This past week was the Peer Multicultural Educators’ Diversity Week which featured a multitude of events during midday and the evening that gave students the chance to learn about different cultures from their peers. The week is intended to provide awareness of various cultures and inform the community of social injustices.
Some of the events included a coffeehouse on Monday where students and teachers read poetry about issues of diversity and racism. Another event was a documentary showing of “The Interrupters”, a film about a group of volunteers in Chicago who seek to stop urban violence. A member of the group actually visited IMSA to answer student questions about their activities. The events culminated in the Indian Student Association’s Diwali show, the annual Indian cultural event where students perform traditional and contemporary Indian musical acts as well as a lock-in. Diwali featured some amazing performances and Saurabh Kumar’s drum playing particularly stood out to me. Some students claim that Diversity Week killed the buzz for Diwali. However, it is difficult to know if this was the case since Diwali was rumored to have lower expectations from a lack of rehearsal time.
Reflecting on the week, Jake Akstins ’14, the Events and Advertisement Coordinator of PME says:
“It was a joy seeing this week come to life; diversity at IMSA truly was everywhere. The Diversity Coffeehouse was my favorite event, as it demonstrated that there are injustices everywhere that we’re all passionate about. If we band together as a campus, we can better understand these issues and work towards making changes.”
It is important that members of the IMSA community spread cultural education throughout the year, especially with such a diverse campus. Week long events such as these are a great way to start.