When someone says “diversity,” maybe you conjure up images of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream for equality. Maybe you even think of the infamous “Diversity Day” episode of the hit sitcom “The Office.” Despite the onslaught of the phrase “diversity” in history and media, many people still are unsure of what that word actually means. In fact, even though we’re taught the importance of diversity in our sociology classes, few college students grasp the true impact of the word. This is why the Center for Social Concerns chose to host a weeklong event discussing diversity and culture, entitled “Diversity Dialogues.”
Sunday, January 17 “Diversity Dialogues” begins at 7 p.m. with a poster making party at the Knight Club. The idea behind this event is to encourage younger generations to get involved by making posters to carry in MLK Solidarity Observance March.
Monday, January 19 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Remembrance. The day commences with a prayer service held at the Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel at 9:30 a.m. Following the service, at 11 a.m. the Solidarity March begins at Perry Square and travels to the MLK Center. After the march, a luncheon will be held at Yehl Ballroom and representatives will speak on behalf of organizations such as the YMCA and NAACP. Additionally, a field trip to see the movie “Selma” will take place at 12:30, with participants instructed to meet at the piano in Waldron. At 6 p.m., Dr. Feliesha Shelton-Wheeler will be giving a presentation in Waldron 219 about “Power, Privilege, and Microaggressions.”
Tuesday, January 20 Women’s Studies will be sponsoring a Tea & Conversation discussion regarding body image and radical empowerment at the Knight Club at 5 p.m. Also, the Prayer Vigil to End Hatred, sponsored by LIFE will be held in Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel at 7 p.m.
Wednesday, January 21, opens with many different cultures from Gannon’s community offering hospitalities at the tables in Waldron from 11 a.m- 1 p.m. Additionally, the International Potluck sponsored by International Students and New American community members will be taking place on the third floor of Palumbo at 5:30 p.m. Following the potluck, a lecture on “Citizenship and the Beloved Community” featuring speaker Shane Bernando will be held in Waldron 219 at 7 p.m.
Thursday, January 22 the Prayer for Christian Unity Ecumenical Service will take place in Waldron 219 at 11 a.m. Following the service, a brownbag lunch conversation entitled “Hijab: What’s it All About?” is scheduled for noon at the upper lounge of Student Services. At 7 p.m. in Zurn 104, APB and CHESS will be showing the short film “Admissions” and include a post-film panel to encourage discussions. There will also be an interfaith prayer for peace after the showing of the film.
Friday, January 23 “Diversity Dialogues” concludes with the most anticipated event of the week: the Burning of the Words Ceremony. Throughout the week, students are encouraged to write down words that make them feel alienated, isolated, or bullied. Then, a symbolic burning of the pieces of paper will take place on Friendship Green at noon. This act represents the destruction of hate and the commitment to progress to a peaceful future.
Join in the conversation by using #DiversityDialogues on social media.