Ball State’s 41st annual Unity Week will look different than years past due to COVID-19 restrictions. There will not be the usual MLK Community Breakfast or Unity March, but organizations will still host some events via Zoom and a few in-person events.
According to Ball State’s website, the events scheduled to be held are as follows:
Cooking Live with Asian Student Union (ASU)
5 p.m., Instagram Live @ballstateasu
The Asian Student Union will kick off Unity Week with their first Instagram Live cooking show, making pancit — a traditional Filipino noodle dish served at celebrations. Carinah Herrero, ASU president, said ASU would traditionally serve dishes to their members, but it is adapting to a virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Celebrating Black Poetry with E. Ethelbert Miller
7 p.m., Zoom
E. Ethelbert Miller is the author of two memoirs and several books of poetry including The Collected Poems of E. Ethelbert Miller. The departments of English and African American studies will host Miller over Zoom to read some poems in honor of Langston Hughes’s birthday. Muncie poet Jasmine Taylor and Ball State alum Black Honey will each read one poem. There will be an audience Q&A after Miller’s performance.
MLK Speaker: A Conversation with Cheryl Brown Henderson
7 p.m., Zoom
Civil rights activist Cheryl Brown Henderson will speak on the legacy of the landmark desegregation Supreme Court case Brown v. The Board of Education via Zoom in honor of Unity Week.
Henderson is one of the three children of Rev. Oliver L. Brown, of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. She is the Founding President of The Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research, and owner of Brown & Associates, educational consulting firm.
Reel Inclusion Film Series: “Living Thinkers”
5:30 p.m., Zoom
While the Reel Inclusion Film Series is a monthly event, this month’s documentary “Living Thinkers” is being shown over Zoom in honor of Unity Week.
This documentary was made by Roxana Walker-Canton, according to the movie’s website. The film follows Black women who work in the United States’ higher education system as they reflect on discriminatory practices used to hinder the number of Black women that achieve higher-ranking administrative positions.
7 p.m., Zoom
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.
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.
University Program Board "Dare to Speak" conversation
6 p.m., Zoom
University Program Board (UPB) will present the opportunity for students and staff to listen to poets and activists Carlos Andrés Gómez and Katie Kramer, who have each dedicated their lives and careers to promoting equity through poetry. Gómez is the author of the “Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood” memoir and Kramer is a slam poet and LGBTQ activist.
Faith Renken, UPB assistant director for programs, said there will be time for a Q&A at the end of the performance.
Tunnel of Oppression
2-8 p.m., Student Center Art Gallery
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.
Racial Trauma and White Fragility
7 p.m., Zoom
The Student Antiracism and Intersectionality Advisory Council (SAIAC) will host a Racial Trauma and White Fragility conversation with the Counseling Center’s diversity team. The event will allow participants to examine the impact of racism on Black, Indigenious and people of color, as well as look at defensive responses of white people when presented with racial stress, said Emily Rutter, assistant professor of English and co-host of the event.
7:30 p.m., L.A. Pittenger Student Center Ballroom
Latinxpalooza is a long-standing and annual non-competitive talent showcase hosted by the Latinx Student Union (LSU).
This year’s event will include crafts, samba dance and learning Portugese. RSVP for the event here.
Friday Night Filmworks: “Just Mercy”
Feb. 5-6, streaming service
University Program Board’s Friday Night Filmworks will present the movie “Just Mercy” — a story based on the life work of Civil Rights attorney Bryan Stevenson. The movie will be available for streaming Feb. 5-6. This film, starring actors Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx, tells the story of Stevenson defending wrongfully-convicted prisoners in Alabama who were not given proper representation, according to the movie’s website.
Late Nite CommUNITY
9 p.m., Zoom
Late Nite @ Ball State hosts weekly entertainment events every Saturday for Ball State students. This week’s event will be themed around Unity Week.
Meet the Unity Pageant Participants
7 p.m., Instagram Live @ballstate_bsa
The Unity Scholarship Pageant is one of Black Student Association’s (BSA) annual signature events where the Mr/Miss/Mx Unity are crowned. Money allocated for the pageant along with money raised by pageant contestants through advertisement sales goes toward funding the scholarship.