Global citizenship is focus of URI Diversity Week, Sept. 29 – Oct. 5

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Program seeks to prepare students to adapt to the challenges of diversity and globalization

KINGSTON, RI — September 19, 2009 — Educating students to be global citizens in a constantly changing world is the focus of a weeklong program at the University of Rhode Island, Tuesday, Sept. 29 through Monday, Oct. 5, 2009.

The 13th annual Diversity Week program seeks to help students develop the frames of mind, ways of knowing, and competencies that they will need to become effective global citizens. The programs are free and open to the public and a complete schedule can be found online at

The co-curricular program includes 65 events designed for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the University. The week is sponsored by Lifespan, Inc., the Multicultural Center, the Diversity Week Planning Committee, and the Division of Student Affairs.

Daily Event Highlights

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, Dipesh Chakrabarty, the Lawrence A. Kimpton distinguished service professor in history and South Asian Languages and Civilizations, at the University of Chicago, will present “Indian Modernity: Once Colonial, Now Global”, as the URI Diversity Week keynote address, in conjunction with the URI Honors Colloquium. A Rhode Island family member shares personal and family reflections about the re-discovery of the family’s role as leading beneficiaries of African slavery in the film, ”Traces of the Trade: A Story of the Deep North”.

On Wednesday, Sept. 30, Nursing Professor and Routhier Endowed Chair for Practice Lynne Dunphy, joins Lifespan’s Director of Diversity Gertrude Jones in a workshop that discusses progress and opportunity in developing an inclusive and culturally competent workforce to address R.I.’s critical nursing shortage. The Lifespan sequence of workshops also includes three other presentations by the manager of Transfusion-Free Medicine and Surgery at Rhode Island Hospital; the interim dean of the URI Graduate School, who is a professor of Pharmacy; and a URI associate professor of nursing. A critical look at Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice; the always popular Diversity Week Open Mic; and reports from community service-learning experiences in Birmingham, Ala., are complemented by sessions on sustainability, immigration, and climate change.

On Thursday, Oct. 1, the Women’s Studies Program presents several men and women faculty and students performing and sharing diverse expressions of writing in celebration of diversity. A URI professor of history discusses the significance of the first Latina appointed to the U. S. Supreme Court. A URI professor of elementary education collaborates with a school official to describe an emerging partnership between the University and an inner city school. Young children and their teachers engage in a community sing. A film of South Providence youth by a URI alumnus; a panel of student veterans; and a commentary on child soldiers from a former refugee camp worker in Liberia are among other workshops.

On Friday, Oct. 2, the Confucius Institute provides a glimpse into the culture of China. A URI student from China discusses his own online novel as reflective of a new generation of post-80’s writers in his homeland. A Providence friend of the University discusses his family’s flight from Baghdad to Bombay during the Holocaust era. The URI Muslim Chaplain examines the status of women under Islam. The Office of Housing and Residential Life presents the regionally acclaimed Pangaea: the URI Roots Music Series, this year featuring the rhythmic Japanese taiko drumming of Odaiko New England. On day five, Saturday, October 3, a major Chinese holiday is observed by the URI Confucius Institute’s Chinese Moon Festival.

On Monday, Oct. 5, Interim Dean of the Graduate School Nasser Zawia headlines a sequence of workshops to raise the University’s awareness of the importance of promoting diversity among faculty, students, staff, and curricula in graduate education, while presenting diversity as a potential pathway to excellence. A panel on the role of the law in protecting Latinos in the United States; a video and discussion on marriage equality; and a lecture on the influence of textiles from India are among the concluding events.

Alima Dance Company, the Asian Students Association, the Black American Society, the Cape Verdean Student Association, the Hillel Student Organization, the Latin American Students Association, the National Society for Black Engineers, the Native American Student Organization, P.I.N.K. Women, the Student Nonviolence Involvement Committee, Students For A More Accessible Campus, and Uhuru SaSa are among URI student organizations co-sponsoring specific events for URI Diversity Week.

Registrations of prospective participants are being accepted through the URI Diversity Week website or call Mailee Kue at the URI Multicultural Center, 401-874-5829. Participants are asked to submit online evaluations via SurveyMonkey.

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