In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Diversity and Equity Center (DEC) held a week long series (1/13/14-1/21/14) of events promoting equality.
On Monday, the DEC held a showing of “People Speaks”; a documentary film looking at “America’s struggles with war, class, race and women’s rights.” “For everyone who couldn’t make it to this event or hasn’t seen the film, I suggest watching it because it is powerful and very moving, which makes it perfect for MLK (Movement, Liberation, Knowledge) week,” said DEC Program Coordinator Karama Blackhorn.
The Tuesday afternoon event hosted guest speaker Daemond Arrindell. He performed original spoken word poetry, also known as slam poetry, about his life growing up in New York. His poetry expressed his thoughts and feelings about what he wanted to accomplish in life, and the struggles he faced. Arrindell performed four pieces, one from the point of view of Michael Jackson talking about being the man in the mirror.
After the performances he taught a workshop about imagery and the way human beings view photographs and the connection between how we view other people. Participants were asked to look at pictures and describe them, but only by color, shape, temperature, and texture. The point of the exercise, Arrindell emphasized, was not to look at people and assume what you see is the reality, but rather to look at the details. “It is normal for us to be simplistic and judge things based on what we have seen or heard before,” said Arrindell, “but it would be beneficial to us, as well as others, if we looked at people in different ways based on emotion and detail.”
The DEC student leaders presented “past heroes and forgotten movements” for the week’s Wednesday MLK event. Students discussed topics that were important to them, including presentations on Robert Parris Moses by Savannah Son, Yuri Kochiyama by Cleo Pineda, the Stonewall Riots by Carrie Scott, and the Mau Movements by Patrick Sitama.
On Thursday, the DEC hosted a “Next Step Party” for people to come in and visit the new location in Building 22. “Because we recently moved, we are afraid that some people don’t know where our new office is, so we hope that this event will bring in and update more people,” said DEC member Tyrone Cawson.
The Clipper Crew worked on their promotion “Call a Clipper” on MLK Day, Jan. 20. Once a quarter, volunteers contact new students at SPSCC and inform them about campus events and make them feel welcome at the college.
On Jan. 21, the DEC held a MLK Day celebration and an open mic in the Student Union Building for everyone to attend and participate. “The song I chose to sing is Hummingbird by the band Never Shout Never, and I picked it for MLK week because, even though it’s about a boy loving a girl, I felt it represented Martin Luther King’s love for all his brothers and sisters,” said student participant Josh Lobe.
The DEC invites students to come to the Rainbow Gang meetings Fridays at 1p.m. in the DEC in Building 22, room 270.