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Diversity Blog

Maroon Rally Nation Outreach Activities

Join us Avenue of flagsfor ongoing discussions about the climate of equity on the MSU campus and take time out to enjoy games and a movie in a safe, positive environment.

Schedule of facilitated discussions

Monday, Dec. 1

Speak Up forum
5:00 to 7:00 P.M.
Karls Hall, Room 101

Peace talks with experts in diversity issues
7:00 to 8:30 P.M.
PSU, Room 315B

Tuesday, Dec. 2

Recreational games
6:00 to 7:30 P.M.
PSU Level 1 Game Center

Comedy movie night
8:00 to 10:00 P.M.
Carrington Hall, Room 208

Continue to check this page for future outreach and support activities.

Contact the Multicultural Resource Center at 417-836-5652 if you have questions.

 

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Dialogue and decompress: Ferguson grand jury decision

The University has established designated locations and times for students, faculty and staff to engage in facilitated dialogues to express feelings, decompress and share self-reflections.

Avenue of flagsSchedule of facilitated discussions

Discussions will only be held if a grand jury decision is released.

Monday, Nov. 24

  • 3:30-9 p.m., Glass Hall 101
    News will be shown until the announcement is made, then facilitated dialogues will begin.
  • The Multicultural Resource Center open (PSU 142) will also be open until 9 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 25

  • 9-10:30 a.m. PSU 314ABC
  • 6-7:30 p.m., Temple Hall 2

More events planned

Several programs to express, chat and engage are in the planning stages and will be posted to this website within the next few days. Long-term programs to develop cultural consciousness for students, faculty and staff are also in the planning stages. Please check this Web page frequently for the locations of outreach and support activities.

Contact the Multicultural Resource Center at 417-836-5652 if you have questions.

Posted in Multicultural Programs, Upcoming Events | Tagged | 4 Comments

Springfield Walk for Peace

rally (2)

Saturday, November 15, 2014, 10:00 AM
Meet at Boonville and Commercial St.

Springfield Walk for Peace

Springfield NAACP & Minorities in Business are hosting a rally to unite our community in response to issues of violence, abuse and hate in our community and nation.

Please join us as we walk to promote peace!

Will you join us? We will walk to the government plaza followed by a short program and a tribute to victims of violence in our area and nation.

More info: Call 417-873-6386 or visit www. facebook.com/naacp/timeline

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Celebrando Con Los Muertos Vivientes por Yolanda Lorge

CELEBRANDO CON LOS MUERTOS VIVIENTES

Por: Yolanda LorgeCasa-Artelexia-4

Noviembre es el mes que los muertos reclaman como propio. En la celebración del Día de los Muertos, los difuntos son los invitados de honor: cempasúchiles brillantes, máscaras de papel maché, júbilo, comida y música forman parte de la antigua celebración precolombina.

Se trata de un típico sincretismo indohispano. Aunque el día festivo es reconocido a través de América Latina, en México es acogido más fervientemente.

A lo largo de México, los vivos empiezan sus preparativos para el evento con mucha anterioridad a la fiesta. Los muertos están por venir.

Este festival religioso conmemora el regreso de las almas que una vez al año visitan y comparten un festín especial con sus familiares terrestres. En este día, el concepto de la muerte no es temido, sino aceptado; hasta disfrutado –con representaciones de calaveras, ataúdes, esqueletos burlones libremente usados como temas decorativos.

La celebración del Día de los Muertos toma lugar cada año empezando la noche del 31 de octubre y terminando la noche del 2 de noviembre. Pero es diferente a Halloween –día festivo estadounidense con raíces célticas- donde se utilizan figuras en forma de fantasma se usan para crear un ambiente de espanto. El Día de los Muertos es una celebración jubilosa, y también una ocasión para la reflexión y el recogimiento, un momento para la  remembranza. Es una ceremonia conmovedora dedicada a la continuidad de la vida.

Esta celebración une las creencias indígenas con las cristianas y coincide con el Día de Todos los Santos y el Día de los Fieles Difuntos. La idea de que las personalidades individuales continúan después de la muerte y que pueden interceder por los vivos con grandes poderes, encajó lo suficientemente bien con la fe católica española para sobrevivir la conquista sin muchos cambios.

Enraizada en la antigua civilización azteca, esta tradición está profundamente arraigada en creencias en un universo mítico. Para los aztecas, la muerte no era vista como el fin de la existencia sino como una puerta hacia otros niveles, otros reinos, donde las almas de los muertos seguían existiendo. Durante la conquista, los preceptos fueron forjados con el canon cristiano de la existencia eterna del alma después de la muerte, en la gloria, purgatorio, o en el infierno.

