Why an event that aims to dispell stereotypes is worth your time

| 11/18/12 6:51pm

We have all done it. Whether we want to admit it or not, at some point, we’ve all made an assumption and fed into stereotypes based on someone else’s appearance. But a Nov. 26 event put on by Jerika Nguyen called “We Are One” is out to rid Grand Valley State University of these stereotypes by raising awareness and having a little fun at the same time. Ridding a community of stereotyping is not a new concept, but it is a good reminder – especially at a campus that is becoming more diverse each year. As of this semester, about 15 percent of the total student body (3,581 students out of 24,654) come from a non-Caucasian background – and although there is arguably room for, we do live in not only an increasingly diverse campus, but an increasingly diverse world.

In fact, Barack Obama’s win in the most recent presidential election had political analysts everywhere blogging about “our changing American fabric.” Obama, who did not win the majority vote of white males, still managed to take the presidency, and that signals not only a changing mindset of inclusion and equality, but a changing American population – one that is much richer and much more diverse than the generation before us. The 2010 U.S. Census reported that “the white population continued to be the largest race group in the nation, representing 75 percent of the total population, but grew at a slower rate than the total population.”

So there’s a very real, and wonderful change in this dynamic nation, and by on an event like this, students who fall into this stereotypes will not only feel a sense of relief, it will also help the campus as a whole – by building a sense of togetherness on campus, our student body can grow and mature.
While we will never live in a world free of stereotypes, this first step can lead to a better student body filled with acceptance for others.

So take our word for it, GVSU, and check out the “We Are One” event on Nov. 26. It’ll be hosted in the Kirkhof Center’s Grand River Room from 6-9 p.m. and even if you don’t think you stereotype, it’s still worth the reminder that no matter your skin color, your religious beliefs, where you are from or your gender, we all bleed the same blood and think the same things; therefore, we all deserve the same respect from one and other.

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