The 2003 Unity Month celebration delivers the
largest, most all-encompassing schedule of the event’s 20-year
history. From the Unity Fair kickoff this afternoon in the Dobbs
Center all the way through to the Nov. 22 Unity Ball, activities
are scheduled most every day on campus and off to commemorate the
diverse community Emory has become.
As befits the full docket, this year’s theme requires two
sides of a T-shirt to advertise: "E=MC2 Emory=Multi Cultural
Com-munities" is the front, and "UNITY=An Equation To
Which We’re All Solutions" decorates the back.
"The planning committee came up with that very quickly,"
said Donna Wong, associate director of multicultural programs and
services. "By participating in this kind of planning, they
have a sense of ownership of the whole celebration."
Part of 2003’s expanded calendar is simply structural. Last
year, the celebration known as Unity Week was extended to cover
all of November, and the event was rechristened Unity Month.
But much of the increased emphasis on diversity comes from the work
of the Unity Planning Committee, a 30-plus-person group of students
and staff that touches all areas of the University.
Programmatic staples such as the poetry-based Café Unity,
the cultural fashion show and faculty/student basketball games are
being augmented by a variety of new events.
Delivering the month’s keynote speech, Nov. 10, will be Jane
Elliott, a former grade-school teacher who now is a renowned public
speaker on antiracism. While teaching in Iowa in the late 1960s,
Elliott created an exercise that rewarded children based on the
color of their eyes. The point she wanted to illustrate about racism
was easy—even for third graders—to see.
Elliott’s work was chronicled on the PBS program Frontline
in 1985. "A Class Divided" became Frontline’s
highest rated episode ever.
Elliott has a full day planned on campus. She will speak at 7 p.m.
on Nov. 10 in WHSCAB Auditorium, following a 6 p.m. screening of
"A Class Divided" in the WHSCAB lobby. A smaller lecture
is planned for students in three separate classes at 9:30 a.m. in
Elliott’s lecture is just one of many notable events taking
place throughout the month. Spelman College President Beverly Tatum
will help kick off the month’s festivities with a Nov. 3 address
in White Hall. "An Evening With Russell Simmons Def Poetry
Jam" brings a Tony Award-winning poetry reading to Glenn Auditorium,
Nov. 19. The yearly RACES forum explores interracial dating, and
a smorgasbord of artistic events—plays, films, dances—are
mixed in with luncheon and dinner events and more guest speakers,
providing everyone on campus a diversity of activities to go with
a diversity of community.