Hot Topic Conversation: Immigration, Identity, and Inclusion

The dignity of all human beings is respected and their fundamental rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are constitutionally protected in the United States. From my experience as an immigrant in the past 12 years, I have always believed this, but last night I was once again reassured.

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the 2nd Hot Topics Conversation Series “Immigration, Identity, and Inclusion” for IU faculty, staff, students, and Bloomington community members. The event had five panelists, who spoke for about 5-7 minutes. This was followed by questions from the moderators and questions from the audience. At the end, audience, who were still present after the official event end time of 9:00 PM, were divided into smaller groups for further discussion.
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Dinner, Diversity, and Community Building at IU, Bloomington

As an Emissary, responsible for recruiting diversity to the Indiana University, Bloomington graduate school, I have become much more familiar with the spaces designed specifically to expose grad students to others from the campus community who may differ in culture or background.

Just last night, I was fortunate enough to have dinner at La Casa. This Latino Cultural Center has been vibrant in the local campus community since its inception in 1973. With the rising numbers of the Latino population rapidly increasing both in terms of representation at IU and across the U.S. La Casa serves as a constant reminder of the need for others to have at least a basic grasp of Latino culture in all its complexity.

Over a free (and amazing) meal, we discussed developments for La Casa as well as the tentative future plans for a Latino Learning/Living Center. Rather than simply discussing the theoretical implications behind our ideas, we as a group were involved in a critical discussion where perspectives were asked of undergrads, graduates, and faculty. More importantly from my perspective, not everyone was Latino.

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Diversity at IU

We can see, feel and taste the diversity whenever we come to any IU campus. With students from all 50 states and more than 130 countries, IU has a rich culture with very diverse ethnicities. Diversity promotion is a big part of the strategy to internationalize IU.

The office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (DEMA) is dedicated promote diversity at IU. Diversity promotion efforts focus on developing diverse array of programs, services, and activities that help to “promote excellence through diversity, equity, and culture at Indiana University”.

Below you would find the link of Diversity resources at IU Bloomington.

Each center provides its own services to support students in every aspect. Know that they are always there to support you and your academic growth.  It is awesome to be part of a diverse campus where you know the exchange of ideas and experiences is fully encouraged. These certainly influence our academic and campus life in a positive way.