Unity in Diversity events focus on students

By Gloria Carr

Unity in Diversity’s goal this year is to live up to its name.

Unity in Diversity (UID) begins its sixth year this week with events examining cultural diversity and discussing issues important to students.

Curry Kimball, co-chair of UID, said she found that many people perceive UID as a joke. UID is seen as the object of the administration to make it appear there is unity at NIU, she said.

Kimball said she hopes students view UID differently this year. “We think there’s something for everyone. There is an opportunity to learn about different cultures and your own,” she said.

In addition, Kimball said the committee has been planning events since April and student organizations have been very helpful. “I’m really excited. Everything you see on the calendar was initiated by students,” she said.

While UID continues with its mission to promote and celebrate diversity, it also hopes to reach more students.

“One of the concerns I have is making sure we aren’t addressing people who are converted,” said James Bronson, faculty co-chair of UID. “We need to get people there that need to hear it.”

The first speaker of the week will be Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor with the department of Black Studies at California State University. Karenga’s speech is titled, “The Challenge of Diversity and Common Ground in the U.S. Society.”

A panel discussion on “Our Concept of Beauty and the Way It Effects Our Lives,” with actor Giancarlo Espisito moderating will be held tomorrow. Espisito has starred in several films, including “School Daze” and “Do the Right Thing.”

The discussion will focus on the Eurocentric stereotype of beauty. Kimball said a wide variety of views on beauty will be presented.

Native American activist John Trudell will speak Friday after the showing of “Incident at Ogala.” Trudell’s focus will be on this year’s theme.

On Saturday, El Pueblo Unido will present the film “American Me.” Cynthia Chico Rodriquez, from Casa Atzlan Cultural Center in Chicago, will speak on the state of the Latino community following the film.

“Our responsibility is to promote these issues and to keep issues on the front burner,” Bronson said.

Kimball said she hopes students will participate in the events. “We really hope people will come to everything. There is something to be learned from different speakers,” she said.