Diversity Week Presents Opportunities for Cultural Growth

Rhode Island College’s 2014 Diversity Week, Oct. 6-10, provides students, faculty, staff and the broader RIC community programming to advance cultural awareness. 

"Diversity Week has become a signature tradition at Rhode Island College that recognizes and celebrates the many unique cultures and lifestyles in our world today, many of which exist right here on our campus," said Scott Kane, interim vice president for student affairs. 

Antoinette Gomes, director of the Unity Center and organizer of Diversity Week, said this year's events come with other RIC milestones as the campus evaluates its diversity and inclusion strategies.   

“Diversity Week offers the community an opportunity to explore a wide range of topics that can increase respect and understanding of a variety of cultures and experiences,” Gomes said.

Now in its 10th year, Diversity Week was developed to involve the RIC community in cultures, disciplines and interests different from their own.

Open classes in a variety of disciplines are offered throughout the week. These include:

·   Tuesday, Oct. 7, Art 334, 9:30-10:50 a.m. in Alex & Ani Hall, Room 138. Students examine artist George Catlin’s portrayal of American Indians.

·    Wednesday, Oct. 8, General Education 264, 4-5:15 p.m. in Horace Mann, Room 183. Transgender author Claudine Griggs discusses her book “Crossing the Gender Line.”

·    Thursday, Oct. 9, General Education 268, 6-7 p.m. in Horace Mann, Room 183. Students discuss bullying and its effects from a personal and a mentor’s perspective.

Several lectures address diversity-based interactions. On Monday, Oct. 6, “What to Do When Stopped by the Police,” discusses methods for police-citizen interactions. This event takes place in the Student Union, Room 307, 4-6 p.m.

On Tuesday, Oct. 7, “Using Transgender Friendly Picture Books to Promote Reading Growth” presents books that are available to share with transgender or gender-creative children. This multimedia session takes place in Horace Mann, Room 183, 5:15-6:30 p.m.

On Wednesday, Oct. 8, ACCESS Challenge: An Eye-Opening Experience offers simulated activities for participants to “see” what it is like to have low or no vision, on the Campus Quad, 12:30-2 p.m.

Throughout the week, the Adams Library’s Walt Whitman Exhibit explores the American poet’s life and works. A complementary lecture focusing on sexuality in Whitman’s poetry takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 12:30-2 p.m. in the library’s Fortes Room.

The Unity Center will sell Equality T-shirts for $5 throughout the week. T-shirts are available emblazoned with the signature Human Rights Campaign equal sign in gold on blue or in pink on red for marriage equality.

The Unity Center, celebrating its 20th year, promotes the accessibility of educational services and excellence for all students through collaborative programming with faculty, staff and the RIC community. The center also provides diversity workshops and seminars and support for the LGBTQ community.

The Unity Center will hold a 20th Anniversary Celebration on Friday, Oct. 17, in the Donovan Dining Center, 5-9 p.m.  Tickets are $30 for general admission and $15 for RIC students and include a buffet dinner, entertainment, dancing and a silent auction.

For a full list of Diversity Week events and more information on the Unity Center’s anniversary celebration, visit www.ric.edu.