TCC to Explore Diversity and the Law with Presentation of “The Defamation Experience”

Underscoring its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, Tarrant County College’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI) is hosting a program designed to help participants understand bias and how it affects the work and learning environment.

In partnership with TCC Northeast Student Development Services, OIDI will host “The Defamation Experience,” an interactive, live performance dealing with diversity issues and the law on Wednesday, February 14 at 11 a.m. at TCC Northeast in the Larry J. Darlage Center Corner (NSTU 1615A). TCC is the first higher education institution in North Texas to host this acclaimed production.

Admission is free and the public is invited to attend. Since seating is limited, please RSVP at

Portrayed as an old-fashioned courtroom drama, “The Defamation Experience” addresses issues of race, class, religion, gender and the law. It focuses on a legal case in which an African-American woman sues a Jewish real estate developer who has accused her of theft.  The performance lasts 90 minutes, followed by a 30-minute Q&A conversation moderated by the cast members.

“This interactive event gives students and faculty an opportunity to confront their own biases and prejudices and to begin the process of recognizing the importance of this insight in everyday life,” said Karen Silverberg, professor and co-coordinator of paralegal studies. “By providing a safe environment for the exploration of difficult and uncomfortable topics, this experience will open opportunities for discussion in every academic discipline and help inform the conversation to allow students to learn and grow their understanding of themselves others and the world around us.”

Through polls, deliberations and post-show discussions, the play’s audience serves as the jury, determines the outcome of the case and engages in a civil discourse that challenges preconceived notions and promotes self-examination. Written by Todd Logan, “Defamation” premiered in 2010.

“Whether we like it or not, we still have major divides in this country,” Logan said. “Most of us still go to bed at night in cities, communities and neighborhoods that are segregated by race, religion, ethnicity and/or class. I wanted to write a play that encourages open, honest conversation that leads to greater understanding and empathy to combat today’s prevailing trends.”

TCC’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion supports initiatives that increase opportunities for individuals to engage in equitable dialogue and practices. OIDI cultivates an equitable and respectful community in which members are engaged, empowered and individuality is valued.

“The Defamation Experience will create a diversity dialogue unique to Tarrant County College and should open the doors to continued learning opportunities for faculty, students and staff,” said TCC Director of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion Andrew Duffield. “Each attendee will have the opportunity to sit in a place of unsettling self-examination with their own prejudices and assumptions. The hope is that each individual will leave with a changed perspective of other people’s views.”