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'I am W&M' campaign celebrates diversity

  • "I am W&M"
    "I am W&M"  Shay Jannat '10 has helped organize the "I am William and Mary" campaign, which seeks to celebrate diversity at the College.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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The College will be celebrating diversity this week with the "I am William and Mary" campaign, organized by Student Assembly Diversity Initiatives with collaboration from a number of individuals and campus organizations.

Through activities and discussions, members of the community are invited to explore the personal stories and identities that define the culture of the Tribe. Events will be held on the William & Mary campus throughout the week, culminating in a "state of diversity" forum on April 19.

“In recent years, we have made great strides towards promoting and celebrating diversity as a core institutional value of the College,” said Shay Jannat ’10, student assembly undersecretary for multicultural affairs. “But in order for us to move forward, we have to constantly reevaluate our past as well as the internal and external challenges that we face in our present.”

The forum, titled "Identity Crisis? 2010 State of Diversity Forum at William and Mary," will take place at 6 p.m. on April 19 in the Sadler Center's Commonwealth Auditorium. The panel discussion will focus on diversity issues concerning various aspects of difference on campus. Panelists include Jeffrey B. Trammell '73, member of the Board of Visitors; Vernon Hurte, director of the Center for Student Diversity; Fran Bradford, associate vice president for government relations; Kate Slevin, chancellor professor of sociology; Richael Faithful '07; Brittney Calloway '11; Sam Schreck '11; and Mohammad Torabinejad '10.

Other featured aspects of the week include an exhibit of “expression pieces” in the Sadler Center, a monologue showcase and the posting of a student-made documentary.

The monologue showcase, which premiered on Sunday night, will take place again on April 13 in Andrews 101. Hosted by International Performance Arts eXchange, the event will include a series of monologues and spoken-word poems performed by students and members of the administration.

The "expression pieces" will be on displayed in the Sadler Center lobby all week. Students were asked to demonstrate why William & Mary is a special place to them. Pieces on display include a combination of photos, essays, song lyrics, artwork, poetry, and collages that exemplify diversity on campus.

The student-produced documentary titled “50 People, One Question” will be featured on the campaign’s Web page. The documentary features members of the W&M community who were asked to respond to the question, "Hypothetically, W&M students 50 years from now will open a time capsule left by our W&M community today. If you could leave or say anything-- a story, struggle, experience, advice, tradition-- that you would want leave for the W&M community 50 years from now, what would it be?"

Other events during the week include a Mosaic Benefit Concert (April 17, at 6 p.m., Lake Matoaka Amphitheatre) and the Resurgence Spring Step Show at (April 17, 8 p.m., Commonwealth Auditorium).

For more information on the campaign and its related events, visit the Facebook group.