Unity Project weaves individuality, cultural diversity of students through art

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April 25, 2017

Daryn Vlad

dvlad@uccs.edu

     Diversity doesn’t only benefit groups who have been excluded; diversity helps all students in their education here at UCCS, according to to the UCCS Principles for Diversity and Inclusiveness.

     This week, you may run into a colorful work of art on your way to class that embodies these principles.

     The Unity Project-Connecting Human Threads is this art project, which serves as an artistic representation of the cultural diversity within the UCCS community.

     The event will take place April 25-27 on the West Lawn from 12:30-2:30 p.m. each day.

     Students will choose colorful pieces of yarn, symbolizing their identity, for example, their heritage, that they will attach to 32 poles. The main idea of the art work is to create a visual representation of how students’ differences come together as part of a larger community.

     MOSAIC, the Global Intercultural Research Center, the Recreation and Wellness Center, Matrix, the Kramer Family Library and the Moving Forward Through Violent Times will sponsor the event.

     Students who participate will embed their experience in a network of yarn and connect with other students in the community, according to Arielle Cassiday, assistant to the director of GLINT, which supports global intercultural scholarships for its faculty members.

     “The idea is that those differences mesh to create the fabric of campus, which is why we are using yarn,” she said. “The mission is that each person is able to celebrate diversity and individuality, but also celebrate all of us together.”

     Katie Gordon, wellness promotion coordinator for the Recreation and Wellness Center, echoed this sentiment of celebrating one another’s differences.

     “It’s important to celebrate individuality in order to create an environment where everyone feels they have a place,” she said.

     Though the web of yarn will be taken down after the event, the message will carry on.

     Understanding, accepting and connecting with people of different cultures and backgrounds a safe and welcoming campus community.

     Because the campus has a large variety of cultures, it is important that students take the time to connect with and understand people from different backgrounds, according to Cassiday.

     “We walk around campus without any idea who our fellow students are,” she said.

     A pizza party and group photo will take place during the event on April 27, as well as a group talk to reflect on the public art project.

     The Just Talk After Event, which will take place in the Kramer Family Library on April 27 at 5 p.m., offers students a chance to participate in a discussion about what the event represented and how different cultures contribute to the community.

     To volunteer at The Unity Project, contact Cassiday at acassiday@uccs.edu or 900-8441.

     To participate, stop by the El Pomar Plaza outside of the Kramer Family Library.