“An Hour to Empower” embraces diversity on campus
By Shay Hearn ’16
Mercy holds a strong place in our school’s mission statement. Yet while we place emphasis on this word, it is not through words, but through actions that this ideal way of living manifests in our lives and the lives of those around us. Unless we put this word into action, it remains an abstract nicety that fails to take precedence in our lives.
As students in a community that values and believes in mercy, we must take action to work towards expanding this virtue from the notional and transform it into the way we live our every day lives.
At 8:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, “An Hour to Empower,” which is centered on the themes of mercy and acceptance, will be held in the Bazarsky Lecture Hall. The event will focus on delicate subjects such as race, gender, religious, mental and physical disabilities, economic status and other differences we find in each other on a daily basis. The mission of those organizing the event? To provide an open environment, even for an hour, where no one feels alone and without support.
“An Hour to Empower” is an entirely student coordinated function. While no particular club or organization has spearheaded this event, the collaboration of many different types of students, in conjunction with director of multicultural programs Sami Nassim, adds to the power of the multicultural experience.
The students who have worked on this function are directly tackling the Mercy aspect of our mission statement in a physical embodiment of acceptance and peace in our community.
“My goal is to have something like this to be a part of our orientations,” says Kimberly Kleszczynski ’15, an organizer of “An Hour to Empower.” Students organizing this event feel very strongly that addressing these topics will encourage acceptance and growth among our student body.
The event is structured with a select group of students from many different minority backgrounds coming forward to present their personal experiences in order to provide an opportunity for the audience to step into their shoes while they speak. While the beginning of the event has a structural base, toward the end a question-and-answer session will allow the audience to ask questions and open up about their own experiences.
Students, faculty and staff are all encouraged to attend in order to support and learn more about those who struggle around us every day.