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Penn State York Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Unity Day

Winning t-shirt design
4/4/2008 —

Penn State York will celebrate its 10th annual Unity Day on Wednesday, April 16, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. when students, faculty, staff, and members of the York community are invited to celebrate diversity.  Students, faculty and staff will share food items that represent their heritage and those who attend can participate in an international food sampling from a number of countries.  The Unity Day celebration takes place in the Penn State York gym in the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center. Displays are set up with items that reflect the origin or ancestry of faculty, staff, and students.  A variety of performances are scheduled and food representing the ethnicity of the campus community will be available beginning at 11:30 a.m.     

To participate in the Unity Day program, please fill out our online form.

Students in Fred Haag's design class, Art 010, created designs for Unity Day and the campus community selected a T-shirt design from among them.  Haag is an associate professor of visual arts at Penn State York and each year his class takes on this project as a part of the course. A design by Joseph Kurilla, a Penn State York information sciences and technology major, was selected for the shirts. Those participating in Unity Day will wear the specially designed T-shirts. Visitors to the event can also receive a shirt, while supplies last, if they visit a number of displays.  Goals for Unity Day include creating teachable moments to learn about diversity and to provide an opportunity for the campus and community to suggest ways Penn State can create a multicultural environment.

In addition to the activities on Wednesday, the Human Race Machine (HRM) will be on campus Monday, April 14 – Friday, April 18, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.  The HRM is a computerized program that takes a digital photograph of a person and transforms the image into various races and ages.  In addition to its "curiosity" and "entertainment" value, the intent of the program is to challenge our ideas about race and ethnicity.  The HRM has been featured in a recent Scientific American supplement and ties into the PBS series "Race: The Power of an Illusion."  Further information about the HRM can be found at  <http://www.wolfmanproductions.com/>.  The HRM will be set up in the Community Room of the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center.

On Tuesday, April 15, at noon, Penn State York students will give presentations about their experiences on trips to Mexico in December 2007 and a recent trip to Italy in March 2008 during spring break. These presentations are in room 107 of the M.S. Grumbacher Information Sciences and Technology Center at the campus. 

Unity Day is the culmination of the work of the Penn State York’s Diversity Committee and is sponsored by the group. A variety of multicultural events are planned throughout the year to provide a forum for the campus and community to learn about diversity.

Goals for Unity Day include creating teachable moments to learn about diversity and to provide an opportunity for the campus and community to suggest ways Penn State can create a multicultural environment.  Flags fly at Penn State York representing the homelands of students, faculty, and staff almost year round, and symbolize campus pride in the ethnic heritage of campus members and their commitment to providing an environment where all opinions are valued and respected.  Unity Day is an opportunity to educate, understand, and appreciate the differences among us and discover the many similarities.

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