SJU Celebrates Third Annual Diversity Awareness Week

Friday, September 14, 2012

by Kimberly Starr '12

The Saint Joseph’s University community is celebrating its third annual Diversity Awareness Week from Sept. 17 – 20 with a range of events and activities for students, faculty and staff to recognize the cultural differences on campus.

The theme for Diversity Week, “Sharing Our Stories of Diversity,” incorporates events, lectures and films focusing on expressing the many backgrounds and cultures seen on campus. “When I start looking at this week’s theme, and celebrating our experiences, that's what resonates,” Valerie C. Dudley, Ph.D., director of institutional diversity at Saint Joseph’s University says. “It helps to connect and encourage us to ask questions and learn about different cultures.”

Diversity Week is kicking off with a multicultural welcome back reception on Monday, Sept. 17, at 4 p.m., in the Banquet Hall South in Campion Student Center. Also on Monday from 4 -5:30 p.m., in the Conference Room on the first floor of Wolfington Hall, students who studied abroad in El Salvador will share their experiences at a Latin American Studies Program Fall Social. All minors, or anyone interested in studying abroad are invited to attend.

Remaining events for the week are as follows:

Tuesday, Sept. 18

“Why the Gulf Coast Matters – the Ignatian Response to Katrina,” from 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m., in Mandeville Hall’s Wolfington Teletorium. Students who participated in the Gulf immersion trip will recount their experiences on the Gulf Coast.

The series titled, “SJU True Story: I’m an Addict,” at 5 p.m., in the Forum Theater. The True Story Series will provide an opportunity for dialogue and help to create a deeper understanding and acceptance on campus.

Wednesday, Sept. 19

A Safe Zone Training Program from 4-6 p.m., in the Doyle Banquet Hall South in Campion Student Center. Safe Zones help build a supportive network of members on campus to provide a safe space for LGBTQ students.

A special viewing of the documentary, “After KONY: Voices of Uganda,” at 6:30 p.m., in the Presidents’ Lounge in Campion Student Center. The documentary is the work of the actress Melissa Fitzgerald, (“The West Wing”) which tells the story of a cross-cultural collaboration between 14 Uganda teenagers and a group of American actors as they work together in northern Uganda.

Thursday, Sept. 20

“Taste of the World,” from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. in the Fish Bowl, a celebration of cultures through food, sponsored by the organization Bridging the Gap.

“There are a lot of different components around Diversity Week,” says Dudley. “Differences include age, race, socioeconomic backgrounds, educational levels, gender, ethnicity, national origin, physical and mental abilities, sexual orientation, and spiritual practices. That's what makes this campus diverse.”

For more information and for a full description of the events, visit

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