Amy Roloff, the TLC star and mother from the popular television show, “Little People Big World,” came to Tennessee Tech Tuesday evening to present her lecture, “It’s Me, It’s You, and Diversity is a Good Thing.”
Derryberry Hall Auditorium was full with standing room only on the floor and in the balcony. She came out shaking a pompom showing off her Tech pride where several people of the student body, faculty, staff and community were in attendance.
“Humbly overwhelmed,” was Roloff’s response when asked what her reaction was to how many people were in attendance.
Roloff elaborated on the personal versus the public view of diversity. She made the point that diversity is something we all have to face every day.
“We’re all facing our own challenges, so why can’t we get a better handle on it?” she asked.
Roloff challenged the crowd to think about how dedicated they are to diversity in general.
“How many of you are all for diversity?” she asked. Based on the few hands that half-heartedly went up across the hall, she went on to emphasize the point that even if we are for diversity, some times we’re afraid to show it. Why is that?
“We live in a diverse and changing nation, therefore it’s not something we can ignore,” Roloff said. “Just because you don’t understand or face a certain disability doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care.”
“I only like political correctness because it gives us boundaries. We’re so afraid we’ll offend someone,” Roloff said. “I’m not a fan of the term ‘midget’ if the context is used of ignorance. It’s OK to just ask. Don’t just try to figure it out.”
“I really liked hearing what Amy had to say and I fully agree with what she said about political correctness,” said Joy Stilen, chapter leader of the Nashville Little People of America. “If you don’t know what to say about something you don’t know a lot about, just ask. Don’t try to tip toe around it.”
Roloff also said that one of the reasons her family started the show was to educate and advocate people’s knowledge on little people.
Roloff ended her lecture with a quote by Booker T. Washington, “Character, not circumstances, makes the man.”