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Campus Group Plans Activities for Diversity Week Oct. 24-28

RELEASED: Oct. 18, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has designated the week of Oct. 24-28 as Diversity Week. A series of presentations will be offered by the university's Peer Diversity Educators.

Peer Diversity Educator Megan Justin-Bridgman, a junior from Wauwatosa, said she hopes this week will help open people's eyes and minds to diversity issues.

"Education on diversity is an important step to eliminating discrimination and prejudice," said Justin-Bridgman, "We want students to be aware of these issues and how they can help, because we all need to work together for this."

The theme for the week is "Reach out for Respect," with each day aimed toward a specific cause. Monday through Wednesday will feature presentations in various residence halls, followed by discussions led by the PDE group. On Monday, Oct. 24, the presentation is "Reach out for Gender Equality" in Towers Hall; Tuesday, Oct. 25, is "Reach out to Other Cultures" in Katharine Thomas Hall and Governors Hall; and Wednesday, Oct. 26 features "Reach out to Each Other" in Oak Ridge Hall. All presentations begin at 8:30 p.m.

The week's events will culminate on Thursday, Oct. 27, with a presentation on lower campus by senior Jessica Janiuk, Delafield, at 8:30 p.m. in Room 101 of Hibbard Hall. Janiuk will present "What Is Your Gender Identity?" She will discuss gender, identity, LGBT issues and activism. Her talk will include a question and answer period and time for discussion. Refreshments will be served.

Senior PDE Heather Hanewall, Beloit, said that discussing prejudice is the key to making people more accepting and that it is PDE's goal to provide opportunities to discuss issues of diversity and social injustice with Diversity Week.

"I think the biggest challenge of making our world a more accepting place for all people, regardless of ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, gender, and religion, is realizing that there is indeed judgment passed on those that aren't seen as 'normal,'" said Hanewall, "Just noticing that everyone is different, even in their preferences and backgrounds, is the stepping stone to creating respect."

Diversity Week events are free. For more information about the week, contact Megan Justin-Bridgman at justinme@uwec.edu.

-30-

BC/NW

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