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Westminster College hosts BLM March and other Diversity Week events

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Black Lives Matter

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. (WC)-- Westminster College’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion will host Diversity Week 2021 from March 15-19 with a series of in-person and virtual events designed to spark conversations and inspire change.

Members of the Westminster community will have the opportunity all week to engage in campus-wide workshops, programs and events to celebrate the value of diverse people and ideas, action and social justice.

Wilson Okello, Rosa Clemente pictured above

The week will kick off with a virtual opening address, “Student Activism and the Impact of Student Voices,” by Dr. Wilson Okello at 6 p.m. Monday, March 15, via Zoom.

 Okello, assistant professor in the Watson College of Education at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and a Youngstown native, will discuss “Student Activism and the Impact of Student Voices.” Okello will encourage student leaders to find their voices as student activists, while exploring and recognizing the importance of social movements that were amplified by college students. The event is sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.  

Rosa Clemente—an organizer, independent journalist, producer and scholar activist—will offer the week’s keynote address “Amplifying Your Voice Through Empowerment and Action” at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 18, via Zoom.

A Black Puerto Rican born and raised in the Bronx, Clemente has dedicated her life to organizing, scholarship and activism. One of her generation’s leading scholars on the issues of Black-Latinx identity, Clemente is the president and founder of Know Thy Self Productions, which has produced seven major community activism tours and consults on issues such as hip-hop feminism, media justice, voter engagement among youth of color, third party politics, U.S. political prisoners and the right of Puerto Rico to become an independent nation free of United States colonial domination.

This event is co-sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs, the Department of Modern Languages, the Department of Political Science and the Foster Art Gallery.

For a Zoom invite to Okello’s or Clemente’s address, please contact Kaileik Asbury at asburykj@westminster.edu.

Other events throughout the week include:

Wednesday, March 17

  • You Vs. the Stereotypes of You at 11:40 a.m. in the Lakeview Witherspoon Rooms in McKelvey Campus Center. Junior Nicole Cardillo and sophomore Journey Washington will discuss the importance of self-awareness and deconstructing stereotypes in an effort to understand social justice and activism.
  • Safe Zone Training: Common Language Workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. in Berlin Lounge of the McKelvey Campus Center. This Safe Zone training session, presented by Kaileik Asbury, assistant director for diversity and inclusion, and Patrick Bussiere, area coordinator for student housing, will provide a comprehensive overview of the issues impacting the LGBTQIA+ community and students on Westminster’s campus. To register for the workshop, students should contact Kaileik Asbury at asburykj@westminster.edu.
  • Art and Activism at 6 p.m. in Berlin Lounge of the McKelvey Campus Center. Featuring Marqus Koranteng ’15, this protest sign making event will focus on identity and self-empowerment. Hosted by the Foster Art Gallery, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Campus Programming Council, Black Student Union and the Sexuality and Gender Alliance.

Thursday, March 18

  • Discussing Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility”: Why We Must Increase Our Racial Stamina at 12:40 p.m. in Berlin Lounge of the McKelvey Campus Center. Presented by senior Nyna Hess, this program will give campus community members a brief overview of Robin DiAngelo’s key arguments in her book “White Fragility” and encourage discussion and reflection.
  • PRIDE at 6 p.m. in the Anderson Amphitheater. Sponsored by the Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA), students are invited to an evening of dancing and creating tie-dye T-shirts.

Friday, March 19

  • Domestic Violence—Not So Black and White at 11:40 a.m. in the Lakeview Witherspoon Rooms in McKelvey Campus Center. Led by junior Jill Douglas, in this workshop participants will learn about the different signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships.

Sunday, March 21

  • March for Change: Black Lives Matter at 2 p.m. beginning at the Anderson Amphitheater. No signs with hateful or discriminatory language will be permitted. This masked and socially-distant event is open to the public. Donations will be accepted and will benefit The Innocence Project. Candle vigil to follow.

For more information about any of the week’s events, please contact Kaileik Asbury in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at 724-946-7179 or asburykj@westminster.edu.

Wilson Okello, Rosa Clemente pictured above

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