Often at times, we mistake the Diversity Center at Luther College for a place only for international students. This is actually a myth because the Diversity Center celebrates students from all kinds of background and identity. It is also a safe space for students of color, and students of various gender and sexuality to express themselves. The best part about the Diversity Center is that it creates spaces for all students of Luther to come together to learn about our differences that make us unique and connect with one another.
Since the first day of school, the Diversity Center has put in a lot of effort to bring us all together through the many events they've organized. I've been to most of them and no doubt, these events made it possible for me to learn more about other students' background and identity as well as connect with them at a personal level.
One of the very first events organized by the Diversity Center this year is the celebration of Eid al-Adha, a religious holiday for Muslims all around the world. The holiday commemorates the willingness of Prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, as an act of obedience to God’s command.The celebration was held in the Women and Gender Studies house. Muslims students prayed at the CFL earlier in the morning and then a feast was held in the evening for everyone. We had food and delicacies from Pakistan, Somalia, and so much more made by our very own Luther students. Another event that followed not long later was the Diversity Center Welcome Dinner 2017. It was held to welcome the first-years of Luther and it allowed us all to get to know one another better.
Recently, another religious holiday was hosted for Hindu students and everyone on campus, Diwali. Diwali, the festival of lights, commemorates the victory of good over evil. The celebration took place in Baker Commons. The celebration began with one of our Hindu students giving an insight to the siginificance of this holiday and the history behind it. A prayer led by the Hindu students followed, and everyone in the lounge was also invited to clap and chant to the prayer. Later, everyone got to enjoy good food and delicacies from India and Nepal for the rest of the evening.
This evening, the Women of Color dinner took place in Peace Dining. It was organized by our very own Ms. Lisa Scott, the new Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion. The dinner allowed women of color on campus to get to know one another better. It introduced a good platform for us to know that there are people on campus whom we can reach out to. The event also taught us a lot about our positions as women of color in our society today and truly, it was very eye-opening.
Other events hosted by the Diversity Center include the LGBTQIA+ reception and the Chinese Moon Festival Party, both of which I wished I could have attended. All in all, this is a post to appreciate how much the Diversity Center values diversity all around Luther and encourages everyone to value it too. For that, thank you so much Diversity Center!