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MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION etter CENTER newsl Volume 4, Issue 1

September 30, 2013

Upcoming Events

Ally Connection Cultural Awareness Night Reflections from BRIDGE Where Are They Now? Virtual Voices Crafting Unity

October

4 8 17 30

November 6 15

Ally Connection

My name is Sara Díaz. I am an assistant professor in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department and my area of expertise is women of color in science. I earned my BA in Chemistry and Spanish Literature from Whitman College. At the University of Washington I completed a Master’s degree in the history of science and my PhD in Feminist Studies. While I was a student at Whitman, I worked in the multicultural affairs office and at UW I co-founded a collective for women of color. I am so excited to be at Gonzaga, because our social justice mission makes room for my deep commitment to diversity. In my teaching and scholarship, I emphasize that the differences between us can be a tremendous tool, rather than a hindrance. Differences teach us about the world beyond our own individual experiences. It is our difference, and not our sameness, that is crucial to building the kind of understanding and respect that are necessary to successfully work together toward a more just and inclusive future. In all of my classes difference is a central theme. Specifically, my classes examine the way the various kinds of difference (race, class, gender, sexuality) are related to one another and work together in our interpersonal and institutional experiences. My classes, like “Gender, Difference, and Power” and “The Isms: Race, Class, and Gender,” explore these ideas in depth and I would love to have you in my class! Or, just stop by my office for a chat so I can get to know you! 502 e boone ave msc#2466, spokane, wa 99258

Cultural Awareness Night: Deaf Jam Sister Outsider Poetry Mocktail Movie Night: The Loving Story Real Talk: Multiracial Identity

Crafting Unity Annual International Day of Tolerance

Important Notice

UMEC’s new physical location is 730 E. Boone Ave. On the corner of Boone and Cincinnati (Arcross from the BARC). Photos courtesy of UMEC Staff

Reflection by David H. Garcia, UMEC Assistant Director On the evening of September 12, staff, faculty, students, and members of the greater Spokane Community gathered for this year’s first Cultural Awareness Night to watch the film, Black in Latin America: Brazil produced by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. In the documentary, Gates explored how Brazil is waking up to its historical legacy of the world’s largest slave economy and the intellectual development of “racial democracy.” Brazil has the second largest African population on the planet, after Nigeria. Attendees engaged in a post-film dialogue facilitated by Dr. Rebecca Marquis about the realities and impact of Brazil’s racial divide. (509) 313-5836

unityhouse@gonzaga.edu

Reflections from Unified with BRIDGE and GU Pride Building Relationships in Diverse Gonzaga Environments (hereafter as BRIDGE) evokes a whirlwind of emotions, all of which are transformational. This momentous pre-orientation program expects a lot from both the student counselors and the incoming freshmen as we join together to embark on our Gonzaga journey. We do more than participate in the standard name games and icebreakers. We engage in emotional, personal and thought-provoking conversations. During our time together we attempt to break stereotypes, hold “real talk” sessions and engage in both thought-provoking and emotional late night movies. Later, we revitalize ourselves with laughter, food, sidesplitting games, synchronized dancing, “Pitch Perfect” singing, and good company. Furthermore, this incoming group of students in particular demonstrated acceptance, inspiration, friendship, and a genuine love for one another. The BRIDGE participants exemplified their support on an hourly basis and there are a few examples that stood out amongst the rest. For instance, the students were asked to participate in a jump rope exercise in which all of the BRIDGE students had to jump through the hoop one after another without making a mistake once. The counselors and I were touched as we watched BRIDGE students hand in hand as they all jumped through the rope simultaneously. Together these students successfully and flawlessly accomplished every task presented to them. In another instance, the BRIDGE students once again, embodied their support for one another during an emotional exercise entitled, “I am session”. First off, the students were asked to write a creative “I am” poem about themselves. The BRIDGE students overwhelmingly exceeded our expectations by divulging details about their past and present lives. Some students shared their poems in small groups. Others, with great bravery, shared their stories with the entire sea of BRIDGE students. Again, these impressive students came together to support and praise one another as they shared their testimonies of sacrifice, abuse, betrayal, hope, and loss. The stories the students shared recognized that even in a world filled with pain and disappointment, a glimmer of hope always lies on the horizon. We can either drown in our sorrows or we can ditch the defeat. All of these students chose the road less travelled and “paved their path”. These students understand that we will endure an endless cycle of challenges and triumphs, but by re-discovering our pasts we can re-define our future. These BRIDGE students illustrated that we all have a story to tell. We all have a past that constantly shakes our soul. Regardless, our past does not define us but rather, our past merely shapes us. Our past is our history, our present is a chapter and our future is the journey we take to create our stories. As we walked back to the dormitory for the night, conversations ignited as our similar experiences surfaced from beneath our core. BRIDGE continues to instill such powerful connections and relationships, so even when we feel alone, someone is there walking a similar journey.

