Student Group at University of Nebraska of Omaho Sponsors 'Color Me Human' Diversity Fair
FTM Transgendered Activist, Imani Henry, among presenters
Diversity may mean difference in race, but for the first ever diversity week at University of Nebraska - Omaha, diversity means a lot more than just a different color.
Maliha Imami-Alam, director of the American Multicultural Student Agency, along with several other campus organizations coordinated "Color Me Human" week, which will be held April 21 through April 26 to honor people of all races, ages, genders and disabilities.
"When I took office it was like a dream," Imami-Alam said. "I wanted to do something to honor everyone, because diversity is more than just race. It is races, ages, genders, and disabilities."
"Color Me Human" week will feature several renowned speakers and presentations from all over the country.
Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Mary Mudd will speak Monday to open up the week. Jorge Nila and the Jazz Ninjas, James Thorson, Peter Suzuki and Imani Henry will present later that day.
Henry, who is a female to male transsexual, is an activist, writer and performer with a degree from Emerson College's School of Performing Arts. He will perform "B4T," a theatrical piece at 6:30 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom. Admission is free.
A presentation of race by Larry Ross and the "Color Me Human" banquet are some of the events that highlight Tuesday's schedule.
On Wednesday, Patrick McNamara, Omaha's hate crimes project coordinator, will present "From Justified Concern to Hateful Prejudice: A Discussion on Diversity in America" from noon to 1 p.m. in the Student Center's Dodge Room.
Writer, director and co-producer Peter Bratt will present "Follow Me Home," a cinematic exploration of race and identity Thursday in at 7 p.m. in Arts and Sciences Hall Room 438.
If you have ever wanted to learn how to belly dance, Friday is your chance, as belly dancers will entertain and perform demonstrations from noon to 1 p.m. in the Student Center's Fireplace Lounge.
"Color Me Human" week will conclude with a Pow Wow sponsored by the Intertribal Student Council from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday in the Sapp Fieldhouse.
Imami-Alam said she intends "Color Me Human" week to celebrate a variety of backgrounds, cultures, beliefs and lifestyles.
It is meant to promote unity and understanding among individual students and groups, to foster an improved campus climate of respect and acceptance and to provide experiential opportunities for personal self-awareness as a means of encouraging the reduction of prejudice, she said.
"I think when you celebrate African-Americans, Native Americans, Latinos and Asians each in different months, you forget about them," she said. "I want to celebrate them all year through. That is the idea behind the diversity week.
"I think it is very important that we do not isolate each ethnicity to different months, but celebrate them together. Hopefully, this will become a tradition at UNO."