A week of unity was held on campus on Nov. 8-12. Unity Week is an annual event where the Multicultural Advisory Committee holds multiple activities that bring students together on campus.
This year, Unity Week opened with Philadelphia’s “InterAct Theatre for Today’s World’ performing on Nov. 8. InterAct is a group of performers that aspire to educate and entertain by performing “world-class thought provoking productions, and by using theatre as a tool to foster positive social change in the school, workplace and the community.”
On Nov. 9, MAC held a “Privilege Walk.” Students lined up and a statement or question was read to them. If students identified with the statement or question, they took a step forward. This activity taught students that everyone comes from different backgrounds, and students had the opportunity to reflect on their own interactions and experiences.
On Nov. 10, MAC handed out a variety of colored bracelets with the words, “We All Cast… The Same Color Shadow” written on them. Students were then asked to sit at a lunch table in the Dining Commons marked with the same color as their bracelets. The purpose of this was to encourage students to go beyond their usual social routines and engage with different students. MAC called this “Mix it Up Day.”
MAC also held discussions that Wednesday. “Real Talk, Part 2, Women in the Body of Christ: Stepping Out, In Faith” was offered to the women on campus. The central focus of the discussion was why women often feel disempowered and how they can come to a place of empowerment.
“Real Talk, Men in the Body of Christ: The Definition of a Man” was offered for the men on campus. The discussion created a dialogue about manhood and masculinity and how males have been defined in today’s culture. Both discussions were combined during the last hour.
On Nov. 11, “Archie Bunker’s Neighborhood” was held. This activity was a game that built community. It involved student interaction and attempts to illustrate the nature of racism and persistence of stereotyping at individual and collective levels.
Unity Week came to a close on Nov. 12 with “Unity Jam,” an event showcasing various artistic forms. Including spoken word, poetry, miming and dance in addition to food from various cultures.
After the activities, students were given the opportunity to discuss and reflect what they had learned and how their experiences influenced them.
“MAC really desired to create unity through the events, not in the sense that we all come away from every event thinking the same, but that in Christian communities we can become unified in our efforts of reconciliation and work towards the biblical ideas of unity within the body of Christ,” senior Jen Kane, a member of MAC, said.
“Overall, I believe the students who attended our events saw how vital the work of reconciliation and multiculturalism is to our Eastern community and the Christian community as a whole,” Kane said.