Week of events redefines diversity

Every year, Tech gathers students from over 100 nations and provides the student population with an ethnically diverse environment. The Office of Diversity Programs annually hosts Diversity Week to recognize Tech’s ethnic variety.
Diversity Week 2010, conducted from Nov. 8 to 11, covered several issues from gender and racial discrimination to micro-aggression in the workplace.

“Diversity Week is a strategy to move us from the tolerance and understanding to appreciation, celebration and, last but not least, multicultural confidence,” said Stephanie Ray, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Diversity Programs at Georgia Tech.

Entitled “Diversity: A Latitutde Adjustment,” the Diversity Week events focused on the issues of discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation and disabilities.

Diversity Week launched on Nov. 8 with the book discussion and film screening of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Swedish author Stieg Larsson.

On Nov. 9, an audience watched clips from Ethnic Notions to ponder on the dangers in misrepresenting Asians, African Americans and Latinos in the media.

In the “Say My Name Say My Name” event hosted by Indian Cultural Foundation of America (ICFA) and Hindi Vihar, a Tech graduate talked about Indian culture and taught attendees how to pronounce common Indian names.

“It’s a creative approach to stir the melting pot,” said Gita Mahmoudabadi, a fourth-year BME major.

In relation to this particular event, Ray stressed the growing prominence of India in the global market share, especially following President Obama’s endorsement of India for the United Nations Security Council seat.

Dr. Han Zhang, a College of Management professor, discussed Chinese Nationalism in correlation to its current standing in the world affairs.

The program also included the  introduction of recreational activities and equipment adapted for people with physical disabilities.

The Office of the Vice President of Institute Diversity sponsored and recruited a keynote speaker, Tim Wise, author of a recently published book Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equality. This year, Wise was the first keynote speaker to be part of the annual Diversity Week program.

Diversity Week also hosted a Safe Space Training Part II to focus on developing tolerance of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community.

The Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company was also a guest to this year’s Diversity Week.

“Diversity Week continues to promote Tech’s goal to connect and bond global talents on campus,” said Jose Sarmiento, a second-year ISyE major.

Ray said she is excited to witness a new surge in the appreciation of the diversity by the Tech students.

Over 40 student organizations are designed to foster diversity at Tech.

In order to make this program reach more student body, Ray asked active students for the lead.


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