This Week: BC Identities Week to honor diversity

The College celebrates the 1st Annual Identities Week, which kicked off this Monday, May 4 and continues through this Thursday, May 7.

Last year Robin Bailey, president of the Black Student Union hosted the college’s first Identities Day.

This year with overwhelming support from the BSU, Associated Student Government, Gay Straight Alliance, Latin American Culture Club, and a variety of other student clubs and programs Identities Day has become Identities Week.

Lori Saffin, Sociology Instructor, and GSA Advisor said, “This is a week where students can come together across their differences and across their identities and look at or examine social issues that impact all of our communities.”

Tuesday, May 5 begins with a 30 min film and 20 min discussion entitled “What a Girl Wants” a collective interview of 11 girls whom candidly reveal the impact that culture has on their lives.

Next up is instructor Michael Brown, and civil rights lawyer J.D. Smith addressing the concerns and legal issues affecting a myriad of minorities.

In the afternoon the Latin American Culture Club (LACC) will raise awareness of Cinco de Mayo.

Henry Amaya Multi Cultural Services program coordinator and LACC said, “Every year the LACC does something to celebrate our culture and this year we are going to dispel the myth that Cinco de Mayo is all about beer and parties.”

On Wednesday, May 6 two influential speakers will join the college. First up is Peter Wong, who at 14 began to loose his eyesight. Peter Wong is the chairman of Rainbow Missions (www.therainbows.org), an organization dedicated to serving disabled individuals in China.

Additionally Peter Wong is a registered counselor, works with the Heart Renewal (www.heartrenewal.org) a prison ministry, has three esteemed master’s degrees, and maintains several patents.

Later candid conversation is sure to ensue following Damali Ayo, author of “How to Rent a Negro” where the use of art, performance, and satire is enlisted to examine the connection between race and human relationships in her acclaimed “I Can Fix It: Racism” a ten step guide to improving race relations.

May 7 is a jam-packed day marking the last day of Identities Week. First Walk and Roll for Hope and Change is a chance to bring attention to your club or groups’ issue.

Students can join fellow students for a non-violent protest in raising funds for people in need for $10 each.

The Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) is featuring a Student Art Exhibit and art creation spot Thursday from 9 to 5 p.m.

Students are invited to mak art on the spot that expresses their identity, or to donate art in the form of poetry, pencil, charcoal, or any other displayable medium.   For more information students can contact student programs.

President Laurel Cooper of the GSA said, “Bellevue College houses many cultural differences and together everyone makes up a mosaic…close up we are different and Identities Week is a celebration of those differences and how together they make us whole.”

Visit former director of the Wing Luke Asian Museum, Ron Chew who will be speaking to students about “Oral histories, Bearing witness and Communities of Color.” Chew was an instrumental leader in solidifying the prestigious status of the museum.

In addition, Chew was the recipient of the Ford Foundation Leadership, he was an honoree of the association of American Museums Centennial Honor Roll, and he is a current consultant for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center in Seattle.

Next will be the Acknowledging Privileged Identity Forum, which addresses the unacknowledged dominant identities and impact of privilege and ignorance of straight white abled men.

Wrapping up Identities Week is the deaf identities film entitled Audism Unveiled, which deals with the underlying issues of oppression prevalent in the deaf community and the ways in which this debilitating oppression creates prejudice.

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