The Winona campus recently celebrated Multicultural Week. Students from wide and varied backgrounds informed and connected with the campus community. The many events scheduled throughout the week centered on issues and challenges relating to diversity and multiculturalism.
The International Center kicked off Multicultural Week with “Around the World in 15 Tables” in Saint Mary’s Hall. Spreading awareness and celebrating the rich diversity our international students bring to campus, each of the 15 countries represented at the Winona campus hosted a table showcasing a flag, country facts, cultural objects, and performance elements. Students from each country shared some of their cultures with students and staff, including Arabic tea tastings, traditional Vietnamese dresses, Latin dances, and Polish and Swedish language lessons.
Campus Ministry hosted an engaging evening with Brother Peter Iorlano, the director of institutional values at Bethlehem University in the Holy Land, at the Dine with the Divine dinner. The topic of the evening was “Faith: Private or Public in a Religiously Diverse Society?”
The Boxes and Walls event gave students the opportunity to learn about diverse cultures and groups by walking through four rooms of information and activities.
- The LGBT room walked participants through different scenarios that a LGBTQ person might face through the coming-out process. The goal was to encourage awareness that many LGBTQ people have to risk the things they value most for the chance to be honest with themselves and those around them.
- The Privilege Web Activity room allowed students to explore themselves by mapping out their own privilege web and participate in discussions about privilege, power and prejudice.
- The Human Trafficking room brought to light the fact that slavery still exists around the world in factories, brothels, mines, on street corners, in homes and other hidden shadows not so far away.
- The Diversity and Tolerance in America room showed a recent Coca-Cola advertisement and follows with discussions of the negativity and differences in views that have arisen regarding the ad.
Other events included film viewings: Half the Sky and The Butler; musical entertainment by Ladysmith Black Mumbazo and Nelly’s Echo; and solidarity discussions including topics such as the Winter Olympics, Attending a Predominantly White Institution, and Unmasking Prejudice: Microagressions.
Students recently returning from their study abroad trips in London, Spain, Ecuador and New Zealand shared their experiences.
The week ended with the Multicultural Showcase and Open Mic in the Toner Student Center.