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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI to celebrate 9th Annual Diversity Week, Sept. 26- Sept. 30

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 13, 2005 -- The University of Rhode Island will celebrate diversity in the community during the 9th Annual Diversity Week, Sept. 26-30, on the Kingston campus. “A Tapestry of Diversity” will not only include past favorites like the Open Mic/ Poetry Slam, Diversity Video and Film Festival, and the Pangaea Roots Music Series, but also new and exciting displays of art, music, dance, film, and speeches. Most events are free and open to the public.

A few of the week’s highlights include:

At noon on Monday, Sept. 26, students, faculty, staff, and members of the community are encouraged to celebrate diversity with food and festivities on the lawn of the URI Multicultural Center. The afternoon programs include discussions on diversity in the classroom curriculum and the 6th Annual Graduate Student Symposium on Diversity. At 8 p.m. in Edwards Hall, four of the hippest women and “spoken word” poets in the nation- La Bruja, Catzie Vilayphonh, Yolanda Kae Wilkinson, and Vanessa Hidary will perform “HerStory.” There is a $3 charge for URI students, staff, and faculty and a $5 charge for the general public (proceeds will go towards the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund).

On Tuesday, participants are encouraged to look, listen, and learn, about diversity during the Diversity Video and Film Festival. An array of films including “The Politics of Love in Black and White,” which explores inter-racial relationships, and “Disability, Identity, and Culture,” which looks at disability during the Civil Rights protests, will be offered beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Multicultural Center. The evening concludes with the Open Mic/ Poetry Slam at 8 p.m. in the Multicultural Center Hardge Forum, which promises to be the “coolest hip-hop event on campus.”

The focus of Wednesday will be on ideas, interactions, and dialogue with workshops in the Memorial Union from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More than 20 workshops will be arranged under four themes: Storytelling; Peace and Power; Social Justice; and Wellness. Some of the workshops include, “Hunger in the United States: Stories from the Field”; “Deadly Borders: New Trends in Mexico/ U.S. Immigration Policies”; and “Learn to Belly Dance: A Middle Eastern Art Form.” At 7:30 p.m. in the Hardge Forum, the Multicultural Center, Institute for International Sport, and the URI Honors Colloquium will co-sponsor Peter Roby, Director of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University, who will speak on "Diversity: An Appreciation of Difference."

Thursday will be a celebration of art and music with a variety of programs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Program selections include “Native Expressions” where storytelling, music, and dance will expose participants to native American life and spirituality in the 21st century and “Jewish Music/ Dance Around the World,” which will demonstrate singing and dancing from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Spain.

On Friday, the week comes to an end with demonstrations of roots and legacies of the community. Programs about hopefulness and the surrounding community will take place from noon to 4:30 p.m. in the Multicultural Center. The evening concludes with the URI Pangaea Roots Music Series’ presentation of Jennifer Roland, a fiddler from Alder Point, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia at 8 p.m. in Edwards Auditorium.

For a complete schedule of the week’s activities, visit the Multicultural Center website at http://www.uri.edu/mcc.