Galloway, New Jersey – “Party is more than cake and balloons. It can be a daily decision and determination to honor your unique identity and make space for the identities of others.
Olutoyosi “Toyo” AboderinA African studies faculty member and former student of the Communication studies program, delivered a keynote speech highlighting how celebrating diversity at Stockton University is “a key form of resistance” at the Wednesday, September 13, event.
“This requires not only dynamic events and programming, but also real commitment. A commitment to protecting spaces like this, to creating and being present at these events. Recognize what we have and will achieve and imagine more than we could ever dream of. True diversity is felt, not just seen.
Aboderin’s speech was just part of the new multicultural celebration, which included food from different cultures, a Kahoot game highlighting different countries and presentations from various multicultural student organizations on campus.
Jovin Fernández, director of Multicultural Centerled the event to reaffirm Stockton’s commitment to the mosaic of different identities who learn, work and lead here.
“While we wish to honor the 16-year tradition of Multicultural Month, we recognize that there is a growing demand to meet the needs of our growing and diverse student body; therefore, we make multiculturalism our theme for the whole year and do not limit it to just one month,” Fernandez said. “The institution has done a great job promoting DEI and multiculturalism throughout the year, but we want to be even more intentional. Before.”
Featured Student Organizations and Sororities (AZ)
- African Student Organization
- Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
- Asian Student Alliance
- Caribbean Students Association (Kahoot second runner-up)
- Chabad Jewish Student Group
- Chi Upsilon Sigma Latin Sorority, Inc.
- Honduran Student Association
- Los Latinos Unidos
- Mexican Student Association
- Minorities in law (Kahoo first runner-up)
- Newman Club (Kahoot winners!)
- Society of Queer and Trans People of Color
- Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
- Stockton Entertainment Team
- Unified Black Student Society
Fernandez also presented the new planning for Cultural Heritage Awareness Month (FIELD) Committee, which was created to centralize and expand the various efforts taking place on campus to celebrate the various heritage celebration months that take place throughout the year. She encouraged the entire campus community – students, staff, faculty and alumni – to think about how they can get involved.
“We just wanted to provide consistency across the board to make this campus a more inclusive environment and, more importantly, create a space where we can actually promote multiculturalism,” Fernandez said. “It’s not just important here at Stockton or for all of you as students, but it’s a way of life, of being and the way we look at life.
“It is essential that we expand our efforts and maximize what is offered. While we recognize that change and deviation from traditions can be difficult, this will be an excellent change to maintain and expand the great work that has been done on this campus.
These sentiments were echoed throughout the speeches at the event.
“With the introduction of Jovin to the CHAMP committee, we will continue to expand all of our cultural outreach work beyond traditional sects,” said Jeff Wakeman, director of Student Development.
“Diversity expands your social circle by expanding the number of people you associate with and improves social development,” said Dianne Stalling, associate director of student development, before sharing her experience with the Caribbean Student Association. recent trip to St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. The club so impressed the National Association of Caribbean Studies that its president contacted the university to invite it back to another conference.
“Remember these words from Maya Angelou: wherever there is diversity, there is beauty and strength,” said Shane Moore, Health Sciences major and president of the Student SenateDiversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. “Let these words resonate with you and let them guide you through your college journey and your life.”
Galloway, New Jersey – “We are not a melting pot; don’t buy this idea. We are a cultural mosaic.
Distinguished Professor of Criminal justice Janice Joseph’s words resonated with the audience as she addressed the crowd of students, staff and faculty present for the Kickoff Brunch of Multicultural month.
Multicultural Brunch is a staple program at Stockton University that has been around for about 20 years and, in Joseph’s words, gets stronger every year.
“Multiculturalism is about diversity, inclusion And acceptance,” Joseph said. “As we celebrate this month, students and faculty are hosting all kinds of events. Please attend so you can learn much more about the different cultures here in Stockton.
Members of the Stockton community had the opportunity to listen to speeches, eat foods from different cultures, such as arancini (fried rice balls with cheese) and Caribbean jerk chicken, and mingle each other.
– Story by Loukaia Taylor
– Photos by Susan Allen