“Working together to appreciate our differences” is the slogan for the 2009-10 Year of Alliances and Diversity at University of Lynchburg.
The kick-off event on September 10 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. is being held in conjunction with Spiritual Life and the Congregational Fair. The event will feature ethnic cuisine in Asian, Hispanic, and American styles. All members of the campus community will be asked to wear a t-shirt that describes something about themselves. Cultural, spiritual, musical, and political aspects of diversity will be highlighted.
Throughout the year the College community will address issues of body image, gender, culture, age, race, sexual orientation, heritage, socioeconomic, disabilities, and religion.
With help from a $10,000 donation from the Student Government Association, LC will be working closely with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities and will participate in its Allies Institute, a program for college students. About 40 students and 10 faculty and staff will attend a four-day retreat at the institute.
The Allies Institute (formerly Collegetown) is the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities’ signature higher education program. The Allies Institute features interactive workshops, intense small group discussions, and exercises designed to allow participants to think deeply about prejudice and discrimination. At the end of the program, they develop action plans to share with their peers. The Allies Institute has been credited with serving as a catalyst for heightened awareness, dialogue, and human relations programming.
The end of the academic year will not mark the end of the initiative, but instead the beginning of a progressive effort to better understand our prejudices, how they affect us, and how they affect others.