaction over what many saw as a racially insensitive party theme. In response, an effort on campus this year has a very different approach.

Cal Poly's University Diversity and Inclusivity (UDI) staff members partnered with the Cross-Cultural Centers to make a video called "My Culture is Not a Costume."

It features some faculty and students, including members of Greek life and Cal Poly athletics.

Annie Holmes is the Executive Director of the UDI and initiated the video and says it intentionally doesn't mention Halloween to encourage people to be mindful about costumes that could be offensive to someone's identity beyond this holiday.

She says they approached the topic widely, discussing race, ethnicity, culture, gender and sexual orientation.

"Someone's identity is very near and dear to who they are," said Holmes. "So to make fun of someone's identity, especially an aspect of themselves, they cannot change, they have not control over, is something that can be harmful in our community."

The video was released Friday on YouTube and is a part of a wider campaign to combat cultural insensitivity.