Ball State's Unity Week 2020 continues with the same mission

<p>Ball State students and Muncie community members march on McKinley Avenue for the Unity March, Jan. 16, 2017. This year's Unity March is scheduled to take place Jan. 20, 2020. <strong>Kyle Crawford, DN File</strong></p>

Ball State students and Muncie community members march on McKinley Avenue for the Unity March, Jan. 16, 2017. This year's Unity March is scheduled to take place Jan. 20, 2020. Kyle Crawford, DN File

Speakers, movie screenings and student organization events will return this Unity Week as the annual week of events marks its 40th anniversary at Ball State.

The events aim to “challenge perspectives on matters of diversity, inclusivity and solidarity in an evolving social climate,” according to the event’s website.

Unity Week this year will continue with the same mission it had when it first started in 1980, said Bobby Steele, director of Ball State’s Multicultural Center.

“We want to give students, and faculty and staff, as well as community members, an opportunity to engage, learn, reflect and have dialogue and discussion about the things that they learn by attending the events,” Steele said.

According to Ball State’s website, the events scheduled to be held are as follows:

Jan. 20

MLK Community Breakfast
9 a.m., Cardinal Hall, L.A. Pittenger Student Center

The annual Community Breakfast hosted by Ball State and the Muncie community will commemorate and celebrate the life and contributions of Martin Luther King Jr.

MLK Unity March
11 a.m., Multicultural Center

Following the Community Breakfast, the MLK Unity March will begin at the Multicultural Center on the corner of McKinley Avenue and North Street, head north on McKinley Avenue to the Shafer Bell Tower and return south on McKinley Avenue to the Multicultural Center.

Jan. 21

MLK Speaker: Beverly Tatum
7:30 p.m., Pruis Hall

Every year, Steele said, Ball State brings in an MLK Speaker to commemorate King’s legacy and talk about his vision and dream and how that may translate to today.

This year’s speaker is Beverly Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College in Atlanta. Tatum is a clinical psychologist known for her expertise on race relations and as a thought leader in higher education. She was recognized in 2013 for her leadership with the Carnegie Academic Leadership Award.

Jan. 22

Reel Inclusion Film Series: “A Lot Like You”
5:30 p.m., Art and Journalism Building room 175

While the Reel Inclusion Film Series is a monthly event, this month’s documentary “A Lot Like You” is being shown in honor of Unity Week, Steele said.

This documentary was made by Eliaichi Kimaro, a mixed-race, first-generation American with a Tanzanian father and Korean mother, according to the movie’s website. Kimaro’s project examines the fabric of multiracial identity and the ties children have to their parents’ cultures, it states.

Queer Monologues
7 p.m., Pruis Hall

Spectrum, Ball State’s gender, sexual and romantic minority organization, will present a free theatrical performance of coming-out stories that address the experiences faced by people in the queer community.

While other schools have put on Queer Monologues events in the past, last year was the first time Spectrum held the event, said Brooklyn Arizmendi, director of the event.

“We’re trying to make it more of an annual thing for Unity Week to have an event that provides LGBTQ+ representation,” Arizmendi said.

Those interested in participating in the event will create monologues based on their identities or pick monologues already provided to a network of people from Queer Monologues for their shows, she said.

Jan. 23

Tunnel of Oppression
6 p.m., third floor, L.A. Pittenger Student Center

Tunnel of Oppression is a guided tour that offers an opportunity for individuals to experience a snapshot of the kind of oppression people with historically marginalized identities may experience on a daily basis.

People can observe a simulation of oppression through different interactive booths, following which they can debrief about their experience.

Unifying Through Understanding: DOMA as Gateway to the World of Art
4:30 p.m., David Owsley Museum of Art

People can take a tour through the museum’s art collection that shares the diversity of cultures, perspectives and ideas in this event held by the Office of Inclusive Excellence in partnership with the David Owsley Museum of Art.

Jan. 24

Latinxpalooza
7:30 p.m., Cardinal Hall, L.A. Pittenger Student Center

Latinxpalooza is a long-standing and annual non-competitive talent showcase hosted by the Latinx Student Union (LSU).

This year’s event includes performances by Raices Folklore, a Latin American dance group from Seymour, Indiana, the African Student Association and other student organizations, said Abril Castenada, vice president of LSU.

Friday Night Filmworks: “Harriet”
9 p.m., Pruis Hall

University Program Board’s Friday Night Filmworks will present the movie “Harriet” — a dramatization of the story of the American abolitionist Harriet Tubman, known for her antislavery activism through the Underground Railroad.

This film, starring actresses Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom Jr., tells the story of Tubman’s escape from slavery and how she freed hundreds of slaves, according to the movie’s website.

Jan. 25

Together We Can Late Nite
9 p.m., L.A. Pittenger Student Center

Late Nite @ Ball State hosts weekly entertainment events every Saturday for Ball State students that include food and activities. Next week’s event will be themed around Unity Week.

Jan. 26

Unity Pageant
7 p.m., Pruis Hall

The Unity Scholarship Pageant is one of Black Student Association’s (BSA) annual signature events where the Mr/Miss/Mx Unity are crowned, said Darian Ballard, secretary of BSA.

Originally called Miss Black Ball State, the pageant was renamed the Unity Pageant to account for inclusiveness and diversity and allow all students to participate, Ballard said.

This year’s theme — “Keys to the Kingdom” — is a jungle-themed pageant, she said. Money allocated for the pageant along with money raised by pageant contestants through advertisement sales goes toward funding the scholarship.

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