The spotlight will shine even brighter on diversity during April at The University of Toledo.
“It is amazing that April has been designated as Diversity Month at The University of Toledo by President Sharon L. Gaber,” Henderson Hill, assistant dean of multicultural student success, said. “It is even more important to continuously recognize diversity because it allows us to develop an ongoing inclusive community on our campus through dialogues, cultural events and overall support of differences. This, in turn, poises the institution to be even more progressive in improving the human condition.”
“Diversity at The University of Toledo has been an area of emphasis this year,” Gaber said. “I hope each of us will spend time during Diversity Month asking ourselves what more we can do to ensure basic values such as dignity and inclusion are reflected across UT campuses.”
To kick off Diversity Month, Gaber will give an address Monday, April 4, at noon in the Student Union Ingman Room.
“The University of Toledo offers more than a great place to educate yourself. It offers a place to be yourself,” she said. “At UT, we value all people — regardless of their cultural background, beliefs, ethnicity, gender or sexual identity — because this rich diversity enables us all to excel.”
“Diversity Week, which is the first week of Diversity Month, is meant to celebrate and embrace the high amount of diversity at The University of Toledo and our surrounding communities,” Shailen Shah, diversity chair for Student Government and member of the President’s Council on Diversity, said. “Many think of diversity as just ethnicity; we are trying to expand those beliefs to embody all types of diversity. We hope to see many students, faculty and staff at all of our events.”
Rapper, record producer, actor and activist David Banner will give the keynote address Wednesday, April 6, at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium. A question-and-answer session will take place after the talk, and Banner is scheduled to sign autographs and take photos.
“Having David Banner here on our campus in Toledo is huge, not just for the University, but the city as a whole,” Lance Price, president of the Black Student Union, said. “His voice carries a lot of weight, so the excitement is crazy. People need to hear his message no matter where you came from.”
Born in Jackson, Miss., Lavell Crump chose the name of the lead character in the TV show “The Incredible Hulk” as his stage moniker. Since his 2000 debut disc, Them Firewater Boyz, Vol. 1, Banner has been a force in the music world. He has worked with T.I., Akon, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg and Chris Brown. His CDs include Mississippi: The Album, MTAs: Baptized in Dirty Water, The Greatest Story Ever Told, and Sex, Drugs & Video Games.
As an actor, he has appeared in several movies, including “Black Snake Moan,” “This Christmas,” “Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming,” “The Butler” and “Ride Along.” And in 2006, Banner received a Visionary Award from the National Black Caucus for his work after Hurricane Katrina.
Diversity Month is hosted by the Office of the President, the Division of Student Affairs, Student Government, the Ad-Hoc Diversity Plan Advisory Board, and the Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Engagement in collaboration with Student Government’s Diversity Week.
Listed by date, other events slated are:
• Friday, April 1 — Shabbat Dinner, 5:30 p.m., Toledo Hillel House, 2012 Brookdale Drive, Toledo.
• Saturday, April 2 — “Rhythm of Africa,” 7 p.m., Student Union Auditorium. Tickets: $10 in advance at the Ask Rocky counter in the Student Union; $15 at the door. See story on p. 8.
• Monday through Friday, April 4-8 — “Share Your World,” 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Student Union Trimble Lounge.
• Tuesday, April 5 — Brown-bag seminar hosted by Darci Ault, UT education and outreach coordinator at the Center for Successful Aging, noon, Health and Human Services Building Room 1100.
— “Rock in the Red Zone,” 7 p.m., Hillel House.
• Wednesday, April 6 — “Diversity in Politics,” 7:30 p.m., Driscoll Alumni Center Auditorium.
— Culture Building Institute: Measuring Diversity, 1 p.m., Rocket Hall Room 1530. Sign up by emailing email@example.com.
— Etiquette dinner, 6 p.m., Student Union Auditorium. Learn the proper way to dine courtesy of Career Services.
• Thursday, April 7 — Dr. Jim Ferris, the Ability Center of Greater Toledo Endowed Chair in Disability Studies, UT professor of disability studies and director of the Disability Studies Program, will host a discussion on “Against Awareness: Disability, Sexuality and the Problem of Protection” at 12:30 p.m. in University Hall Room 4180.
— After-School Service-Learning Project: A Multifaith Experience, 3:45 p.m., meet at Student Union Bus Loop.
— The Annual Imam Khattab Lecture on Islamic Thought, “Is ISIS Islamic?” by Dr. Ovamir Anjum, UT Imam Khattab Endowed Chair of Islamic Studies, 7 p.m., Driscoll Alumni Center Room 1019.
— Spectrum Annual Drag Show, 8 p.m., Rocky’s Attic.
• Friday, April 8 — “The Bridge,” 3:30 p.m., Horton International House Dining Area. UT students Luke Zastrow and Lauren Banks will talk about the sandwich-making program they started to help feed the homeless.
• Saturday, April 9 — International Student Association Dinner, 6 p.m., Student Union Auditorium. UT President Sharon L. Gaber will speak at the event. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door; table of eight is $100, and children 4 and younger are free. Purchase tickets at Ask Rocky in the Student Union.
• Wednesday, April 13 — Holi Toledo, UT’s third annual celebration of the Indian holiday Holi, 3 p.m., field south of the Memorial Field House.
• Thursday, April 14 — After-School Service-Learning Project: A Multifaith Experience, 3:45 p.m., meet at Student Union Bus Loop.
• Friday, April 15 — Diversity Training, 1 p.m., Student Union Room 2591.
— Safe Place Training, 2 p.m., Student Union Room 2591.
— Shabbat Dinner, 5:30 p.m., Toledo Hillel House.
• Saturday, April 16 — Toledo Sister Cities International Festival, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Student Union Auditorium. Admission: $5 in advance, $7 at the door. Info: 419.245.3334.
• Tuesday, April 19 — Film screening, “He Named Me Malala,” 6 p.m., Student Union Ingman Room.
— Passover Cookie Class, 7 p.m., Hillel House.
— Greek Life Diversity Trivia, 7 p.m., Doermann Theater.
• Wednesday, April 20 — Jewish Jeopardy, 11 a.m., Hillel House.
— Culture Building Institute: Ending Ableism, 1 p.m., Rocket Hall Room 1530. Sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Friday, April 22 — Culture Building Institute: Religious Diversity 101, 1 p.m., Tucker Hall Room 0152. Sign up by emailing email@example.com.
• Monday, April 25 — Spectrum’s Diversity Ball, 7 p.m., Student Union Ingman Room.
• Thursday, April 28 — President’s Ad-Hoc Group on Diversity will host “Moving Forward: Diversity Dialogue,” noon to 1:30 p.m., Student Union Room 2592. Join the conversation to enhance the University’s Diversity Plan.
For more information on these events, go to utoledo.edu/diversity/diversity-month or call the UT Office of Multicultural Student Success at 419.530.2261.