SRU student organizations come together for Unity Week, April 16-20

Hands together

Unity Week at Slippery Rock University will bring together a variety of student organizations to educate each other, raise awareness for universal issues and celebrate culture and diversity.

April 10, 2018

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The Student Union for Multicultural Affairs, a student organization at Slippery Rock University, will coordinate Unity Week, April 16-20, bringing several groups together for education, awareness and to celebrate culture and diversity.

"(Our organization) plans events in collaboration with other clubs and organizations to promote diversity and unity on campus," said Danaya Jackson, a sophomore public health major from Turtle Creek and the student government parliamentarian for SUMA. "Unity Week is important to SRU students because it aids in the continuous goal of making the University as diverse as possible. Unity Week provides positive, fun ways to unify groups who normally wouldn't interact with one another."

Booker headshot

   BOOKER

For example, a discussion called "Building Bridges and Creating Collaborations," at 5 p.m., April 17 at the Russell Wright Alumni House, will bring together students representing racial and ethnic groups, such as the Black Action Society, Internations Club and the SRU chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, to meet with students from groups that represent the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and intersex community, such as the Pride Center, RockOUT and the President's Commission for Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation. During this discussion, students will address any disconnects between the two communities and educate each other about misconceptions and the correct terms to use.

"This year SUMA has focused on forms of expression and ways different cultures and groups express themselves, whether that's through the arts, discussions, activities or general awareness," said Keshia Booker, assistant director for multicultural development in SRU's Office of Inclusive Excellence. "The goal this year is to affect people universally, more than on just campus or local issues."

Universal issues, according to Booker, include autism awareness and sexual assault awareness.

Other events during Unity Week include:

-"Painting with a Twist," 6 p.m., April 16, Smith Student Center Commuter Lounge: In collaboration with the Internations Club, attendees will paint a diversity-inspired image on a canvas under the guidance of a professional guest artist.
-Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Awareness Table, 12:30-1:30 p.m., April 17, SSC lobby: In collaboration with the Open Hearts student organization, students can receive information in recognition of April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
-"A Discussion with Payton Head," 7 p.m., April 18, Eisenberg, Room 111: Payton Head, the former student body president at the University of Missouri, will share his experiences with race relations on college campuses, the Concerned Student 1950 movement and unifying the student body.
-Autism Speaks Awareness Game, 6 p.m., April 19, McFarland Recreational Sports Complex: Students from Autism Speaks and the Alpha Xi Delta sorority will play in a four-team powder puff football tournament with at-large student participants, during which information will be shared and funds raised to support people on the autism spectrum.
-Cultural Showcase, 5-7 p.m., April 20, SGA Bookstore Patio: Various student organizations, including the Arabic Club, BAS and the student hip-hop dance team, JamRock, will host performances, food vendors and art exhibits related to cultural diversity.

For more information about Unity Week, contact Keshia Booker at 724.738.4440 or email SUMA President Jesse Nwabueze-Ogbo at jcn1007@sru.edu.

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 | justin.zackal@sru.edu