One world, one WVU .
OneWVUis the theme of West Virginia Universitys 2008 Diversity Week observances Oct. 13-18, and organizers of the event that celebrates the Mountaineersmulticultural community say it means just that.
This years theme comes from the grassroots campaign of the same name founded by mens soccer coach Marlon LeBlanc and a handful of students. Like the OneWVU program, the lineup of Diversity Week events will celebrate WVU s welcoming spirit for fellow Mountaineers from all walks, races, colors and creeds.
Just ask Jennifer McIntosh, the executive officer of the Presidents Office for Social Justice, the advocacy organization that annually sponsors the week. She was born and raised in Jamaica, but these days, she calls herself a Mountaineer first.
Oh, yes, Im a proud Mountaineer because I feel right at home here,she said.The thing is, we dont care if you come here from an ocean away or two towns over in the next county. At WVU , the door is always open for you. Thats why this is a special place. There is one WVU , and its one WVU for everyone.
Here are some highlights of the week:
Monday, Oct. 13 In the 21st century, people are still being victimized and oppressed by human trafficking in Southeast Asia. Neal Newfield, an associate professor in the Division of Social Work who has made several trips to the region over the years, will display his photos depicting the suffering in the national touring exhibit,Humans for Sale,at 6 p.m. in the Monongalia Arts Center in downtown Morgantown.
Tuesday, Oct. 14 Black soldiers who served in World War II faced one enemy overseas and another back home in the form of segregation that ruled the land. Hear their stories first-hand with the presentation,Fighting on Two Fronts: The Untold Stories of African-American World War II Veterans,at 7 p.m. in the Mountainlair Gluck Theatre. The evening includes a screening of the WVU -produced documentary of the same name and a panel discussion with four veterans who appear in the film.
Wednesday, Oct. 15 For the children of Jewish immigrants in the early 20th century, sports played a big part in becomingAmerican,and that meant basketball for the city kids. When professional leagues began forming in the late 1940s, Jewish players and coaches were the first on the court. Filmmaker David Vyorst, who chronicles those days in his documentary,The First Basket,will screen his film and talk about it at 8 p.m. in the Mountainlair Rhododendron Room.
Thursday, Oct. 16 Eric Alva is a decorated veteran of the Iraqi war who lost a leg on the battlefield. Back home, though, he regained a sense of himself as an openly gay man now fighting for the repeal of the militarysdont ask, dont tellpolicy. Alva says that directive hasnt made life any easier for the gays and lesbians who wear the uniform, and hell talk about his activism at 7:30 p.m. in the Mountainlairs Gold Ballroom.
Friday, Oct. 17 OneWVUforum. What doesOneWVUmean to you? Come talk about it, and join in a forum at noon in the Mountainlair food court. Sitting on the panel are LeBlanc; Mountaineer athletes Dorrell Jalloh and Donald LaGuerre; and student government leaders Jason Parsons and Tommy Napier.
Saturday, Oct. 18 Diwali-Tarang 2008,the traditional celebration of the Indian Festival of Lights, will feature stage shows, a feast and more from 3-9 p.m. in the Mountainlair Gold Ballroom. The cost is $8 for students, $18 for the general public, and the admission price will help fund the efforts of several international organizations on campus.
For the full schedule of Diversity Week activities, go to http://www.wvu.edu/~socjust/Diversity/diversity_week_2008.html .