For 18 years Unity Week has been a staple of Emory’s fall
programming. Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Programs and
Services, Unity Week has served as a time when the Emory community
could celebrate its diversity through a variety of artistic, cultural
and educational events.
Where Unity was previously honored for just a week, now it spans
the entire month of November. “Unity at Emory: More Than a
Month, Unity is a State of Mind” is the theme of 2002’s
newly christened Unity Month.
The plan to expand Unity Week was hatched last spring. The event’s
planning committee (which numbers 35 students and staff members,
primarily from Campus Life) felt that one week was too limiting
and that it didn’t allow enough opportunity for groups to
“The whole point of the event is to give people the chance
to collaborate and put on events to share cultures,” said
Donna Wong, associate director of multicultural programs.
If that wasn’t happening, a change needed to be made. And
that change was to significantly expand Unity Week. There was no
lack of ideas or programming.
More than 30 organizations across campus, including some academic
departments, had a hand in cosponsoring at least one event. Beginning
with a fashion and talent show on Nov. 1, practically every day
of November through Thanksgiving is filled with programming.
Many standbys from previous years have returned: the faculty/staff
vs. student basketball game (Oct. 14), Café Unity (Oct. 16),
the turkey trot at Lullwater (Oct. 21) and the Unity Ball (Oct.
22) are all back on the calendar this year. Once again, there is
an emphasis on the arts, as a variety of musical and dance performances
are sprinkled throughout the month. However, it is some of the new
events that rank among the most laudable.
One of the most interesting will be tonight’s feast of Middle
Eastern food and games at
7 p.m. in Harris Parlor. It is cosponsored by the Arab Cultural
Association and Hillel, which serves the needs of Emory’s
Jewish community. “That event is a perfect example of cross-cultural
unity,” Wong said.
Six groups led by Volunteer Emory are cosponsoring “Eat as
a Global Citizen,” Nov. 13, a role-playing banquet. Attendees
will take on the roles of citizens of certain nations; not only
will they eat food from their country, but they also must deal with
food shortages. If they are from a part of the world where famine
is widespread, their dinner may consist of only a couple spoonfuls
of rice, for example.
While fun and social (and food-oriented) activities make up a significant
part of the Unity Month calendar, there are some serious events
as well. A panel on homophobia in the African American community
is scheduled Nov. 20. The RACES dialogue, “Cultural Separatism
at Emory,” will be Nov. 12, and the Lost Boys of Sudan (an
organization that assists Sudanese refugees) will speak on slavery
in their home country, Nov. 5.
Wong said the issue of cultural separatism on campus is of concern
to students. “They notice it,” she said. “They
walk through the DUC and see all the African American students sitting
together and all the Korean students sitting together, and they
wonder about it.”
For a full list of activities, refer to the Office of Multicultural
Programs and Services’ website at www.emory.edu/MULTICULTURAL.