The Damietta Center at St. Bonaventure University plays a major role in the planning and execution of a number of key events celebrating diversity and inclusion on campus.
The programs and activities are planned by and for our diverse student population. The goal is to present events that inform students about diversity issues relevant to their experiences in life and on campus, and to involve them in the process of discovery and celebration.
Each year, a theme is identified in planning a week-long campus celebration honoring the memory and legacy of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Events coincide with the nationwide observance of MLK Day, held the third Monday of January in honor of King's birthday, Jan. 15.
King, an American Baptist minister, was the chief spokesperson for nonviolence and civil disobedience in the Civil Rights Movement. He was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 29, 1968. His "I Have a Dream" speech continues to be a source of inspiration for under-represented populations.
Diwali is the festival of lights and is usually celebrated in the fall season. It represents new beginnings and the triumph of light over darkness.
Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and even some Buddhists. Diyas (small candles) are lit to ward off evil and to usher in goodness with light. The festival typically lasts around five days and coincides with the Hindu New Year.
There are typically large fireworks displays and families get together to celebrate. During Diwali, friends and family also share sweets and gifts with one another, and there is also a strong belief that food and other goods should be given to those in need. It is one of the most popular holidays in India.
Every year, SBU's Asian Students in Action hosts a Diwali Show, presenting a play along with a number of dances to showcase the diversity among our student organization. The entire event is student driven, from its organization to the script and dance choreography.
From dance styles such as Bharatanatyam (a classical dance in India) to bhangra to even Kpop and break dances, Diwali at SBU showcases the various different cultural dance forms that have originated throughout the Asian continent. After the show each year, there is a reception with foods hailing from countries on the continent as well.
This ceremony celebrates the academic achievements of domestic students of color, as well as LGBT+ students and allies, while paying tribute to family, friends and others who helped the students succeed.
Each student selects an individual who has played an instrumental role during the student's tenure at the university to present them with a cultural stole.
Click these links to view photos of previous years' ceremonies on the university's Flickr site:
2018 Stole Ceremony 2017 Stole Ceremony 2016 Stole Ceremony
The Annual Students of Color Leadership Summit provides students in the region (Alfred State College, Alfred University, Houghton College and St. Bonaventure University) an opportunity to engage in contemporary diversity topics regarding the intersections of race, religion, class, gender/sexuality, and identity.
Students, faculty, and staff from each respective institution are encouraged to participate.
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