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First Fridays Event for Senior Citizens Set for Feb. 3

RELEASED: Jan. 19, 2006

EAU CLAIRE — A Feb. 3 presentation by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Peer Diversity Educators, titled "How to Accept and Relate to Differences in Others," will be the first event of the calendar year for the First Fridays colloquium for senior citizens.

A free continental breakfast will precede the formal program at Christ Church Cathedral, located on the corner of Lake and Farwell streets in downtown Eau Claire. Doors will open for breakfast at 8:30 a.m., and the presentation will begin at 9 a.m. in the Memorial Lounge.

The program will begin with an interactive activity that deals with labeling and how diversity surrounds us. Participants will explore their own roles in creating and promoting diversity. The presentation will delve into how race and ethnicity are just two of the factors that define what diversity is.

Peer Diversity Educators is a UW-Eau Claire Housing and Residence Life organization that promotes understanding and respect for people of all abilities, creeds, races, social classes, genders and sexual orientations. The student-run organization began educating the campus on diversity issues in 2001. In 2004 the group applied for and received a Citizen Scholar Grant funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service through the Learn and Serve America Higher Education Program, to assist PDE in expanding its programs into the Eau Claire community.

Working with community partners such as the YMCA of Eau Claire, Bolton Refuge House, local law enforcement and several faith-based organizations and community social workers, PDE uses educational programs, presentations and personal testimonies to accomplish its goal of eliminating prejudice and discrimination.

For the safety of the program's senior citizen audience, the event will be cancelled if the Eau Claire Area School District has cancelled or delayed classes in the case of hazardous weather.

First Fridays is funded by support from the UW-Eau Claire Foundation Community Outreach Program for the Arts and contributions from Elliott Roberts. The program is coordinated by Beverly Soll and Jennifer Brockpahler of the UW-Eau Claire Activities and Programs office and by Scott and Heather Kirby of Christ Church Cathedral.

First Fridays events are presented on the first Friday of each month October through May, with the exception of January, at no cost to the senior community. "All Aboard the Eau Claire Express" is the theme of the 2005-06 season.

For more information about First Fridays or to be placed on a mailing list, call (715) 836-2787 [ARTS].

-30-

JS/JB

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