Intercultural Month invites campus to share experiences

3/26/2009 - By: Skyler Dillon

More than 30 events highlighting the diverse backgrounds of campus students, staff and faculty are on the calendar during the Center for Student Cultural Diversity's Annual Intercultural Month this April at the University of Nevada, Reno. Known around campus as "AIM," the celebration highlights the University community's rich background and promotes positive communication between students.

One of the most anticipated events of the festival is Night of All Nations, sponsored by the University's International Club. Billed as the largest cultural event in northern Nevada, the April 3 program at Lawlor Events Center features performances from a variety of groups including the Truckee Meadows Community College Belly Dancers, Afghan Girls and Shaska. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about foreign cultures and talk to students from different backgrounds about their customs and lifestyles.

"We're hoping to help students and community members build connections between cultures," said Delaney Battista, secretary of the International Club. The festival is open from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $5 for general admission and $4 for students and are available starting from the Office of International Students.

University students will continue to promote that message of positive cross-cultural dialogue throughout campus with the "Love Wall." The wall is a multimedia presentation of comments submitted by students, staff and faculty that will be displayed at several locations, April 27-29. Part of the campus "Own What You Think" campaign, the exhibition encourages respectful free speech by featuring opinions voiced in a constructive way. It will be shown in the Student Union and on flat screens at the Down Under café. It will also be shown in the Gateway Plaza from 7-10 p.m. April 28 and 29.

A goal of the AIM event is to teach students how to help others beyond the campus communicate positively. The April 4 Gay Straight Alliance Summit invites Washoe County School District students to come to campus to learn leadership skills that will empower them to fight discrimination in their schools. The summit will be held at the Joe Crowley Student Union from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"It's an effort to combat ignorance and promote tolerance," said Naomi Suskind, a graduate intern in Social Work and the program's organizer. "We want to create a network of informed students."

The month-long schedule will also feature lectures from the Women in Dialogue and Distinguished Speakers series. Women in Dialogue will present Jill Carrol, executive director of the Boniuk Center for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance at Rice University, on April 2 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Joe Crowley Student Union. Carrol will discuss "A Dialogue of Civilizations." Also at the Student Union, the Distinguished Speakers event will feature Vito de la Cruz, a columnist, teacher, and faculty member of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, on April 16.

Other Annual Intercultural Month events range from a luau sponsored by the University's Hawaii club to a Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The Multicultural Greek Council's Stompin' with the Pack annual Step Show, featuring talent from various campus sororities and fraternities, is scheduled for this weekend on March 28 from 12-5 p.m. in the Joe Crowley Student Union. AIM closes with the American Indian Graduation Ceremony on May 6 at the Student Union.

For more event information, visit the Center for Student Cultural Diversity's web site.


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