Cal Poly’s Office of Diversity and Inclusivity will be hosting a series of events as part of its #InclusionStartswithMe Week starting Thursday, Jan. 26.
“The campaign, #InclusionStartsWithMe, began in the fall as a reminder to the campus community that they all have to do their part to make sure they are aware of others, that they are accepting and embracing of differences and that they strive to reach out to each other, Interim Associate Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusivity Denise Isom said in a press release.
The keynote event of the week will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. in the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center (PAC), at the same time that the Cal Poly College Republicans group is hosting controversial speaker and editor of Brietbart News Milo Yiannopoulos in the Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre.
The keynote will include a performance by socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell, as well as music by alternative soul singer Allen Stone. The event is intended to represent Cal Poly’s official celebration of inclusion and diversity, according to the press release. Bell, known for his Emmy Award nominated docu-series “United Shades of America,” will present his show “The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in about an Hour.” His piece explores the current state of American racism through a mix of stand-up comedy, video and audio clips, personal stories and solo theatrical performance, according to a press release.
Yiannopoulos is visiting Cal Poly as part of his nationwide college tour that will include visits to University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, Berkeley. While Yiannopoulos has been known to make controversial comments, Kari Mansager, program manager of Cal Poly’s University Diversity and Inclusivity group, does not think that there will be any problems with the events taking place simultaneously.
“I think our events will attract very different audiences, so I don’t think there will be a conflict,” Mansager said.
Wine and viticulture senior Nick Paiva plans to attend Unite Cal Poly to embrace differences.
“I am planning on attending the Unite Cal Poly event because I believe it is important to stand united when opinions differ,” Paiva said. “If we truly want to make a change, we must respect our fellow Mustangs whether we agree with them or not.”
Other events of the week include an all-day kick-off event at Dexter Lawn on Thursday, Jan. 26, including workshops taught by Cal Poly educators and a presentation from University of California, San Diego professor David Serlin. On Monday, Jan. 30, there will be a showing of the first episode of the Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) film series “Race: the Power of an Illusion.”