Exhibition Spreads Awareness of the Power of Language


Impactful Language, an exhibition featuring faculty, students, and staff at FIT and designed to draw attention to the power of words and amplify the positive power of language, is on view in the Feldman Center lobby through September 29.

The exhibition, comprising some 44 FIT-branded posters featuring high-quality photos of individuals and the words they “say” or “don’t say,” is an interdisciplinary project designed to bring awareness of the language used about race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, and ability. Each poster features a strong image of one person, with “I Don’t Say…” or “I Say…” superimposed over it, along with a word or phrase that might have an impact on a particular group or person.

The “I Don’t Say…” posters are part of the Turn Off Offensive Language series.  The “I Say…” posters are part of the Speak Up Uplifting Language series.

Students from the Photography Department shot the photos. The posters were designed by Christie Shin, assistant professor, Communication Design, and Caroline Harvey, adjunct instructor, Communication Design.  C. J. Yeh, professor and assistant chair, Communication Design, designed the exhibition as well as the Impactful Language website. This creative team worked together for over eight months to create the posters, a website, a Facebook page, and a digital publication which will be available on the Apple store after the exhibition.

Impactful Language was initiated by Ellen Brennan Hearn, research assistant in the Grants Office, in collaboration with faculty members Curtis Willocks, Photography; Yeh and Shin; and Brian Fallon, director, Writing Studio. The project, funded by an FIT Diversity Council grant, was inspired by the You Don’t Say/We Don’t Say campaign, a collaboration between Think Before You Talk and Blue Devils United at Duke University. Other colleges and universities have undertaken similar initiatives.

The exhibition is on view through September 29, with a reception on Thursday, September 8, from 5:30-7:30 in the John E. Reeves Great Hall.

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