Unity Multicultural Education Center (UMEC) honors Gonzaga’s faith-inspired commitment to diversity by providing educational opportunities that cultivates mindfulness, intercultural development and supports an inclusive environment where all are welcome. It is both a privilege and honor to work with these students as their friendships both strengthen and grow. As the program came to a close, we learned how to effectively “bridge” the gaps we have in our lives and pave our paths. We truly are interconnected in this great big world. As a final note to the BRIDGE students both past, present, and future, please know you are all so special and hold such promising futures. Thank you for sharing your stories with me. BRIDGE may have “ended” but we are family and family is forever. Thank you for taking me on this journey with you. BY ARLENE CHANDRA 2013 BRIDGE COUNSELOR AND GU SENIOR

Picture top from left to right: Maddie Hagen and Arlene Chandra, BRIDGE Counselors Gonzaga university

unity multicultural education center

Reflections from BRIDGE Student Reflection “What is BRIDGE”? I thought as Shawn’s email sat unread in my inbox, “just another pre-orientation program designed to get students BY AARON MCQUERTER, CLASS OF 2017 AND to meet one another before the school year started”. I completely ACT SIX SCHOLAR had the wrong idea, and was along for a wild ride as BRIDGE’s true Photos courtesy of UMEC Staff purpose unraveled itself before my eyes. BRIDGE stands for Building Relationships In Diverse Gonzaga Environments. As a student of color, Pictured below: Students having fun during the 2013 Summer BRIDGE program I had the preconception that every student at GU was white and had outside around campus. A group of BRIDGE student participants and parents the same culture. This was ignorant for me to believe, but that’s what I outside on the steps of the Crosby Student Center (below). was told. Going into the program I was scared. Scared that it would be pointless and that I wouldn’t make any new friends. Upon arrival at UMEC to kick off BRIDGE, I was faced with students from different races, cultures, and backgrounds. I felt like I could relate to a lot of them. As the days we spent together increased, and the number of ice breakers decreased, I began to find myself growing closer and closer to my newfound friends. Relationships and friendships were built on the foundation of a deep understanding and knowledge of each other’s story and background. The activities were very deliberate and had strong focuses towards building community and teamwork skills. As a student at a new school, it is comforting to know that I have fifty-plus people to lean on and turn to for support. Whether that is academically or emotionally. BRIDGE is by far the best program that I could recommend to any incoming freshman! Whether you are a student of color or not, you have culture, and you have a story that needs to be shared.

502 e boone ave msc#2466, spokane, wa 99258

(509) 313-5836

unityhouse@gonzaga.edu

Where Are They Now? Catching-up with Gonzaga Alums Name: Joel Odimba Year Graduated: 2013 Major: Criminal Justice with a Minor in Sociology From: Tacoma, Washington Activities while at GU: Black Student Union member and officer. Member of the Diversity Monologues planning committee. What are you currently doing since graduating? I am currently a first-year law student at Seattle University School of Law. I am scheduled to graduate in May of 2016 with my Juris Doctorate. What do you miss most about Gonzaga? I miss the people the most. Especially my friends – those who still attend GU as well as those who graduated with me. I just miss us all being in the same place. It is so weird to me that I have to take a road trip or catch a flight just to see some of the people who once lived within a one mile radius of me. Gonzaga has placed some of the best people on this planet into my life forever and for that I am forever grateful. I also miss random strangers holding doors open for one another. There is little to none of that at Seattle U. I miss Peachy Kay too. She was my favorite. What was your favorite moment at Gonzaga? I have literally had so many good moments at GU that it is difficult to specify a favorite. However, since I have to pick, I would have to say that my favorite moment at GU was when I went to SEARCH my sophomore year. That weekend was truly one of the best weekends that I have had at Gonzaga and I almost skipped it to go to Mom’s Weekend at Washington State University. I still have the memorabilia from that weekend and even got “TBIYTC” tattooed on my arm. For those of you who have not gone on SEARCH, you should definitely consider. You will not regret it. What was one challenge you faced while at Gonzaga? One challenge I faced at Gonzaga was simply adjusting to the environment. As we all know, Gonzaga is a predominately white university in a predominately white city. Therefore, when I started going to GU, it was kind of a culture shock, because I was used to an environment where there were more people of color. I was really distant from most of the white people at GU for the first couple of months of my freshman year, because I was unsure that I could even relate to them. Editor’s note: Search is the longest-running retreat at Gonzaga. Staff and student crews guide “searchers” through an energetic, ecumenical weekend of reflecting, sharing and experiencing God’s love in community. Search retreats are through University Ministry. Gonzaga university

