Connections are powerful. Our daily connections with each other are the foundation for change. And building connections with people from different cultures, often many different cultures, is key in building diverse communities that are powerful enough to achieve significant goals.
Whatever our life goals are, there is a good chance we will need to work with people from several different racial, language, ethnic, sexual identity, or economic groups. And in order to work with people from different groups effectively, we need to build sturdy and caring relationships based on trust, understanding, and shared goals.
Why? Because trusting relationships hold us together as we work on a common problem. As we work on challenging problems, we will have to hang in there together when things get hard. We will have to support each other to stay with an effort, even when it feels discouraging. We will have to resist the efforts of those who use divide-and-conquer techniques--pitting one group against another.
Regardless of our background, we need to establish relationships with others whose group we know little about. Each one of us can build relationships and friendships around ourselves that provide us with the necessary strength to achieve community goals. If each of us builds a network of diverse and strong relationships, we can come together and solve problems that we have in common.
The Multicultural Center and Center for Student Leadership Development want to give students the opportunity to build these relationships. Students are invited to participate in a highly structured, interactive, cultural competence retreat. Participants will engage in training and planning to promote identity awareness and multicultural skills development among university groups.
The goals of Unity Weekend are: