Butte College celebrated cultural diversity with Diversity Days held on October 14 and 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the main campus.
"The two-day event increasedawareness of all different walks of life - the different cultural and ethnic groups among us," says Ayse Taskiran, chair of the Butte College Diversity Committee and Anthropology instructor. The event was open to the community and all students, faculty and staff, according to Taskiran.
Diversity Days events included movies, live music and dancing, guest speakers, discussion panels, workshops, food, arts and crafts, and displays by student organizations and campus departments.
"The Diversity Committeeheld workshops in the past but this is the first time we have done an event to this scale," says Taskiran. "Our goal was to show how much diversity we have on the campus, raise awareness and make this a more inclusive place for all."
On October 14, the guest speaker is Lucky Preston who discussed Native American identity and stereotypes. The workshop for that day, "What does it mean to be white? A Reflection on White Privilege from a White Male's Perspective" was led by Butte College communications faculty member Tom Grothe. The movies "Skin Deep" and "Strange Relations" was shown and a panel of faculty, staff and students discussed diversity in hiring at Butte College. In the campus courtyard, there were be a variety of entertainment including salsa music and dance lessons.
Motivational speaker and activist, Maria Ramirez, who holds a masters degree in counseling, presented "Chicana: Her-Story," a multi-media presentation of oral history from the feminine perspective. The workshop for that day was Touchy Subjects II which highlights the socio-cultural and emotional dimensions of social class and how both faculty and student class background matters in higher education. A panel of students hosted a discussion on ways to make Butte College a more welcoming environment and the Goddess2You belly dance troupe performed.
Diversity Days organizers and presenters wore T-shirts printed with stereotypes and participants received plain T-shirts on which they wrote the stereotypes they are subject to.
"The purpose of the T-shirts was to raise awareness and start conversations about these stereotypes. The goal of course was to get rid of those stereotypes but the first step toward that was recognizing them, learning about them and discussing them," says Taskiran.
Students had the opportunity to win prizes for participating in the Diversity Days activities. Each student received a "passport" for the day which was stamped at every activity they attend. At the end of the event students turned in their passports for the drawing of Diversity Day prizes which included a laptop computer, book vouchers and other prizes.