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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

First annual retreat for URI Multicultural and
Social Justice student organizations

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 5, 2001 -- The University of Rhode Island Multicultural Center in conjunction with the Division of Student Affairs, the Memorial Union, and the Center for Student Leadership Development, will sponsor the First Annual Retreat for Multicultural and Social Justice Student Organizations to be held at the W. Alton B. Jones Campus in West Greenwich, Rhode Island on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 8 and 9, 2001.

The skills-building retreat, designed for current and future leaders of student organizations committed to improving access for underrepresented groups, building campus community across identity lines, or engaging students in social change will explore strategies for enabling organizations to maximize their performance and achieve their goals. The retreat is free to all participants.

"Multicultural student organizations play a critical role in enhancing campus quality of life by easing the transition to college, creating opportunities for learning, and encouraging students to persist through to graduation. It is crucial that the organizations be properly supported and nurtured in their efforts," said Melvin Wade, director of the Multicultural Center. Wade will be one of the facilitators for the retreat.

The retreat will provide information for those interested in reviewing mission statements, developing organizational action plans for the coming year, and will offer support and feedback to student leaders interested in understanding their own values, roles, and styles as leaders.

All participants in the retreat will be eligible to take part in a series of follow-up workshops intended to prepare student leaders to avoid the stress that leads to burnout and lowered morale, encourage peer consultation and collaboration, and link student organizations to their resource bases.

Thirty-five student leaders, representing organizations such as the Asian Students Association, Uhuru SaSa, Society of Hispanic Profession Engineers, Students Organized Against Racism, Cape Verdean Students Associations, Chinese Students and Scholars Association, Queers at URI, National Society of Black Engineers, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Senoritas Lantinas Unidas Sorority, La Unidad Latina Fraternity, Muslim Students Association, International Engineering Students Organization, Capoeira, Native American Students Organzation, Eclectic Spirituality Association, URI Students for Social Change, and URI Student Senate have registered for the conference.

The retreat is being organized by Ashima Singh, Multicultural Center Retreat Coordinator (Summer) and a graduate student in psychology with the advice and assistance of Louise Allaire, Secretary, Multicultural Center; Mailee Kue, assistant director, Multicultural Center; Lynn McGrath, graduate assistant, Multicultural Center; Maureen McDermott, assistant director, Memorial Union;

Carol Pegg, secretary, Student Life; Steve Simo, coordinator, Student Leadership Programs; Christine Wilson, director, Center for Student Leadership Development; Feifei Wu, online newsletter editor, Multicultural Center, sophomore, computer science; and Dr. Nasser Zawia, associate professor, biomedical sciences.

For additional information (401) 874-2851, Jan Wenzel 401-874-5190

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