Diversity Week kicks off with cultural celebration, more events to come

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The true meaning of diversity is the understanding that each individual is unique, and being able to recognize our individual differences.

Lehela Manning, Multicultural Diversity Center adviser, said diversity isn’t just about race, but it is about all differences between all people.

“We always meet people who are different from us, and understanding people and their differences is important,” Manning said.

Diversity on campus is important as well. Manning said everybody deserves respect no matter where they are from or what they look like.

“It is important for students to respect other students — they are each other’s peers,” Manning said.

Manning said students are the future of the workforce, so it is good that they know and understand each other.

“We are hoping that students take respect for others, and unity on campus, from being involved in diversity week,” Manning said. “This is what growing up is all about: having respect for everybody who is around you.”

Diversity week is done for many reasons, but Manning said the biggest reason that diversity week is put on for all students to learn about different cultures and where their peers come from. Helping students to understand what the different cultures is about will help them in the future.

“Having Diversity Week helps the students who are from a different culture and background maybe feel just a little bit more welcome,” Manning said.

Adam Ross, Multi-cultural Diversity Center activities and student involvement coordinator, said it is important to understand diversity.

“Diversity week is important because we are all different and sometimes we just need to be reminded of that,” Ross said.

The MCDC clubs are who helped plan diversity week. There are eight clubs on campus that are tied to the Multi-cultural Diversity Center, and they were all asked to plan an event for diversity week. The clubs are The Polynesian Club; the Gay Straight Alliance; the Native American Student Association; the Spiritual Sciences Club; the Hispanic Student Association; the Black Student Association; the International Club; and the Pacific Islander Student Association.

On March 21 in the Burns Arena the Multicultural Diversity Center held a cultural celebration that had many different cultural performances, art and food. There were dancers from Nevada, Mexico, and the Navajo tribe, to name a few. They had hoop dancing, fire-knife dancing, Polynesian dancing, Latin dancing and much more.

The celebration had different types cultural food such as Navajo bread. There was also art on display from many cultures; art work such as paintings, quilts, and bead work. All was on display for student and community members to view. Apart from the food and art there were different performances going on. The event had 25 performers who participated in the cultural celebration. The different performances were songs and dances.

All the proceeds that were made during the celebration will go towards student aid for underrepresented students.

“Remembering that we are all different allows us to accept people the way they are,” Ross said.