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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

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 874-7892

URI celebrates diversity with week-long schedule of events

URI Diversity Week 2002KINGSTON, R.I .-- September 26, 2002 -- From a musical treasure that’s Portugal’s pride and joy to a discussion of human molecular genetics and race, there’s something for everyone at the University of Rhode Island’s sixth annual Diversity Week celebrations.

URI’s Multicultural Center and Psychology Department will present a program of activities Oct. 7-11 in celebration of the diverse personal heritages found in the campus community. Most events, including workshops, films, exhibitions, a poetry slam, and musical performances, will be open to the public at no cost.

"Diversity Week gives the community an opportunity to be exposed to our differences and to increase our knowledge, awareness, and skills in forming a civic community," said Melvin Wade, director of the Multicultural Center. "Events such as these allow us to explore our connection to one another."

Throughout the week, an art show arranged by Judith Tolnick, coordinator of the URI Art Gallery, will exhibit the work of Apo Torosyan and Lisa Corrine Davis. It will be displayed in the Corridor Gallery of the Fine Arts Center. Also, a series of "Diversity on the Web" workshops organized by Michael Havener, professor of graduate library and information studies at URI, will be offered at the Multicultural Center.

On Monday, Oct. 7 Josephine Carabello, community relations specialist at the U.S. Department of Justice, will give a workshop on the history of prejudice and intolerance called The Shadow of Hate at 1p.m. Faye Mandell, executive director of All-Ways Communication, will offer a workshop on personal grounding and centering from 9 a.m. to noon. Both events will be held at the Multicultural Center.

In conjunction with the URI Honors Colloquium, Troy Duster, professor of sociology and director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change at the University of California, Berkley, will give the keynote address on Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. Duster will discuss how biology has taught us to disregard race, yet it is now being used to identify racial differences in DNA.
The Diversity Video and Film Festival runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 8 in the Multicultural Center. The films explore the attitudes of society toward diversity. The highly acclaimed Promises, examines the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the eyes of children. Able to Laugh highlights the lives of six disabled comedians. Through their comedic discussion of their own lives they raise awareness about the issues faced by people with disabilities. Sound and Fury tells the stories of two families deciding to use cochlear implants for their deaf children, a medical procedure that can help deaf people to hear, but which many feel is genocide for deaf culture. Politics in Black and White discusses the experiences of people in interracial relationships.

Diversity Week will offer a variety of interactive workshops facilitated by URI faculty, staff, and students on Wednesday, Oct. 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union. Bernard Lafayette, distinguished scholar-in-residence and director of the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies, will kick-off the event discussing his peace-building campaign in Colombia.

On Oct. 9 at 8 p.m., soprano Roxana Tourigny, director of the URI Great Performances Series, will perform a repertoire of songs in ten languages entitled Exploring the World Through Song. This musical collection recognizes our differences while encouraging our resolution for unity.

On Thursday, Oct. 10, a series of musical performances ranging from French and American hip-hop to spirituals, blues, folk, and choral genres will be held at the Multicultural Center from 9:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Featured performers include Don King, director of the Providence Black Theatre; Alain-Phillippe Durand, assistant professor of languages; and the URI chorus.

Diversity Week concludes Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. with a performance by world renowned Portuguese fado recording artist Cristina Branco. Fado music was brought to Portugal in the early 19th Century by African slaves and has destiny, despair, love, and death as its main themes. It is performed by one singer accompanied by Portuguese and classical guitarists.

For a complete schedule of Diversity Week events, visit the Multicultural Center’s website.

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