Project RED brings three days of diversity celebrations to Grant Tower


Mikey Brown, junior family and individual development major, performs at “Diversity Monologues” at Grant South Tuesday night.

By Thomas Verschelde

Grant Tower is celebrating diversity through the the Residents Engaging in Diversity Project, also known as Project RED.

“Diversity is much bigger than race and culture,” said Martise Cooks, full-time hall director of Grant D Tower. “It can be other things like socio-economic status, issues of gender and many other things.”

Grant Tower kicked Project RED off with its first-ever Fair of Nations Monday night. Students in attendance got to taste a full palette of foods from all over the world, participate in games from other cultures, receive lessons in foreign dances and learn facts about other cultures.

“We are trying to show what makes different cultures so special,” said Christopher Swanson, graduate assistant for Residential Community Standards. “Culture is more than what you read in a text book. It is experiencing other culture’s food, music and activities. We are just trying to make culture real for our residents.”

Alex Lazarov, sophomore psychology major, said he enjoyed Monday night’s activities and plans on attending the other nights.

“It has been fun so far,” Lazarov said. “I’ve already tried a bunch of the food and it has been really good.”

Project RED will feature the Diversity Monologues tonight.

“In the Diversity Monologues, we are having CAs share different aspects of diversity that they have personally identified with,” Cooks said. “It should be a very eye-opening experience for many residents. We are hoping to give residents a different view point on who they are and where they come from.”

Project RED will host a casino night with a diversity twist at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Stevenson food court area. The event will feature standard casino games like blackjack, roulette, poker and slots, and students will have a chance to win a Nintendo Wii, a Blu-Ray player, a Nook tablet, a Flip Camera and NIU apparel.

“It is our way of … educating the residents about different cultures and exposing them to the diverse world in which they live,” said Residence Hall Director Dan Lingafelter.