CSU’s 13th Annual Diversity Symposium hits campus

Diversity meets art today at the 13th Annual Diversity Symposium.

The three-day event cultivates understanding of diversity through culture and art. The  symposium is being put on by the Office of Vice President for Diversity.

“I am thrilled about the route that this year has taken with combining the arts in all of its forms with diversity,” said Felicia Zamora, assistant director of the Center for Professional Development and Business Research.

According to Zamora, linking the two elements of diversity and art is key. A society that is disadvantaged goes beyond laws and demonstrations and uses art to express the voice of diversity.

“I’m very proud of Colorado State for taking the initiative on this,” Zamora said.

Due to construction at Lory Student Center (LSC), this year’s symposium will be held in the University Center of the Arts, with some events remaining in LSC West.

“Even though we may not be centrally on campus the entire time, that’s okay,” Zamora said. “It will showcase some other fantastic areas on campus.”

The main event of the symposium is American actor and CSU alumni, John Amos, best known for his various roles on The West Wing, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Die Hard 2. His keynote performance will be held tonight in the University Theatre at the UCA at 7:30 p.m.

The performance is sold out, but free tickets can be purchased online for the Simulcast to the event located in the Instrumental Rehearsal Hall at the UCA.

Looking through the line-up of this year’s events, Anne Kirkner was struck by the talent, knowledge and expertise the CSU community has to offer on diversity and art. Events include dances, poetry readings, performance painters, panel discussions and photographic presentations.

Kirkner, the Prevention Education and Outreach Director at the Sexual Assault Victim Advocacy Center (SAVA), is presenting “Holding Up a Mirror to Our Community” at 2 p.m. today in LSC room 228.

“The good thing is we already have so many voices who are working tirelessly and advocating right here in our own community,” Kirkner said.

Another presentation going on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in LSC room 228 is Dr. William Timpson’s improvisational theater demonstration, which will engage students in issues of biodiversity, conservation and management within sustainable communities.

“It sounds like a lot of jargon but environmental problems impact people,” said Timpson, professor in the School of Education.

He plans to bring diversity topics into a conversation about the flood in an improvisational theater way. His presentation is one of many where CSU is bringing a wide variety of faculty and students from across campus to talk about where the school is at with diversity.

“We don’t have to look outwards, we can look inwards at our own expertise and listen to what people are saying here,” Kirkner said.

Collegian Staff Writer Hannah Hemperly can be reached at news@collegian.com.