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That’s So Gay! A Kristo Gobin Play Free Land: Ariel Luckey Deconstructing Thanksgiving International Day of Tolerance (IDOT) Ally Connection UMEC Fall Event Highlights UMEC Upcoming Events Teasers

UMEC STUDY BREAK Hey GU students, need a warm pick me up before finals start? Well come by the Unity Multicultural Education Center for the UMEC STUDY BREAK ON MONDAY, DECEMBER 12 AT 6PM. A nice hot bowl of chilli will be what you need to get you through any snow and cold before finals exams. Tickets will be available in Crosby from 11:30am-1pm December 8, 9, and 12

So come and get it!

MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION etter CENTER newsl Vol.ume 2, Issue 2

November 23, 2011

Director’s Corner

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. -Romans 5:3-4 With nearly four weeks left in the semester, this is the time of year when several of us get fatigued for a myriad of work-related reasons. The mental countdown to winter break and longing for Cura Personalis has arrived. Helping students navigate implicit and explicit racism, sexism, and other forms of human difference continues to challenge me not to fall into the“glass is half empty” syndrome. A recent quote, “You can’t climb a smooth mountain,” inspires me to persevere in spite of some dismal accounts that employees and students experiences that do not align with our faith-inspired commitment to diversity. Reflecting for several weeks on this quote was a timely reminder that some of the work done in UMEC is going to require climbing rocky terrain in order to reach a precipice where human differences thrive in community. Creating a more inclusive and equitable environment will never be something to check off my task list as DONE. We all have to do our part to persevere and never lose hope. Be inspired to persistently strive to be our best selves and desire the same for our student body. In this season of Thanksgiving, I am appreciative of the role the UMEC staff and numerous allies play at GU to live out that faith-inspired committment to diversity!

Tracy Ellis-Ward Director, UMEC

Pictured  below:  GU  Students  enjoying  Parols,  Filipino  Christmas   Lantern  during  November’s  Crafting  Unity.

Upcoming Events DECEMBER

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

5-6 12

Holidays Around the World UMEC Study Break

25 29

Crafting Unity: Chinese New Year Lanterns GU Iron Chef: Cultural Cooking Battle

10 13 22 24

Mocktail Movie Night: Mooz-Lum Ericka Huggins Keynote Crafting Unity: African Art Showcase Cultural Awareness Night: Nicholas Sironka Art Workshop

JANUARY

FEBRUARY

(509) 313-5836

unityhouse@gonzaga.edu


That’s So Gay! A Great Affair

Kristo Gobin, adorned in a dark black shirt with a glittery profane term, presented his thesis in front of a packed audience in the Foley Teleconference Center on October 18. In front of such a grand audience, Gobin shared to both Gonzaga students and the greater Spokane community his coming out experience as a first-generation Croatian American. For instance, he explained how his glittery “fag” shirt was a way for him to create the visual for the term that has followed him throughout his life. Yes, a term so ugly and vicious that I refuse to write it outside of quotation marks—is a term that he has chosen to wear with a sense of glamour and pride. What a beautiful way to approach something that many of us consider vile. Furthermore, Gobin identified the socially constructed binaries that people struggle to live under: being gay or straight, female or male, feminine or masculine, sexually dominant or sexually submissive. Connecting his ongoing story of coming out and the challenges that such a process brings to a highly heteronormative culture, Gobin displayed tremendous bravery. It is often hard to share something so incredibly personal to a group of strangers. However, what I found most uplifting is how Gobin took the time to present issues beyond his personal experience such as being transgendered or intersex. Recognition of his own privilege within the LGBT community is something that even the most involved members of the community rarely acknowledge. It was incredibly fulfilling to see someone admit that even though he is outside the mainstream— Top  picture:  LGBT  Activist  Kristo  Gobin  present  his  masterful  play   being gay in a heteronormative culture—that even he knows there about  his  life  and  the  coming  out  process. are others farther outside the mainstream that are not recognized. Overall, Gobin’s presentation magnified a topic rarely discussed in open quarters. A room that was comforted by Gobin’s humor became an uncomfortable and frightening setting staged by Gobin’s history. The audience felt a wide range of emotions throughout a play that explores a spectrum of issues—not simply being gay. From glittery “fag” shirts to recognition of privilege, Gobin’s story was a truly worthwhile one to listen to. In my book, such an event has been a highlight of my fall semester—if not a highlight within UMEC’s many wonderful and insightful programs.

