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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI to celebrate 11th Annual Diversity Week, Sept. 24- Sept. 28

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 12, 2007 -- The University of Rhode Island will hold it's 11th Annual Diversity Week at the Kingston Campus to celebrate the importance of diversity and identity in higher education, the workplace, the community and the world.To be held Monday through Friday, Sept. 24 through 29, Diversity Week will feature more than 60 events - workshops, lectures, art exhibitions, video screenings, book discussions, musical performances, group meditations, and an open mic session - over the five days.

The program will examine international, national, and regional issues such as the effects of the rise of China on the global balance of power, and the impact of immigration on American identity; improving health and wellness among diverse populations in the United States; and the pursuit of social justice by ethnic groups in Rhode Island.

2007 Diversity Week sponsors include Lifespan, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the University of Rhode Island.

Most events are free and open to the public. For a complete schedule of the week’s activities, visit the URI Multicultural Center website, www.uri.edu/mcc.

The week’s highlights will be:

At noon on Monday, Sept. 24, University President Robert L. Carothers will speak at the Fiesta de Diversidad (Celebration of Diversity). The celebration will feature artistic performances by student groups and will be followed by events including a panel discussion on Latino immigration in the United States by Rhode Island community leaders; and the ever-popular Open Mic by students.

On Tuesday, activities begin at 9:30 a.m. as the Diversity Week Video and Film Festival present several screenings, including two original works, “Sovereign Nation/ Sovereign Neighbor” by Kendall Moore, assistant professor of journalism, about the Narragansett Indian Smoke Shop Raid; and “Then and Now: Civil Rights Revisited,” by Gail Faris, assistant director, Women’s Center. In the evening, the Diversity Week Planning Committee, in conjunction with the URI Honors Colloquium, will present the Diversity Week keynote address, “China, the United States, and a Multipolar World,” by Dr. Yong Deng, associate professor, political science at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Wednesday will focus on ideas, interactions, and dialogue from more than 25 workshops in the Memorial Union and the Multicultural Center. The medical and professional staff of Lifespan will coordinate three new workshops on allied health career choices, transfusion-free surgery, and racial and ethnic health disparities. The Hon. Bruce Sundlun, governor-in-residence, joins Diversity Week presenters to discuss the history of ethnic groups in Rhode Island. Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr., director of the URI Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies, will comment on the progress of international nonviolence initiatives. Workshops by Sunil Bhatia, associate professor, human development, Connecticut College, and Marie Schwartz, a URI history professor, on identity of Indian immigrants in the United States, and on the exploitation of the role of black women during the era of slavery, respectively, will be based on their recently published books. Dr. Arthur Kemp, associate professor, psychology, Central Missouri University, will discuss the teaching of an online multicultural psychology course.

Thursday will feature an array of musical and dance performances, including a civil rights songfest by the Cognitive Dissidents, comprising three University professors; traditional music and dance by members of the Narragansett community; and a performance integrating diverse cultural threads into the Western classical tradition by the URI Chorus.

On Friday, Diversity Week ends with several events, including a preview of a special exhibit on contemporary Chinese photography; a discussion of the causes of anger and alienation in the Virginia Tech shootings; a remembrance of Dr. George Alvin Wiley, URI Alumnus, ’53, and Rhode Island’s only major homegrown civil rights leader; and a discussion of gays in the military.