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The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

Opening the conversation

Bethel University junior Hailey DuPrée bridges the gap between faith and race in her new monthly series at Real Talk.
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Bella Haveman
Hailey DuPrée, Spencer Vang and Ilene Amayarapalo sit in a circle in the Underground during Real Talk Feb. 14. Following a Valentine’s Day showing of “Lady and the Tramp,” they discuss the implications of the movie. “It’s not just limited to one race learning about race,” DuPrée said. “We all can learn from one another.”

Hailey DuPrée, Ilene Amayarapalo and Spencer Vang pull their chairs closer to one another. They just finished watching the 1955 Disney movie “Lady and the Tramp” in the Underground, and because the first Real Talk event of the spring semester is on Valentine’s Day, they have a discussion surrounding interracial relationships — a theme present within the film. 

Though “Lady and the Tramp” is loved by many, Real Talk opened the conversation to discuss the implication of the movie depicting chihuahuas as Mexican, or Siamese cats being of Asian ethnicity. Started by DuPrée in fall 2022, Real Talk is a monthly event that brings students together to have tough conversations surrounding race, working to demonstrate the multiethnic vision of God. 

Sophomore Hailey DuPrée leads a conversation during February’s Real Talk. The triple major began attending Bethel as a PSEO student, knowing from the start that Bethel was where she wanted to be. DuPrée’s goal for Real Talk is to create a space for students to see and discuss the multiethnic vision of God. (Bella Haveman)

Vang and Amayarapalo were the only guests who attended. After the film, they sat with DuPrée and had an open conversation regarding race, stereotypes within the movie and their own personal and familial beliefs regarding interracial relationships. 

Topics that typically can be difficult to navigate became easier through careful and intentional listening as they shared personal experiences and stories. 

“I think it’s really important to have spaces like these to talk about really [important] issues,” Vang said. “It’s really interesting. Especially at a PWI [predominantly white institution], students of color have different experiences.” 

Alea Christopherson

On top of being director of Real Talk, DuPrée is pursuing three majors: marketing, biblical and theological studies and computer science software management. DuPrée is a student chaplain, a member of The 25 — a four-year program that empowers female students and prepares them for life after Bethel — and plays bass for Bethel’s United Worship, carrying her bass case around campus all day. She is everywhere, glasses coordinating with her outfit, seeking things on campus that need adjusting and coming up with ideas to address them. DuPrée’s mentor, Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies Juan Hernández, calls her a “visionary.”

DuPrée started hosting Real Talk in her second year at Bethel, with about 10-15 attendees each month. The idea for the group stemmed from hearing students of color expressing their concerns with other students of color and DuPrée. Since its start, Real Talk has expanded to multiple facets, including Let’s Get Real — a weekly Bible study — and Revival ‘Til Dawn — a multiethnic worship experience.

“In my culture, God is everything,” DuPrée said. “If you don’t have anything else, you have God, and so that has always been the core of my being.”

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About the Contributors
Molly McFadden, Web Editor
Molly McFadden, 20, is a junior English major with an emphasis in creative writing. She is passionate about being a tourist in her own city, dancing to MUNA in the aisles of Trader Joe’s and hammocking in the most inconvenient locations in ungodly weather. You can catch her sitting on the floor of children’s bookstores, flipping through every story. [email protected] | 712.249.1031
Samantha Wurm, Lifestyle Editor
Samantha Wurm, 20, is a sophomore journalism major, with a communication studies minor. She loves to laugh, explore new cities, review books on Goodreads and have dance parties with her friends. If you want someone to check out a new coffee shop or art museum with in Minneapolis, give her a shout!  [email protected] | 320.333.0795
Bella Haveman, Staff Photographer
Bella Haveman, 19, is an art and English double major with an emphasis in creative writing. She enjoys reading, listening to music and exploring new places. She loves traveling to different countries and adding to her fan and earring collection. She is currently trying to discover all the coolest coffee shops in the Twin Cities.  [email protected] | 515-520-4142

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