Celebrate Our Diversity

October is a month full of ways to celebrate diversity. Not only is it GLBT History Month, but it’s also National Disability Employment Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month. KU has resources to celebrate all aspects of diversity, and it is one of a handful of universities to have a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning (GLBTQ) Center, Women’s Center and a Multicultural Center that have full-time staff members and their own spaces.

Let’s take a look at each of these celebrations of diversity.

GLBT History Month: This month celebrates the achievements of GLBT icons. During this time, the KU GLBTQ Center highlights a different GLBT icon each day through the use of free videos, bios, bibliographies, downloadable images and other resources. In addition to current icons, the center also provides access to the icons featured in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The GLBTQ Center also hosts different events to celebrate, such as a Sirius Satellite Radio personality Romaine Patterson’s presentation “Growing Up Gay.”

For more information about GLBT History month, visit the GLBTQ Center’s Web site: http://www.kutztown.edu/glbtqcenter/.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month: “Fair access to employment is a fundamental right of every American, including the 54 million people in this country living with disabilities… During National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we recommit ourselves to implementing effective policies and practices that increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.” This is part of President Barack Obama’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month proclamation posted on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Web site.

This month recognizes the need for fair business practices for people with disabilities, and is also a time to reflect on educational access for those with disabilities, and how gender can influence who takes advantage of those opportunities. For example, the University of Washington’s DO-IT Project says that “fewer women than men with disabilities are enrolled in postsecondary education. Academically, girls in precollege special education do as well as or better than boys. Upon graduation from special education, however, girls are less likely to be employed or to enroll in postsecondary education.”

For more information on National Disability Employment Month, or for more information about the services KU offers for people with disabilities, visit the Disability Services Web site: http://www.kutztown.edu/admin/humandiversity/disabilityservices/.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Last but certainly not least, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The KU Women’s Center provides educational materials about domestic violence, including a brochure on how men can stop domestic violence. Because domestic violence disproportionately occurs against women, the Women’s Center takes the initiative to distribute information about it. However men can also be the victims of domestic violence and anything else such as eating disorders and sexual assault that are typically seen as issues effecting only women. The Women’s Center hosts a number of events to help empower women, such as Love Your Body Day on October 20, and a guest speaker series entitled “Women and Leadership.”

For more information about Domestic Violence Awareness Month and about the Women’s Center, visit http://www.kutztown.edu/admin/womens/activities.htm.

Check out the Web sites listed above to learn more about how you can celebrate your own diversity and the diversity of others. Also, check out the lending libraries in the Multicultural Center, GLBTQ Center and Women’s Center. If something you want there is checked out, stop by Rohrbach Library and see if we have it or can order it for you.

-CS

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