The East Texan

“Diversity University” Comes to Commerce

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Photo Courtesy / TAMUC

Photo Courtesy / TAMUC

Photo Courtesy / TAMUC

Jennifer Bussey, Staff Reporter

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The Serving Engaged Empowered and Diverse Students office, better known as SEEDS, and the Campus Activities Board collaborated together to host Diversity University: a show in which two speakers, Monti Washington and Julia Garcia, show students the importance of being accepting and tolerant of each other, no matter their backgrounds.

Students walked into the conference room expecting to get inspired by slam poetry and to meet new people. What they got was an experience that left them feeling more confident about their place in the world and left a deeper connection with each other. Through powerful readings and monologues Garcia and Washington brought clarity to stereotypes everyone has faced throughout their lives. A silent exercise left many in tears when asked to reveal personal truths about themselves. Similarly, an activity in which six individuals had to shout out three things that made them special, titled “I’m the S***” left the audience crying from laughter. However, the audience were not the only ones to reveal their truths. Both Washington and Garcia spoke about their struggles with abuse, neglect, and self-harm.

Starting as ill-disposed classmates in a college English class, Garcia and Washington created Diversity University to help students in universities have “courageous conversations” about uncomfortable topics such as race, gender, sexuality, and other controversial issues. They have since expanded their reach to high schools, prisons, and companies while also becoming published authors. Their goal is to stop stereotyping because, as they put it, “We don’t look like our stories.”

 

For more information about Diversity University, Julia and Monti visit @JuliaGarciaNYC and @TRU_Motivation on Twitter and go on their website www.ciaspeakers.com.

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“Diversity University” Comes to Commerce