A former Oklahoma Christian University recruiter who was fired for conducting a multicultural exercise at a high school says his reputation is destroyed.
Cedric Sunray, who is American Indian, conducted the exercise at Harding Charter Preparatory High School during a Feb. 24 assembly.
Sunray was let go within an hour after he lined up students based on their skin color and hair texture.
He said ‘OK, everyone now line up from darkest to lightest skin complexion,” said Korey Todd, who is in the 11th grade.
“He told us nappiest hair in the back straighter hair in the front,” said 11th grader Rio Brown.
“I am embarrassed and ashamed and I am mad at what happened,” said Oklahoma Christian University President Jon deSteiguer. He said he planned to visit the high school to speak with the students on Friday.
But Sunray defended his exercise, saying he was teaching how the students will be “valued and warranted” by society.
Sunray told News 4 that he conducted the same exercise 87 times this year. He called the exercise an “icebreaker.”
“It’s about breaking down all those walls,” he said.
“I break the groups into four teams and then I say line up darkest to the front and lightest to the back,” Sunray said. “From the largest afro to the tightest braid to the blondest with blue eyes. They all want to know they are valued and warranted. And that is what I provide.”
Sunray said the negative press coverage destroyed his reputation as a college recruiter.
“It destroyed my reputation but my character won’t change,” he said.
Sunray tells News 4 that he already has a new job lined up at another metro university.
Wen asked if he would conduct the exercise again, he answered “Oh yes.”
“I have been doing this exercise for years. We need to have these conversations.”
He said the only thing he would do differently is give a more detailed explanation of the exercise upfront.