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November 6, 2000

Event celebrates University's
diverse culture

By Eric Rangus

With the University’s Year of Reconciliation in full swing, the activities of the 17th annual Unity Week celebration have perhaps never been more appropriate.

Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services in the Division of Campus Life, the Unity Week program—actually an eight-day period running Nov. 11–19—touches on a wide variety of themes and is jam-packed with events related to the arts, history, religion, social interaction and even athletic competition.

This year’s theme is “Reconciling Our Diversity,” and, as the name implies, it was developed with the Year of Reconciliation in mind.

“The students came up with that,” said Vera Rorie, director of the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services. Indeed, students make up a large portion of the 54-member Unity Week committee, which touches most every corner of Emory.

“This year we have more events than we’ve ever had before,” Rorie said. “Over the years, one of the things my staff has been working hard to achieve is making Unity Week an integral part of the University. When people think about planning cross-cultural events, they will often think about Unity Week.

“I think in the time period it has been around, Unity Week has become a tradition,” Rorie said.
Films have been a consistent element of Unity Week, but this year marks slight change of tone. Some movies are included strictly for entertainment (John Singleton’s Higher Learning, for

But two others—Reconciling the Holocaust and The Color of Fear—have a decidedly educational bent and will also feature panel discussions.

“Usually we’ll spread these films out between orientation and Black History Month,” said Rorie, who will facilitate a panel discussion on the race-relations film The Color of Fear.

The discussion on Reconciling the Holocaust could be even more provocative as it will include a relative of a Holocaust survivor as well as a descendent of a member of the regime in Nazi Germany.

Other first-time events include Cafe Unity, which is essentially an “open-mike night” to kickoff the week’s activities. Students or other attendees can take the stage at Cox Hall and dance, tell jokes, sing, read poetry or do anything else that comes to mind.

Also new to the schedule is a concert featuring the guitar-rock of the Pat McGee Band, and a reconciliation/race forum featuring students from several ethnic groups discussing their perspectives on racial issues on campus.

For more Unity Week information, contact the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services at


Back to Emory Report Nov. 6, 2000