JENNIFER CAMPBELL, JUNIOR, PRESIDENT OF HERO, GONZAGA’S GAY-STRAIGHT ALLIANCE STUDENT CLUB.

MORE “THAT’S SO GAY” REVIEWS: “I was moved by Kristo Gobin’s heartfelt portrayal of the recognition of his sexual orientation and coming out to his family, friends, and community. Through the retelling of his story he is building a future better prepared to embrace all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.” -Jeff Brogan, Coordinator, University Ministry “Kristo Gobin’s presentation of “That’s So Gay” was a great testament to the impact of language, both spoken and unspoken. Kristo serves to remind us that despite our intent or individualized understanding of a word, or an action, or even a thought, the impact can be severe.” -Tyler Hobbs, Senior, GSBA President Gonzaga university

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Free land: Ariel Luckey Exploring Who Really Paid the Cost

GU Student Reflection As an adolescent, the grave importance of education was frequently hammered into my young head. I was taught how education had the power to change my life, help me grow, and bring me happiness. But why? And how? Why was education so difficult for me to relate to? What was wrong with me? I remember the presence of such questions frequently present in my thoughts as a young student. On November 3, I watched Ariel Luckey’s performance and education was finally placed into a perspective I found relatable. Ariel Luckey, a native of Oakland, California, turned a potentially sleepy history lecture into a fascinating adventure of self discovery, critical thought, and personal growth. Luckey’s performance, Free Land, painted an enthralling picture of his journey to find answers to personal questions of historical merit he believed were not being fully addressed. Thus, taking education into his own hands. Jam-packed with visual imagery, poetry, dance, and hip-hop music, Luckey demonstrated the powerful potential of creativity and education when balanced together. In the form of Hip Hop theater, Luckey transformed the atmosphere of Wolff auditorium into a haven of vulnerable connection. By seamlessly weaving creativity and education, Gonzaga university

Luckey developed an atmosphere that wasn’t difficult to follow. I found myself hungry to learn more. What impact has my family had on this land? Where do I come from? Is this land indeed free? These questions were not forced into my head, but rather grew with each scene presented.Throughout his journey, I felt present to Luckey’s pain, his passion, his uncertainty, and his resolve. For many in the audience, it seemed we breathed as one, in perfect unison. I thought to myself, is this what history is supposed to feel like. Authentic education is a spiritual connection—where a connection of vulnerability becomes the magical pathway from which experience is passed from teacher to student. An atmosphere of relatability was created, drawing critical thoughts from students. Through a balance of educational inquiry and creative energies, Luckey’s performance, Free Land, successfully fostered a growing relationship between myself and education. That relationship will continue to push me to take risks and ask questions centered around critical thought, growth, and self discovery. RICKY REDFORD, JUNIOR , MEMBER OF THE HIP-HOP STUDENT CLUB. unity multicultural education center


Deconstructing: Thanksgiving

For many, the story of the first Thanksgiving is a story about a happy and joyous time between pilgrims and the Native Americans of the Massachusetts area. However, as Deconstructing Thanksgiving with Dr. Deidre Almeida revealed, the relationship between the Native tribe of Wampanoags and the English pilgrims was not as pleasant as history classes often lead us to believe. On November 9, Dr. Almeida, from Eastern Washington University, and UMEC Intercultural Relations Specialist, Rudy Mondragon, held an interview session discussing the many unknown facts about Thanksgiving, and of the Wampanoags history and how it intersects with American history. This event was sponsored by UMEC and Eastern Washington University. CHARE’ GILLIAM, ACT SIX FRESHMEN SCHOLAR

