Martin Luther King Jr. Student Campus Celebration
2015 will mark the fifth annual Student Celebration, and the celebration attracts a diverse group of students. Students will gather to hear four energized student speakers who will participate in a highly selective application process; last year’s speakers received a $250 book award from Buzzfunds. In addition, several student organizations will provide entertainment e.g. spoken word, stepping, singing, dance, and various cultural celebrations. The event culminates with over 40 student organizations lighting a candle on behalf of Dr. King. At the reception, students stayed around for hours to congratulate the speakers and talk about the meaning of the holiday. Last year, the student committee provided an opportunity for students to reflect by posting their thoughts on white boards. The Student Celebration is hosted by Mr. & Ms. Georgia Tech.
Civil Rights Tours
A few years ago, the MLK Student Committee strongly encouraged the Office of Student Diversity Programs to lead students on Civil Rights tours. For the past three-years, the MLK Campus Celebration ended with a trip to a destination to explore the history of the Civil Rights era and visit key locations that played a major factor toward the Equal Rights Movement. The MLK Student Committee toured the Civil Rights sites in Montgomery, AL and Birmingham, AL in 2012 and 2013 respectively. In 2014, the committee voted unanimously to tour the Civil Rights Sites in Memphis, TN. The tours have followed the life of Dr. Martin Luther King; Jr. Memphis TN is where Dr. King was assassinated. Theses cultural immersions provided a first-hand experience for up to 210 students and 100 faculty and staff members to gain an awareness of where we have come as a nation with respect to diversity and civil rights and also highlights the work we must continue in order to establish a more equitable and just world. This event is one of the best examples of faculty-student interaction and engagement. The 2015 MLK Student Committee has decided to tour the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in the coming year.
Diversity Week began as Disability and Diversity Awareness Days in 1999 and transformed into Disability and Diversity Awareness Week in 2000. These activities were co-sponsored by the Office of Student Diversity Programs and A.D.A.P.T.S. Disability Services. These events were designed to promote heightened awareness, acceptance, and understanding of persons with diverse backgrounds and persons with disabilities within the Georgia Tech Community. Diversity Week debuted in 2008 with the theme, “Latitude Adjustment,” and the Office has been using this theme every year. Stephen Covey writes, “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are──or, as we are conditioned to see it.” Sometimes we have to move to different place to see the world as it really is. One major goal of the Office of Student Diversity Programs is the prepare students to live, learn and work in a global world. Each year the Office sponsors and co-sponsors several workshops, programs and trainings to prepare our students to be global citizens and global leaders. We would like to thank General Motors for being our corporate partner last year.
Diversity Through the Arts
The Office of Student Diversity is committed to diversity in all of its forms. Exploring the concepts of diversity and social justice through the arts is a way for students to engage in meaningful dialogue around difficult topics. We strive to present multicultural visual and performing arts programs to educate our campus community about our diverse student body. The goals of the program are as follows:
- We are committed to offering students the opportunity to learn more about GT diversity by attending cultural performances on and off-campus.
- We offer students the opportunity to learn more about self and others.
- We expose our study body to the best ideas and practices of diverse artists.
- We are committed to strengthening our student’s leadership skills by giving them the opportunity to direct artistic productions.
Currently at the Georgia Institute of Technology there are over 50 student organizations that are religious/spiritual based. Over one half of these organizations are part of the Interfaith Council, and have campus affiliate status with the Office of the Dean of Students, and are members of the Interfaith Council. The mission of the Interfaith Council is to enhance the campus’ spiritual life by fostering interaction among Tech’s various communities of faith, and by serving the spiritual needs of the entire community. In a recent survey, Interfaith Council organizations reported they had over 5,000 students participating in their programs.
The Office of Student Diversity Programs began this exciting program in 2013 for students who aspire to assist with the Office’s student initiatives. A Diversity Ambassador is a student who is committed to learning about the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Students who participate in this program attend weekly meetings, trainings, workshops, and campus events to increase their knowledge, awareness, and skills regarding diversity on Georgia Tech’s campus and worldwide. Diversity Ambassadors are recognized for their achievement and remain in this program as leaders, trainers, and champions for student diversity.
The Asian American Student Association
The Asian American Student Association (AASA) at Georgia Tech is a cultural organization that weeks to promote diversity and provide a community for Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) students on campus. They work to expand the definition of being Asian American, educate the student body on AAPI cultures, encourage conversations about current social and political issues, and expand the student experience. The Office of Student Diversity Program advises AASA and assists the student organization in their programming such as Tour of Asia and attending their annual conference, ECAASU (East Coast Asian American Student Union).