Esta rica mezcla de las observaciones religiosas católicas y las sobrevivientes creencias indias paganas han mantenido la celebración por siglos. Es difícil que otras culturas entiendan la dualidad entre la vida y la muerte, por un lado burlándose de la muerte y, por otro, tomando una postura estoica hacia ella. Es una declaración de temor al igual que de tenacidad y de resistencia. Esta actitud está enraizada en las antiguas creencias de que la vida es simplemente un movimiento hacia tu propia muerte. La muerte es sólo una etapa del ciclo de la vida.

La calavera es un símbolo de muerte pero también de renovación. Significa que en esta vida ya estamos viviendo nuestra muerte, pero en una manera cíclica. No se detiene. El cuerpo tal vez, pero el espíritu necesita vivir. Para los mexicanos, la vida es la muerte y la muerte es la vida. Es una unidad, una sola parte. Eso se distingue de la manera que se percibe en la mayoría de las civilizaciones occidentales, donde la vida y la muerte nunca se unen. Es ese ciclo de rituales de la vida y la muerte que es particularmente mexicano, y tan perdurable.

El 1 de noviembre es cuando las almas de los niños llegan a casa. Al siguiente día, las almas de los adultos son bienvenidas. Para la noche del 2 de noviembre, las almas han regresado al mundo de los espíritus, se apagan las velas y las familias van a misa. Después, todos regresan a casa para disfrutar de un gran banquete.

Principalmente, estas celebraciones para los muertos, reafirman los lazos de amor y de familia. Como dijo un anciano conocido mío. “Cuando los quieres de verdad, los muertos nunca están lejos de tu corazón. Yo llevo la memoria de mi difunta esposa cada día y cada noche. Cuando yo muera, mis hijos y nietos nos darán la bienvenida a ambos una vez al año ¡No puedes vivir sin amor!”

 

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Respecting the marketplace of ideas

This post was originally published by Vice President for Student Affairs Dee Siscoe on the Student Affairs blog.

During the keynote address of last spring’s Statewide Collaborative Diversity Conference, Jeff Johnson reminded us that “the college campus is the space where you should feel free to discuss things the world won’t talk about.”

Recent events have illuminated both the need for this space as well as the challenges of engaging in difficult discussions. As we move forward with the campus conversation on diversity and racism, I would like to affirm a few points.

Campus in the fall

The principles of Missouri State

Our Declaration of University Principles defines educated persons as those who hold themselves to the following ideals:

  • Being open minded to embrace the benefits and richness that diversity and inclusiveness bring to the community of scholars and to recognize them as catalysts for educational excellence.
  • Practicing personal and academic integrity. Being a full participant in the educational process, and respecting the right of all to contribute to the “Marketplace of Ideas.”
  • Treating all persons with civility, while understanding that tolerating an idea is not the same as supporting it. Being a steward of the shared resources of the community of scholars.

Accepting these principles means that you will refrain from and discourage behavior that threatens the freedom and respect each member of our community deserves.

The rights of our students

According to the Code of Students Rights and Responsibilities, all students have a right to be offered reasonable protection from retaliation, intimidation and/or harassment.

Students who believe they have experienced retaliation, intimidation and/or harassment are encouraged to seek assistance from one of a number of campus resources, including:

Students can find assistance on filing a complaint and other campus resources on the Office of Student Conduct website.

Expectations for the future

I echo President Smart’s words in The Standard: “All members of the Missouri State University community have the rights of assembly, free speech and expression throughout the campus. While we, as individuals, may not always agree with the ideas expressed, as a community built on civility and respect, it is expected that we will respect these rights, and that they will not be thwarted by the threat of abuse or harassment.”

At Missouri State University, we want all of our students to feel welcome, safe and at home. My hope is that as members of the Missouri State University community, we will continue to explore meaningful ways to engage. May we all move forward with integrity and tolerance — knowing that respect for others is the surest sign of self-respect — as we seek to make our campus a more accepting and enriching space.

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Day of the Dead Altars

Day of the Dead Altars

 

Day of the Dead altars are built during Dia de los Muertos to honor the lives of those who have passed. They are often quite beautiful creations, constructed with love and care. Creating these altars is one of the most important traditions during Day of the Dead in Mexico and in Mexican-American communities around the globe.

Traditionally, every family in Mexico builds an altar on the days leading up to November 1. Some people even start weeks in advance and hire professionals to build elaborate altars. Other altars are more modest, but are still built with sincere, loving intentions.

On top of the altar, offerings are laid out for the dead – known as ofrendas. These are items that the spirits will enjoy when they come back to earth to visit their living families and friends. People make an effort to lay out the best ofrenda they can afford, consisting of things the dead person enjoyed while s/he was alive.

