diversity week

Step Afrika! company members Pelham Warner and Robert Warnsley step to a traditional African American dance during Diversity Week, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Evans Auditorium at Texas State University.

In an effort to stimulate a spirit of inclusivity and community on campus, Texas State's Student Government works to showcase its second annual Diversity Week, Moving From Words to Action

Scheduled for Nov. 9-14, Diversity Week will feature a variety of in-person and virtual events intended to foster a sense of awareness and respect for the university's diverse community. 

President of the Underrepresented Student Advisory Council (USAC), former Student Government President and coordinator of Diversity Week Corey Benbow says he hopes this year's events allow students to understand there is a place for them at Texas State. 

"Even though we’re going through our various different issues and times, we can still come together as a collective group and celebrate the diversity that exists on-campus and most certainly the diversity that exists within the virtual space that we’ve created," Benbow said. 

The celebration will kick-off Nov. 9 with a webinar led by Dr. Sumi L. Pendakur, an activist with nearly 20 years of experience in higher education and a decade as a diversity, equity and inclusion speaker and trainer. Dr. Charisse Burden-Stelly, an assistant professor and Mellon Faculty Fellow of Africana studies and political science at Carleton College, will be the closing speaker for the kick-off event. 

The Defamation Experience, a virtual play scheduled for Nov. 10, will focus on displaying a defamation lawsuit between an African American female business owner and a wealthy Jewish real estate developer. Audience members will serve as the jury of the court and will work to discuss and decide an outcome for the trial. 

On Nov. 11, The University Star will virtually present First Black, a documentary detailing the history of the Strutters, Student Government and The Star. A panel discussion moderated by Allyce Pinchback-Johnson will follow with panelists Benbow, Ravyn Ammons, Carrington Tatum and Jaden Edison, the creator and producer of the film. 

The documentary Wig, which explores the history and influence of the festival known as Wigstock, will be screened at the LBJ Teaching Theater Nov. 12. Wigstock was an annual event celebrated by the gay community in New York City for almost 20 years.

Lawyer, graphic designer and co-founder of the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC), a faith-based human rights education organization focused on racial justice, will engage in a virtual conversation with students of USAC Nov. 13 in Diversity Week x USAC: A Conversation with Namira Islam Anani on Racial Justice

Diversity Week will conclude Nov. 14 with Equality University, a virtual diversity and inclusion conference scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The conference aims to function as a day filled with dialogue and will feature guest speakers.

Benbow says he is excited for Diversity Week and believes it is important for students, faculty and staff to participate to highlight the diversity that exists on campus. 

"We've done a very good job at creating this diverse kind of student environment at Texas State [but] we haven’t really figured out how we’ve moved that into action," Benbow said. "So a lot of times when I think about moving from words to actions is I want us to move from where we’re sending emails about different issues to actually have some substance surrounding issues of race and equity on our campus." 

For more information on Diversity Week: Moving From Words to Actions and to view the full list of events, dates and times visit its website.

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