As part of its commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion through cross-cultural exchange, Indiana University will host the inaugural IUnity Symposium on the IU Bloomington campus on October 25, 2018. An event designed by and for students to foster mutual understanding through cross-cultural dialogue, the IUnity Symposium will bring students together with keynote speaker Michael Benitez, Jr., to examine key issues in activism, social justice, and identity.
The IUnity Symposium grew from the work of the Cross-Cultural Programming Board, a group of students selected by IU Bloomington’s cultural centers to help foster cross-cultural engagement on campus. Inspired by techniques they learned while attending the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE), the students designed a series of opportunities for the community to stay engaged year-round. The inaugural IUnity Symposium will help kick off this year, offering students from across campus the opportunity to come together and discuss some of the country’s most important social issues.
“We want to make sure that every student can walk away from this program having had conversations that, even if they’ve had similar conversations before, are on a deeper level--a deep, intrinsic engagement with the vastly diverse community that is Indiana University,” said Monica Johnson, director of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center and project lead of the IUnity Symposium.
In participating in the symposium, students will have guidance from Michael Benitez, Jr., a nationally recognized activist-scholar and educator with an expertise in diversity in higher education. Benitez will help kick off the symposium on Thursday, Oct. 25 with a keynote address, which will be accompanied by storytelling activities designed to engage students with the stories behind issues in diversity and inclusion. The next day, Benitez will participate in a private lunch with student leaders across campus to discuss cross-cultural coalition-building in higher education.
The IUnity Symposium takes place on Oct. 25 at 6:00 PM in the Presidents Hall in Franklin Hall. The event is free and open to the public, and dinner will be served. Seating is limited, and interested participants should RSVP at https://go.iu.edu/IUnity by Oct. 23.