During the “The Daily Dialogue” discussions, freshman Tony Taboada, freshman Jonathan Elias and sophomore Lili Gradilla shared issues, challenges and perspectives regarding race and ethnicity. Gradilla shared how she struggled to find a place to fit in as a Latina in America and an American citizen in Mexico. Students and faculty members met in the Presidential Dining Room on April 8 as part of the Diversity Week events which was hosted by the Multicultural Club Council.
Students and faculty gathered at the University of La Verne President’s Dining Room on April 8 for a “Daily Dialogue” on ethnicity and race.
The faculty and students present at the dialogue went over issues dealing with personal accounts of racism and being judged for their ethnicity at a young age.
The faculty members shared stories from their childhood of incidents where they were forced to deal with racism and were judged at one point for their ethnicity.
Lili Gradilla, sophomore and member of the Multicultural Club Council, asked questions to lead the discussion.
“What experiences have you had with racism?” and “How do you see this issue impacting the ULV community and the community at large?” were questions that brought upon the majority of the topics in the discussion.
“I never thought because of my ethnicity that we were different,” Issam Ghazzawi, assistant professor of business and management said.
Faculty members shared their stories of growing up and becoming an American citizen.
Many of them were actually not born in the United States, such as Hector Delgado, professor of sociology, who was born in Puerto Rico.
“I didn’t get to have lunch one time at school because I didn’t speak English and I didn’t understand when the teacher had asked the class to get in line for lunch,” Delgado said.
Delgado also shared his experience of dealing with segregation.
He spoke of a time when a person pointed out to his mother that she could not use the bathroom that she was about to walk into because it was for “whites” only.
This was Delgado’s first eye- opener to the harsh truth of segregation.
Additionally, a topic also came up regarding racism being institutionalized and the idea of racism still existing in schools. Not just with students, but also with employees such as professors and administrators.
There is a major concern for why there is only a small percentage of minorities in the faculty at ULV.
“Personal matters help build a relationship and it is important to be able to move into implications of how it connects to the University,” Daniel Loera, director of office of multicultural services, said.
Unfortunately, only three students, along with five faculty members and two officers from the Multicultural Club Council attended the “Daily Dialogue.”
“It was a little disappointing that there weren’t more people,” Loera, said.
However, to celebrate the week graffiti boards were set up in the President’s Dining Room where students and faculty could write messages that helped to impact others.
One of the messages read, “There are so many stereotypes about religion. It is our job to destroy them.”
There was also a table set up of blank tiles and a box of paints so that students could write messages on the tiles.
Once they have enough decorative tiles, the multicultural lounge, which is currently being built, will be making a mosaic wall out of the tiles to showcase the students and faculty work.
The daily dialogue, graffiti wall and tile painting was part of Diversity Week which took place on campus from April 7- 11. Diversity week was done to encourage students to be more proactive about diversity issues on campus.
Jaclyn Mittman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.