Were you able to overcome them? How so? I came to the realization that diversity transcends race. There are so many different forms of diversity, which include, but are not limited to: age, gender, religion, socio-economic background, sexual orientation, etc. So even though not many people on campus looked like me, I could identify with them on so many other levels. What was your biggest takeaway from your Gonzaga experience that is most applicable to you after graduating? One thing that I will take away from my Gonzaga experience would be a new and improved self. The 17-year-old Joel who began his freshman year at Gonzaga in August of 2009 is not the same as the 20-year-old Joel who walked across the stage to shake Thayne’s hand and receive his diploma in May of 2013. Gonzaga taught me tolerance, self worth, benevolence, gratitude and so much more. I consider myself blessed to have been able to spend the past four years of my life in such an amazing place and to be able to call myself a Zag. What advice do you have for current Gonzaga students? The only advice I can give is to enjoy the time you have at Gonzaga, because before you know it, you too will be an alumnus wondering where the time went. The following is a quote by Tom Petty that I wrote on the mirror in my bathroom my junior and senior year, which served as daily reminder to cherish every moment of my Gonzaga experience. “You have four years to be irresponsible here. Relax. Work is for people with jobs. You will never remember class time, but you will remember the time you wasted hanging out with friends. So stay out late. Go out with your friends on a Tuesday when you have a paper due on Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have. Having fun until sunrise. The work never ends, but college does”. What’s next for you? My primary focus is on finishing law school. As of now, I have an interest in practicing corporate, criminal, or immigration law with hopes of one day becoming a judge. However, seeing as how I am still a first-year law student that can change over the next three years. Only time will tell. unity multicultural education center

Virtual Voices A look into the lives of Gonzaga Virtual Campus Students Name: Jeremy Michael Clark

Educational Status: B.S Business Management, M.A Organizational Leadership From: Humboldt State University (2006), Gonzaga University (2012) Tell us little bit about your yourself and your previous educational and professional experience before becoming a student with Gonzaga Virtual Campus: Prior to enrolling at Gonzaga, I managed for a major bank in many different business units. During my 10 year career with that organization, I managed about 300 people and had responsibility for performance across several metrics which include: sales, quality, service, net loss reduction, and profitability. In addition, I was tasked with providing performance coaching, career development advice, and leadership. I felt that my background and the Organizational Leadership program were a perfect fit. How’s your Virtual Campus experience been with Gonzaga University so far? My virtual campus experience was great! I graduated in 2012. I felt that I had equal access to professors, students, and most of the amenities a traditional student has. What’s one takeaway from your current Gonzaga Virtual Campus experience that will be most applicable to you after graduating from your program? I take the lessons of graduate school with me everywhere I go. When I left banking to try other things (Government Administrative Analyst, Investment Advisor and currently working in finance at a local credit union) I was provided opportunities to explore how the tenets of organization leadership could be applied in a variety of settings. In addition, I am currently applying to various universities to pursue my dream of becoming a professor (Programs range from Organizational/ Human Resource Management, Organizational Development/ Behavior). All of these experiences required me to leverage my Gonzaga experience to identify opportunities to listen, provide leadership, be flexible and work in teams. What advice do you have for other Gonzaga students? My advice for Gonzaga students is to keep the purpose for their education at the forefront of their minds and deep in their hearts. Additionally, I suggest, trust the process, the courses and materials are truly designed to educate the whole person. 502 e boone ave msc#2466, spokane, wa 99258

(509) 313-5836

unityhouse@gonzaga.edu

Gonzaga university

unity multicultural education center

Crafting Unity

On Friday, September 20, Jeffrey Veregge, award-winning S’Klallam geek artist and writer, was at the Crosby Student Center to showcase his wonderful art pieces. Through his Native American cultural lens, he blends his passion for comic book lore with a Native perspective. The event was free and included a raffle to win some of his prints. The event was a part of UMEC’s Crafting Unity Series. Co-sponsors in bringing Mr. Veregge to Gonzaga included the Center for America Indian Studies and the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer. To view more of Jeffrey Veregge’s work go to: http://www.jeffreyveregge.com

“It was a wonderful experience and this whole thing is something I will hold to close to my heart for a long time as you made this Indian feel real special”. ---Jeffrey Veregge

502 e boone ave msc#2466, spokane, wa 99258

(509) 313-5836

unityhouse@gonzaga.edu


UMEC September 2013 Newsletter