‘The Power of the Student Voice’

Neighborhood Block Party 2014
Neighborhood Block Party 2014

In response to several national incidents and growing concerns about the treatment of individuals from marginalized communities, the Student Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee (formerly the Unity in Diversity Committee) will launch a campaign this year called “Use Your Voice.”

A series of events will provide platforms for students to share their stories and to come together to create positive and productive change in their communities and the world.

The kick-off event for the campaign is the second annual Neighborhood Block Party, planned from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, in the Chick Evans Field House. Participants can enjoy food, music, spoken word performances, games and giveaways.

Staff members and students from the Asian American Center, Athletics, the Disability Resource Center, the Center for Black Studies, the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center, the Latino Resource Center, the Student Association, the Black Student Union and Housing & Dining have worked together on the block party to ensure that it is a success: All students, staff and faculty are invited to come and to bring their friends and colleagues.

Other exciting events this year will include:

  • #notonmywatch Twitter Takeover: Students will post pledges on the NIU Twitter page about ways they will contribute to the solutions to national problems. An example would be, “#notonmywatch Students in my neighborhood will not continue to drop out of school.”
  • Unity March with leaders and residents of the DeKalb and Sycamore communities.
  • “Use Your Voice” Student Leadership Retreat
  • Speaker Series
  • Spoken Word Competition
  • Campus-wide Dialogue(s) on Diversity

Neighborhood Block Party 2014Many of the programs are designed to show/teach students how to proactively challenge and strategically respond to the current social and political climate in a way that protects their safety and rights, as well as achieves their intended outcomes..

“We believe in the power of the student voice,” said Katrina Caldwell, chair of SDEIAC and assistant vice president for Student Affairs.

“In order to make sure that we are responding to the needs of all students, the SDEIAC will work hard to partner with students and student organizations to address issues on our campus before they reach the level of a crisis.”

Caldwell is working with LaVerne Gyant to plan and organize these events for “Use Your Voice.” For more information, email [email protected] or [email protected].

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