What I Be Project to Visit Mount Union

April 21, 2014

ALLIANCE, Ohio – Photographer Steve Rosenfield of the What I Be Project will be on the University of Mount Union’s campus April 23-25 meeting individually with Mount Union students, faculty and staff members.

The What I Be Project, which started out as a social experiment, has turned into a global movement of honesty and empowerment. Through discussion and photography, Rosenfield helps individuals of all ages reveal their darkest insecurities and empowers people to view their insecurity as a security.

“In today’s society, we are often told to look or act a certain way. If we differ from these ‘standards,’ we are often judged, ridiculed, bullied and sometimes, even killed over them,” said Rosenfield. “I started this project in hopes to open up the lines of communication, and to help everyone accept diversity with an open mind and heart and empower those who feel they suffer from something they may see as a flaw.”

While reading an article on HuffingtonPost.com about the project, Mount Union’s Dr. Sarah Torok-Gerard, associate professor of psychology and chair of the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, knew immediately she had to find a way to bring Rosenfield to campus. She said his project would tie in perfectly with her Psychology of Gender course and the learning objectives set forth for the class.

“In this class, we discuss not only the nature and meaning of gender roles, but also real-world stereotyping and the issues of oppression that come along with stereotyping,” she said. “I encourage my students to have open and honest conversations about the effects stereotyping can have on an individual, both emotionally and socially.”

Bringing the What I Be Project to campus will benefit more than just psychology students at Mount Union, which is exactly why Torok-Gerard approached Student Senate about helping fund the project. Student Senate has decided to sponsor the campus visit in its entirety. Torok-Gerard would like to thank Student Senate for funding the event and their advisor, Kate Carnell, for her efforts in working with Student Senate to coordinate this three-day event.

While at Mount Union, Rosenfield will meet for approximately 45 minutes with each subject and discuss his or her source of insecurity. Each subject will then write an abbreviated statement of his or her insecurity that can be shifted to a security. The session will conclude with a photography session that will visually reveal the insecurity.

In the coming weeks, the photographs from Mount Union’s visit will be accessible via www.whatibeproject.com.

Limited sessions are available. If interested in signing up for a session, sign up online. For more information, contact Torok-Gerard at torokse@mountunion.edu or (330) 829-8747.

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