Event series looks at multicultural issues

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News
Graphic depicting raised hands.

The series is linked to a curriculum for first-year students.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Several programs have been planned this fall at Western Michigan University to promote multiculturalism on campus and highlight diversity-related work being done at the University.

Among those set for the campus community is a brown bag series of multicultural events that kicks off this fall with the showing of two episodes in the three-episode PBS video series titled "Race—The Power of An Illusion." The videos are designed to help people navigate through myths and misconceptions about race.

Both videos will be shown at 11:30 a.m. but on different dates and be followed by a brief informational session and discussion.

  • "The Story We Tell" will be presented Friday, Sept. 18, in 1320 Sangren Hall.
  • "The House We Live In," will be presented Friday, Sept. 25, in 212 Bernhard Center.

The screenings are part of the new brown bag series of events created by WMU's Multicultural Mindedness Project Action Team. The team has been working to fulfill goals set by the Campus Climate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Tactical Action Community.

Part of the University's strategic planning structure, the team has planned the series in large part to share information about its work and how this work is impacting the campus.

One key activity has been to partner with the First-Year Experience office to create a standard diversity curriculum that is designed around the PBS videos being shown later this month. The curriculum is designed for the FYE 2100 course and being piloted this academic year.

"Using this structure will allow us to explore diversity from a historical perspective and involve faculty and staff as facilitators," says Toni Woolfork-Barnes, FYE director. "It will also start to infuse diversity at the beginning of first-year students' academic careers, with the expectation that the students will benefit from greater exposure as they matriculate."

For more information, contact Woolfork-Barnes at toni.woolfork-barnes@wmich.edu or (269) 387-2301.

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