Diversity is a huge topic that is widely discussed on campus. There are many different ways of describing the word ‘diversity.’ Miranda Nelson is an active member and leader of the student org BOLD Beginnings (Building Opportunities for Leadership Development), which is a student-led leadership team that comes up with a project—their goal for the semester—to present to the entire campus. Nelson tells us about the upcoming event that BOLD Beginnings is hosting this April.
“This semester’s project that myself and eight other girls are working on is called Unity and Diversity,” said Nelson. She went on to explain that there are two parts to this project; part one involves a video of students and faculty around campus being interviewed about their views on diversity and if they believe that there is diversity on campus; part two involves the actual event, which will be hosted on Apr. 25 from 6-8 p.m. in the Memorial Student Center Ballrooms A and B.
The April event will be a panel filled with students and faculty around campus that represent diversity. This panel will not only be filled with students of color, but also students who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community and students with disabilities. If you’re planning to go to the event, there will be a chance for students to be a part of the panel afterwards. There will also be a raffle to win door prizes like a Google Home Mini and gift cards during the event.
“The main goal of this event is trying to celebrate diversity and inclusion. We want people to understand that there is diversity on campus. It’s also a way for students to feel included on our campus, and is a great outlet for those who want to reach out to orgs that represent diversity around campus. This event will also be informing how to be an ally to those with diverse backgrounds,” Nelson said. She gave this example: “Think of our Stout community as a family. Everyone is different in their own ways, but at the end of the day they still all come together and love one another. This is a great explanation of what BOLD Beginnings believes this event should represent.”
Nelson said that there will be four main talking points that the panelists will be asked to address. They are: “What does diversity mean …and what does it means to [you]? Talk about their personal experiences with stereotypes. And, why is it important to include everyone?”
“The panelists will talk about how to include and support people who are marginalized. Not just on campus, but everywhere,” said Nelson.
The panel event is open to everyone on campus. Attending students are encouraged to wear their “diversity caps”.
Students interested in joining BOLD Beginnings will have to go through an application process. To find more information, contact BOLD Beginnings (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jennifer Lee, the department advisor.