Last Wednesday, members of the community, students and faculty joined together for a special dinner. The second annual Diversity Dinner was held in the Oak Room of the Student Center at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus, organized and hosted by the Student Life and Leadership Association and the Fine Arts and Cultural Event Committee.
The purpose of the dinner was to bring together people of different ethnic backgrounds, different races and different religious beliefs to socialize and celebrate diversity at the College and throughout the community.
Louise Brown, the English as a Second Language or ESL Instructor brought three students from the Taylorsville Redwood Campus, and more came from the South City Campus.
“We came because we’re a very diverse group,” Brown said. “I brought students last year. It was such a wonderful time I had to come again and share it with my present students.”
When people first arrived they were assigned to a table by giving them the name of a country, which matched the name of the table they were to sit at.
“We’re just using the countries names to divide everyone up,” Letizisa Wolfgram, Member of Multi Cultural Initiatives said.
Meredith Entrikin, Arts and Cultural Events Coordinator at the South City Campus, which was a co-sponsor of the event, was in attendance to see how the event turned out. There were over 100 people in attendance.
“Many events have a small turnout; so it’s good to see the amount of people at this event,” Entrikin said.
The guest speaker was Nigeria native Philip Anoseke. He spoke about the meaning of diversity
“Diversity is about mixing up with other folks,” he said.
On each table and for each person there was a paper entitled “Questions for Dialogue,” which featured questions designed to start conversations and help people introduce themselves and get to know one another.
These questions included; tell us about an important experience you had which relates to your identity? What values and beliefs did you grow up with and have they changed? Did you find it difficult to find common ground with people who may misunderstand you because of your differences? Why? What distinct qualities and characteristics do you possess that comes from your unique upbringing?
Amina Dinki is an SLCC student; she has lived in the United States for 10 years and has been in Utah for three. Dinki is from Somalia, East Africa and is a member of the Muslim Student Association.
“I came because I want to learn about the diversities of other countries,” Dinki said. “When I came to America I had to learn a new language to go to school, it was very hard.”
Albert Nguyen is studying physical therapy at SLCC and is an officer of the Asian Club.
“I came because I was invited and because I’m diverse. I would like to learn about other diverse people,” Nguyen said. “It’s been fun. Next year I’d like to see more of an announcement within the club organization.”
Some people stood up and answered one of the questions while speaking into a microphone that was being passed around. Some told personal stories while others spoke philosophically.
When dinner was over, everyone was asked to fill out a questionnaire about his or her experience at the dinner.
“The dinner was a huge success,” Doctor Abio Ayeliya, Coordinator of Leadership and Diversity said.