Hi all! It has been busy in the office preparing for this year's Diversity Monologue contest so apologizes for the lack of posts. Just wanted to let you know about an amazing opportunity this coming weekend here on campus. The 5th Annual GSA Leadership Summit will occur this Saturday from 10am-5pm. Robyn Ochs, an award winning activist and the editor of the 42 country anthology, "Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World", will be this year's keynote speaker. 
Tomorrow night, open to all, is a "Drive-In" Workshop Series with Robyn Ochs. She will be holding a Challenging Heterosexism workshop in Adams Basement from 3pm-430pm. Later that evening she will be holding a Beyond Binaries: Identity and Sexuality workshop, exploring the landscape of sexual orientation. This event will be in the Social Hall from 6pm-7:45pm. 
Try to stop by one or more of these events as Robyn Ochs is someone you surely do not want to miss! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend
Everyone should check out or try to make it to one of the events during the MLK Institute happening this weekend at Dickinson, sponsored by our office (ODI!!). This year's theme is "MLK and The Millennial Generation." 
The weekend will start off with a panel discussion on Friday, Feb. 10, moderated by the one and only Joyce Bylander at 12:30 in Stern Great Room. Panelist include: Dr. Vernan Carraway, MLK Scholar and Re-enactor, Dr. Mara Donaldson, Prof. of Religion, Brenda Bretz, Associate Provost for Curriculum, and Lenoard Brown, Dean of Students and Associate VP for Student Development.  
At 4:30 the Speech Contest will take place in Weis 235 where you can come out and listen to Christina Mullen among other great students!
At 7:00 an "Evening with King" or, more specifically Dr Vernan Carraway will perform specific vignettes of King's speeches and essays, followed with a personal commentary on their relevance in our contemporary society. Rumor has it, Dr. Carraway is quite an individual, both in his impressive impersonations, and his own personal story. Taken from Dickinson's latest issue of "Extra Features," a piece promoting the MLK Institute explains Dr. Carraway's interesting past: "Vernon Carraway was a gifted athlete, sailing on the coattails of an athletics scholarship at Slippery Rock University. He also was functionally illiterate, having reserved the sum of his passion and energy for the game. Then his psychology professor offered a challenge—to learn to read by studying the works of Martin Luther King Jr.

It was 1969, a year after King’s assassination, and it would take several years of daily tutoring for Carraway to reach his goal. But as he pored over King’s texts, the words rang as electric and true to Carraway as they had when he’d first heard King deliver them, six years before.

Today, Carraway is a noted King scholar and interpreter with a Ph.D. in workforce education & development from Pennsylvania State University, where he works as a counselor. On Feb. 10, he will visit Dickinson to take part in a daylong program, MLK and the Millennial Generation."
We are lucky to have participate in this annual event. Paula and Norm Jones should also be commemorated for their instrumental roles in founding and planning the program. Hope to see everyone on Friday!!Enjoy the snow

"I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood." Audre Lorde

Some more Audre Lorde :)
"It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences."
We had a great discussion during our staff meeting today about the notion of making diversity "tangible". We often struggle with this idea when it comes to designing and executing effective diversity programming for the Dickinson campus. As a innovative team of Diversity Assistants (DA's) we are always careful that we are not putting on the same old boring diversity programming that can sometimes taint our work/mission to the appear trite. We are aware that in a time when we all have our icalendars chock-full of appointments, activities, and adventures, we have to be innovative to capture the attention of our fellow Dickinsonians. We must therefore strive to make our diversity work, tangible, or accessible and interesting. The aspiring teacher in me believes that we must make our work therefore privy to the five sense. While such a notion can primarily sound as trite and boring as the exact type of "traditional" programming we here at the ODI try to design beyond, I propose that it is exactly what a campus of college students needs to wake up and realize that we live in a society where issues of diversity are increasingly important as we, as a campus, and as a society become less and less homogenous. 

So, to take a stab at such "tangible" diversity work, the Voices of the People Initiative will hold the ODI's TENTH annual Diversity Monologue Contest sometime this semester (looks like it will be in late Spring as of now!) The annual event is always well-attended, and is a testament to the strength of the Dickinson Community, a community that WANTS to hear each other's stories, about what makes each individual unique, and exceptional, and dun dun dun "diverse". The DMC is in its nature therefore, "tangible". The event allows for the Dickinson Community to have a better understanding of what the current issues we, as students, face today are, in regards to our community, our society, and our experience as dynamic individuals growing up in a tumultuous and ever-changing world. But, here is the catch (the part when I ask of you for your ideas), how can we make the DMC even more "tangible"? How can we as an office, make people able to understand, feel, see, hear, what diversity we have on this college campus in new, sense inspiring ways? 

Looking forward to hear some ideas and stay tuned for more information about the DMC 2012!!
We here at the ODI are back from our winter hiatus. We are so excited about this upcoming semester, as we have great programs on the horizon. We are in the beginning stages of planning ODI's 10th Annual Diversity Monologue Contest! Audition information will be coming soon and the event itself will be during the last week of March. We are also going to help promote a Dickinson student's photography project with a latino community center in central PA. It will be a busy semester, and we hope you are as excited as we are. 

For the meantime, please check out Staceyann Chin. Her name has been buzzing around our office and we are in love with her poetry content (illuminating untold histories!) and her incredible voice and style. Below you will find a reading of Bartolomé de Las Casas, a portion from Zinn's A People's History of the United States. She was actually introduced by Zinn himself at this reading. Enjoy and stay tuned for these upcoming exciting events from VOTP.