IDOT: International Day of Tolerance Standing for Global Justice

Pictured  above  from  left  to  right:  GU  Vice-President  for  Mission  Fr.  Frank  Case,  Mayor  Mary  Verner,  City  Councilman  Jon   Snyder,  Community  Activist  Rachel  Dolazal,  GU  President  Thayne  McCulloh,  UMEC  Director  Tracy  Ellis-Ward,  and  GU   students  linking  arms  for  solidality  on  Wednesday,  November  16,  2011. Gonzaga university

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on i t c ne n o C Ally

David Garcia, Coordinator Academic Advising and Assistance

When reflecting on experiences of diversity, I think of patterns upon patterns upon patterns of differing elements that form individuals and thoughts (Please excuse my gross oversimplification). It is these intertwined and harmonious patterns that fill the air with joyous sounds throughout the Gonzaga community. I recently moved to Spokane from Central Washington to become part of Gonzaga University. I have a beautiful wife, Tracy and a two-year old son named Luis. I am a fan of all people and appreciate the diversity in each and every person I meet. I feel extremely blessed to be able to witness the compassionate interactions between students, staff, faculty and other members of the Gonzaga community. I currently work as the Program Coordinator in the Office of Academic Advising and Assistance. My colleagues and I are here to assist students in their pursuit of academic success. We do so through 10 programs and initiatives, including Pathways, the Early Warning System, Academic Advising, Dual Enrollment, and Freshman Registration, to name a few. Please come visit us in person in College Hall, room 104, by phone at 509-313-4072, by e-mail at advise@gonzaga.edu.

Pictured to the right: GU Student viewing cultural artwork by artist Ric Gendron, member of the Colville Tribe of Indians in the Crosby Student Center on November 11.

Cultural Awaress Showcase

Gonzaga university

Ric Gendron Art Exhibit

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Bless The Lord A Holy Infusion Performance Gonzaga’s first ever gospel choir, Holy Infusion, founded and led by Act Six Scholars, Mercedes Hayes and Ylisse Bess, held their inaugural concert for the community, November 11 at New Community Church. Gonzaga’s band Thirst, and Whitworth University’s Exceptional Praise choir also performed. All the performances were inspiring and demonstrated students’ passion for using their gift of song to bless others.

3rd Annual GU Iron Chef: A Cultural Cooking Battle

Mark your calendars for Sunday, Jan. 29 for the Third Annual GU Iron Chef, 2pm at the Crosby Student Center Main Floor! If you’d like to show off your cultural culinary talents, submit an entry by Dec. 9! Applications are available online on the UMEC homepage or available in UMEC. The goal of the event is for students to teach each other about their respective cultures through sharing cultural dishes; to build a more inclusive Gonzaga community by providing an event at which any and all GU community members can interact, learn about, and experience the culinary aspects of each other’s cultures.

Gonzaga university

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UMEC Spring 2012 Events JANUARY

1/25 Crafting Unity-Chinese Lantern 12-2p, Crosby Student Center, Main Floor 1/29 3rd Annual GU Iron Chef: Cultural Cooking Battle 2-3:30p, Crosby Student Center, Main Floor

FEBRUARY

2/10 Mocktail Movie Night-Mooz-Lum 7p, Foley Teleconference Room 2/13 Keynote Lecture by Ericka Huggins 7p, Jepson Wolff Auditorium 2/22 Crafting Unity-African Art Showcase 12-2p, Crosby Student Center, Main Floor 2/24 CAN-Nicholas SironkaAfrican Art Workshop 7p Jundt Art Center, Room 001

MARCH

3/ 7 Crafting Unity 12-2p Crosby Main Floor 3/29 2nd Annual Diversity Monologues 7p Jepson Wolff Auditorium

APRIL

4/11 Crafting Unity 12-2p Crosby Main Floor 4/19 Yom Hashoah-Holocaust Remembrance Day 4/26 Yom-HaAtzmautIsrael Independence Day 4/27 Stand Against Racism 12-1p Barbieri Courtroom, Law School

5/7

MAY

UMEC Study Break 6p UMEC Main Floor

From all of us at UMEC, Happy Holidays and have a safe Winter Break! Gonzaga university

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Gonzaga University UMEC Newsletter November 2010