Three Read-Ins were held, and all were covered live on this blog. In February, the first Read-In was held during Black History Month. This was followed in March with a celebration of Women’s History Month and the last Read-In was held at the end of April and combined a celebration of National Poetry Month and Cinco de Mayo.
After the Multicultural Education Specialist position was developed last year, a team of the IRC, President’s Office, English Department and Peer Multicultural Educators was formed to address these objectives: “integrate the diversity focused Standards of Significant Learning II.A and V.A into the curriculum of all academic disciplines where appropriate; and develop IMSA students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents who understand, respect and appreciate cultural and religious differences and who can communicate and interact effectively across these areas.”
The Read-Ins allowed cultural literature to be shared and provided a time and place for the community to come together to celebrate the diversity of our academy. The Read-Ins brought together faculty, staff and students, who shared their love of the written word, whether it was their own creative endeavor or a much loved work of a favorite author.
The impact of the Read-Ins wasn’t limited to a couple of hours in one day that combined a social and educational event. Multicultural Library Guides that include the English Departments’ perspectives on the importance of Multicultural literature were developed and are now accessible to the entire IMSA community.
The recognition awards nominating statement noted that “the Diversity Plan team modeled the notion of collaboration, demonstrated diversity of perspectives and celebrated cultural diversity. It was both an educational and social experience that will continue in the upcoming years focusing on the multitude of diversity that is represented at IMSA and beyond.”