Penn State York will celebrate its 14th annual Unity Day on Thursday, April 12, and a variety of programs are planned from April 9-12, 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 to 1 p.m. each day and are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Complete the online form if you are interested in being involved in Unity Day.
Monday through Thursday, a variety of events are scheduled to take place, providing an opportunity to learn something new each day. Monday’s program highlights a presentation on France given by students who visited that country during spring break 2012; Tuesday features Bollywood dance lessons provided by Penn State York’s Asian Culture Club, and Wednesday explores Portugal and Spain through the eyes of Penn State York students who visited those countries as part of campus international trips.
Thursday is Unity Day from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and features a variety of displays and provides an opportunity to sample different 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. A fashion show -- presented by the Nittany Catwalk Club, Asian Culture Club, and the Black Student Union -- is sure to keep everyone entertained. There will also be a martial arts demonstration, several musicians performing,and ethnic dances.
Those participating in Unity Day on April 12 will wear specially designed T-shirts. Visitors to Unity Day event can also receive a shirt, while supplies last, if they complete the Unity Day passport.
Students in Fred Haag’s introduction to visual studies (Art 10S) class created 11 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 Faleshia Kelsey, from Douglasville, Pa., was selected as the winner. Ten other students submitted designs for the contest including Courtney Dohn, Red Lion, Pa.;Jordan Fair, Hershey, Pa.; Amy Hammonds, Spring Grove, Pa.; Patrick Hilbert, Dover, Pa.; Victoria Hogan, Hanover, Pa.; Elena Keener, Lancaster, Pa.; Timothy Kenney, Glen Rock, Pa.; Steve Kline, Lancaster, Pa.; Onayemi Onalaja, Lagos, Nigeria; and Emily Thompson, Jefferson, Pa.
Goals for Unity Week include creating teachable moments to learn about diversity and to provide opportunities 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 embrace the many similarities.