It is common for families to spend a lot of money for the Day of the Dead, to buy new things to go on their altars. This is because they want the best for their deceased loved ones. They don’t want their loved ones to show up after a long, tedious journey from the Other Side to be greeted by a meager, half-hearted altar!

A Day of the Dead altar is usually arranged on a table top that is used exclusively for the altar, or it is built from stacks of crates. Altars have at least two tiers, sometimes more. The table or crates are draped with cloth (or sometimes a paper or plastic covering). An arch made of marigolds is often erected over top of the altar.

Whether simple or sophisticated, Day of the Dead altars and ofrenda all contain certain basic elements in common. Here are the ofrendas that you will typically see on a Dia de los Muertos altar:

Candles – Candles are lit to welcome the spirits back to their altars.

Marigolds – These yellow-orange flowers, also called cempasúchitl, symbolize death. Their strong fragrance also help lead the dead back to their altars. Marigold petals may also be sprinkled on the floor in front of the altar, or even sprinkled along a path from the altar to the front door, so that the spirit may find her way inside.

Incense – Most commonly, copal incense, which is the dried aromatic resin from a tree native to Mexico. The scent is also said to guide the spirits back to their altars

Salt – represents the continuance of life.

Photo of the deceased – A framed photo of the dead person to whom the altar is dedicated, usually positioned in a prime spot on the altar.

Pan de muerto – Also known as “bread of the dead”, pan de muerto is a symbol of the departed.

Sugar skulls – As symbols of death and the afterlife, sugar skulls are not only given as gifts to the living during Day of the Dead, they are also placed as offerings on the altar.

Fresh fruit – whatever is in season – oranges, bananas, etc.

Other foods – Traditional Day of the Dead foods that you would find on altars include atole, mole, tamales, and tortillas. Altars also usually include the dead person’s favorite foods, including modern foods like Rice Krispies or potato chips!

A note about foods and drinks on altars

The souls that visit their altars do not actually eat or drink what is on the altar. They can’t – they have no bodies! Instead, they absorb the aroma and energy of the food, which nourishes their spirits.

After the holiday is over, the foods and drinks on the altars are distributed amongst family and friends, but the foods and drinks are now tasteless and devoid of nutritional value, because their essence is gone.

Water – Souls are thirsty after their long journey from the Other Side, so they appreciate a glass of water upon arrival.

Other drinks – The favorite drink of the deceased is also laid out on the altar, whether it is tequila, whisky, soda, or anything else!

Items that once belonged to the deceased – Mementos and other things the dead person enjoyed in life are laid out on the altar, and often new things are bought too.

Images of saints – or other role models who were important in the dead person’s life.

Papel picado – These decorative pieces of cut paper are draped around the altar’s edge or hung from above.

Ceramics and woven baskets – were traditionally included in Day of the Dead altars.

In the past, altars were only built inside people’s homes as a personal connection to their loved ones on the Other Side. These days, you can also find Day of the Dead altars in schools, government buildings, businesses, museums and libraries. When they are built in public places like this, their usual purpose is to celebrate Mexico’s cultural heritage or to honor a well-known hero or figure.

Building Day of the Dead altars is also becoming a popular activity at schools in the US, because it is a fun, hands-on way of celebrating Mexico’s’ cultural heritage while allowing students to both learn and express their creativity.

 

Posted in Cultural and Religious Observances | Leave a comment

“Dear White People” film showing at the Moxie

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE

  • Director: Justin Simien
  • Genre(s): Drama, Comedy
  • Rating: R
  • Running Time: 100 min.

At prestigious Winchester University, biracial student Samantha White begins her radio show, “Dear White People, the amount of black friends required not to seem racist has just been raised to two. Sorry, your weed man, Tyrone, doesn’t count.” Sam becomes president of the all-black residential hall Parker/Armstrong, whose existence is facing extinction in the name of diversification. TV reality show “Black Face/White Place” smells gold in Sam’s story and decides to follow it, rejecting the proposal of fellow black student Coco Conners, who pitched her show “Doing Time at an Ivy League”. The clamor over Sam’s rise also becomes a career-defining opportunity for black misfit Lionel Higgins when he is asked to join the school’s lily-white newspaper staff to cover the controversy, even though he secretly knows little about black culture.

“It’s an American film that talks about race with strong feeling, common sense and good humor; it’s an indie screenwriting-directing debut as polished as it is provocative; it’s a satire that also lets its characters be people; it’s a showcase of clever craft and direction as well as whip-smart comedic writing brought to life by a dedicated, charismatic cast that also conveys real ideas and emotion.”

– James Rocchi, The Playlist

“Like the movie itself, every character is a beautiful swirl of contradictions.”

– R. Kurt Osenlund, Slant Magazine

“The small miracle of the movie is that Simien finds so many laughs in what are genuinely bewildering issues.”

– Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice

“Comparisons to Spike Lee’s movies are unavoidable, particularly with a setting that recalls Lee’s “School Daze” and a conclusion that echoes “Do the Right Thing.” But Dear White People is a film of the moment, and an essential one at that.”

– Jordan Hoffman, New York Daily News

SHOWTIMES

  • Friday, 10/316:30pm, 8:45pm
  • Saturday, 11/12:00pm, 5:00pm, 7:00pm, 9:00pm
  • Sunday, 11/21:30pm, 3:30pm, 6:30pm
  • Monday, 11/34:00pm, 6:00pm
  • Tuesday, 11/46:30pm, 8:30pm
  • Wednesday, 11/56:30pm, 8:30pm
  • Thursday, 11/66:30pm, 8:30pm

http://moxiecinema.com/films/dear-white-people/

Dear White People coupon

 

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Celebrating with the living dead by Yolanda Lorge

CELEBRATING WITH THE LIVING DEAD

By Yolanda LorgeCasa-Artelexia-4

November is the month the dead claim for their own. On the Day of the Dead celebration, the dead are the honored guest. Vibrant marigolds, papier-mâché masks, revelry, food and music are all part of the ancient pre-Columbian celebration. One of those typical Indian-Spanish intermarriages. Although the holiday is recognized throughout Latin America, it is most fervently embraced in Mexico.

Throughout Mexico, the living begin their preparations for that event long in advance of the feast. The dead are coming.

This religious festival commemorates the return of souls who once a year visit and share a special feast with their earthly families. On this day, the concept of death is not feared, but accepted; it’s even enjoyed – with representations of skulls, coffins, and heckling skeletons liberally used as decorative motifs.

Day of the Dead celebrations take place each year beginning on the evening of October 31 and ending on the evening of November 2. But unlike Halloween – the American holiday with Celtic roots- where ghoulish figures are meant to create a frightening atmosphere, this is a joyful celebration, also a time for reflection and recollection, of remembrance. It is a very moving pageant dedicated to the continuity of life.

It merges indigenous beliefs and Christianity and coincides with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. The idea that individual personalities continue after death and can intercede for the living with great powers fitted well enough with Spanish Catholic faith to survive the Conquest without much change.

Rooted in the ancient Aztec civilization, this tradition is deeply ingrained with beliefs in a mythical universe. To the Aztecs, death was not viewed as the end of existence but a gateway to other levels, other realms, where the souls of the death continued to exists. During the Conquest, the precepts became forged with Christian canon of eternal existence of the soul after death in heaven, purgatory, or hell.

This rich blend of Catholic religious observances and surviving Indian pagan beliefs has sustained the celebration for centuries.

It’s hard for other cultures to understand the duality of life and death, on the one hand mocking death, and on the other taking a stoic stance toward it. It’s a statement of fear as well as tenacity and endurance. This attitude is rooted in the ancient belief that life is simply a movement toward your own death. Death is simply a stage in the cycle of life.

The skull is a symbol of dead but also of renewal. It means that in this lifetime we’re already living in our death, but in a cyclical way. It doesn’t stop. The body may stop, but the spirit needs to live. To the Mexican, life is death and death is life. It is one unit, one part. That differs from the way it is seen in most Western civilizations, where life and death never meet. It’s that ritualistic life-death cycle that is particularly Mexican, and so haunting.

November 1, is when the souls of the children arrive home. On the next day, the souls of the adults are welcomed. By the evening of November 2, the souls have returned to the spirit world, the candles are put out, and families attend mass. Afterwards, everyone returns home to enjoy a sumptuous Feast.

Most of all, these celebrations for the dead reaffirm love and family bonds. As an elderly acquaintance said, “When you love them truly, the dead are never far from your heart. I carry my deceased wife’s memory in my heart each day and night. When I die, my children and grandchildren will welcome us both once a year, to our home. You cannot live without love!”

 

 

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African American Studies Committee Film Series: The Help

TheHelpPoster

African American Studies Committee Film Series presents The Help

Film screening and discussion.

Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s is the setting for this movie that focuses on Black women working as maids for white women. They regarded them as second-class citizens, held down by the Color Line. Today, many Blacks in Ferguson, MO and beyond believe that the larger society is still treating them as second-class citizens. The viewing of The Help might place us in a greater position to move beyond the Color Line and its injustices.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Cheek Hall Room 102

Free and open to the public.

Dr. Johnny Washington, Discussion Facilitator
Professor of Philosophy and Africa-American Studies
Missouri State University

For more information contact Dr. Washington jwashington@missouristate.edu or 417-836-4737.

Posted in African American Studies Committee, Campus Focus, Diversity Initiatives, Diversity Perspectives, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment