ASUA Senator James Brooks is leading an open discussion to confront stereotypes and promote diversity leadership in the UA community. The event will be held tonight at 6 in the Tucson Room of the Student Union Memorial Center.
Brooks made the decision to head up the discussion after he attended Collegetown, the college branch of Anytown Arizona, this summer. Anytown Arizona is an organization that provides programs on diversity and social awareness for college-aged students, Brooks said.
""We wanted to empower our delegates, to create change,"" said Kendal Nystedt, collegiate program manager of Anytown Arizona. ""Every day throughout our conference they broke down into action groups to talk about specific issues, and we hoped they'd continue with them after our conference ended.""
Brooks said he hopes the discussion will provide students with the opportunity to speak about diversity awareness, social justice and stereotypes.
""Actually, the word ‘workshop' doesn't really fit. We're going to do activities and then speak about how we felt during them,"" Brooks said.
One activity participants will take part in is called a Diversity Walk.
""We will put the names of groups people associate with on the wall and then talk about how we can break down those specific stereotypes,"" he said.
Brooks is planning for the diversity workshop to be an ongoing discussion that would occur every three months or annually.
""Hopefully it is something that will stick around,"" he said.
Dustin Cox, a former ASUA senator and current executive director of Anytown in Arizona, is enthusiastic about the event.
""First of all, the event is absolutely necessary, on whatever campus we're talking about. The issues that the programming addresses are universal — they don't just exist in certain places, they're all over society,"" he said.
Cox and Nystedt both contributed to the planning of the workshop.
Brooks created a Facebook group to inform UA students about the event, which says the two-hour session will ""promote discussion and action from all groups on campus about our community.""
As of press time, there were 76 members on Facebook who committed to attending the event.