Ball State University’s Multicultural Center has announced the schedule of events for Unity Week 2022, which kicks off on Jan. 17—the official observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Unity Week is a popular on-campus celebration dedicated to unifying the Ball State community through enlightened social, cultural, and educational events. All events are free and open to students, faculty, staff, community members, and media members.
“Unity Week aims to educate and inform the BSU community as well as challenge perspectives on matters of diversity, inclusivity, and solidarity in an evolving social climate,” said Bobby Steele, director of the Multicultural Center. “We want to offer students, faculty, staff, and community members an opportunity to learn, reflect, and engage in open dialogue about their experiences.”
One of the highlights of Unity Week 2022 will be featured speaker Brandon Pope, an award-winning television host, media critic, and columnist. Mr. Pope, a 2014 Ball State graduate, is president of the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. He has served as a board member of “My Brother’s Keeper,” which is dedicated to closing opportunity gaps for youth of color in the Greater Chicago area. He will The event featuring Mr. Pope is co-sponsored by the University’s Multicultural Center, the College of Communication, Information, and Media; and the Office of Student Life.
Another highlight of the upcoming Unity Week is the experience-based “Boxes and Walls” event at 6 p.m. on Jan. 20 in the Student Center Ballroom. This event offers the opportunity for individuals to experience a snapshot of the kind of oppression faced by people with historically marginalized identities. Participants will take self-guided tours through the spaces to visualize and learn about gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, disabilities, religions, and more. Upon completion of the tour, participants can engage with others to debrief about their experiences at the event. “Boxes and Walls” will be hosted by the University’s Housing and Residence Life.
The full schedule of Unity Week 2022 events is as follows:
Monday, January 17
- MLK Celebration, Emens Auditorium, 9:30 a.m.
- MLK Unity March, Emens Auditorium, 11:30 a.m.
Tuesday, January 18
- MLK Speaker, Brandon Pope, Pruis Hall, 7 p.m. (This in-person event will also be livestreamed.)
Wednesday, January 19
- Student Voluntary Services (SVS) Volunteer Recruitment Fair, Student Center Cardinal Hall, 9 a.m.
- Queer Monologues, Pruis Hall, 8 p.m.
Thursday, January 20
- Ambassadors of Diversity and Inclusion: A Historical Overview of the Multicultural Center, Multicultural Center’s Multipurpose Room, 2 p.m.
- Boxes and Walls, Student Center Ballroom, 6 p.m.
Friday, January 21
- Latinxpalooza, Student Center, Cardinal Hall, 6 p.m.
- Friday Night Film Works & Reel Inclusion Film Series – Black Boys, available for virtual viewing via Kanopy.
Saturday, January 22
- Beneficence Leadership Conference, Student Center Ballroom, 9 a.m.
Full event details can be found online at the Multicultural Center’s Unity Week 2022 site. In accordance with COVID-19 campus restrictions, masks will be required indoors for all event participants, guests, and members of the media, regardless of vaccination status.
Unity Week, which is coordinated each year by the Multicultural Center with cooperation from campus partners and student organizations, dates back to 1978. Learn more about the history of this event—plus, the history of the Multicultural Center—through the new freely-accessible online digital exhibit, The Ball State University Multicultural Center: Ambassadors of Campus Inclusion and Diversity.
Visitors can explore written accounts, historical photographs, news articles, videos, and other documents that highlight the people, resources, programs, events, decisions, ideas, and initiatives that have shaped the Multicultural Center’s sustained success.
“This knowledge helps shape our understanding of the challenges, progress, and the necessary continued efforts for diversity and inclusion,” Mr. Steele said. “The history is pertinent to the future of the Multicultural Center as it strives to be a place where students can continue to feel supported and included in a welcoming environment that promotes academic success, personal growth, and belonging.”
Unity Week 2022 is co-sponsored by Ball State University’s Asian Student Union; Black Student Association; College of Communication, Information, and Media; Collective Coalition of Concerned Clergy, a community-based organization in Muncie; plus Ball State’s Housing and Residence Life; Latinx Student Union; Office of the President; Office of Student Life; Spectrum; Student Center Programs; and University Libraries.