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Unity Week Celebration Begins April 11

Penn State York Unity Week
Unity Week begins April 11 and continues through April 20 on campus.
4/7/2011 —

Penn State York will celebrate its 13th annual Unity Day on Thursday, April 14, and a variety of programs are planned from April 11-20, an extended Unity Week, when students, faculty, staff, and members of the York community are invited to celebrate diversity. Events will take place in and around the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center from noon–1:00 p.m. each day and are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Monday through Friday, a variety of displays and events are scheduled to take place with an opportunity to learn something new each day. Monday is a presentation on Haiti, Tuesday is the day to learn how to Salsa dance, and Wednesday explores Peru through the eyes of students who visited there.

Thursday is Unity Day from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and features a variety of displays and an opportunity to sample ethnic foods to help celebrate diversity. Displays that reflect the origin or ancestry of faculty, staff, and students will also be set-up in and around the student center. The York County Chapter of the American Red Cross will be on-hand and students will help the group with making paper cranes that will be sold for a donation benefitting Japanese tsunami relief. Paper cranes will be available for purchase and those who are interested in the Japanese art of origami can also learn how to make their own.

Students who traveled to New Orleans during spring break will share their experiences on Friday and on Saturday, Penn State York students, faculty, and staff will join the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeepers in helping with the Codorus Creek Clean-up. Taikoza, a Japanese drum group, is featured on Monday, April 18 in a free performance at the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center on campus. This performance is part of the campus’ Cultural and Performing Artists Series sponsored by MediaOnePA. Finally, on Wednesday, April 20, the campus community will take part in a Japanese tea ceremony. This event is not open to the public.

Those participating in Unity Day on April 14 will wear specially designed T-shirts. Visitors to Unity Day event can also receive a shirt, while supplies last, if they visit a number of displays. Students in Fred Haag’s introduction to visual studies (Art 10S) class created 21 designs for Unity Week and the campus community voted to select one to appear on the shirt. Haag, an associate professor of visual arts at Penn State York, has involved his class in creating designs for a number of years.

A design by Jamie Altman, 18, a freshman from Laurel, Md., was selected as the winner. According to Altman, rather than using drawings of people in her design, she used different fonts and colors together to represent different people coming together.

Nineteen other students submitted designs for the contest and they are Ryan J. Althoff, York, Pa.; Cody A. Arnold, Lewisberry, Pa.; Brittney V. Balbier, Red Lion, Pa.; Amanda G. Ball, McLean, Va.; Alison A. Crossley, Dover, Pa.; Keely S. Downey, Dover, Pa.; Chun-Jui Huang, York, Pa.; Chemin F. Lambert, York, Pa.; Levi G. Lenker, York, Pa.; Kyle Lingg, York, Pa.; Dana M. Markel, York, Pa.; Tyler E. Mason, Dillsburg, Pa.; Samantha L. Melhorn, Dover, PA.; Carrie Phath, York, Pa.; Gabriel A. Plymire, York, Pa.; Joshua J. Ratliff, York, Pa.; James T. Rosenberger, Red Lion, Pa.; Dustin E. Sinclair, York, Pa.; and Summer A. Warner, Spring Grove, Pa.

Goals for Unity Week 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.

Unity Week is the culmination of the work of Penn State York’s Diversity Committee which includes students, faculty, and staff 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.

Flags fly at Penn State York representing the homelands of students, faculty, and staff 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 Week is an opportunity to educate, understand, and appreciate the differences among us and discover the many similarities.

Those attending Unity Week may also wish to visit the display of 30 ceremonial dance masks from Latin American nations, primarily Mexico and Guatemala, which are on permanent display in the Lee R. Glatfelter Library. The masks were donated by the family of the late Gary Collison, Ph.D., Penn State York professor of English/American studies, who died almost three years ago. These masks were part of a much larger collection gathered by Collison, many of which were purchased in his travels to other countries.

Unity Week Celebration April 11-20

Monday, April 11, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Experience Haiti, Katie Sprich, presenter
Community Room, Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center

Tuesday, April 12, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Salsa Dance Lessons
Community Room, Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center

Wednesday, April 13, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Experience Peru through the eyes of students who visited there
Community Room, Joe and Ruhl Student Community Center

Thursday, April 14, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Unity Day Celebration

Friday, April 15, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Experience New Orleans. Hear from students who spent spring break volunteering in the city.
Community Room, Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center

Saturday, April 16, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Lower Susquehanna Riverkeepers/Codorus Clean-up
Smalls Athletic Field
428 North George Street
York, PA

Monday, April 18, 7:00 p.m.
Taikoza, Japanese Drum Group
Pullo Family Performing Arts Center

Wednesday, April 20, 4:00 p.m.
Japanese Tea Ceremony
Lion’s Den, Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center
This event is not open to the public.

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