Unity Luncheon to Celebrate Diversity, Feature Keynote on Identity Politics by Filipina Poet

Unity Luncheon to Celebrate Diversity, Feature Keynote on Identity Politics by Filipina Poet
.Alison M. De La Cruz, an artist, poet and cultural activist, will deliver the keynote address at this year's Unity Luncheon on Jan. 31.

The campus community will come together to celebrate diversity during the 14th annual Unity Luncheon, “Standing Together: Many Communities, One University.” The event is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 31, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Bronco Student Center's Ursa Major Suite.

Delivering the keynote address is Alison M. De La Cruz, an artist, poet and cultural activist. Currently living in the South Bay, De La Cruz works with emerging and established artists to create, transform, mobilize and heal communities through the arts. She has performed her poetry and solo theatrical work at venues throughout the country including: the David Henry Hwang Theatre in Los Angeles, Bindlestiff Studio in San Francisco, the Northwest Asian American Theatre in Seattle and the Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia.

De La Cruz's address, “Belching from Our Centers,” addresses the trappings of identity politics and community collaborations. She will engage luncheon attendees in an interactive performance/keynote address exploring how our individual and collective work can help us belch up community blockage caused by fear, misunderstandings and cycles of hurt.

The fourth Diversity Leadership Award — which recognizes individuals and/or organizations that are advocates and leaders for diversity both on and off campus — will be presented to Diversity Matters of Pasadena. Diversity Matters is an independent consulting firm that provides engaging, effective and culturally sensitive presentations and training on a wide-range of human relations issues.

Diversity Matters was formed to assist individuals and social institutions (such as schools, businesses and community-based organizations) in understanding and celebrating the increasingly diverse landscape of our society.

In addition, 10 faculty, staff and students will be honored as Diversity Champions for their leadership and service to the university, and an opportunity drawing will raise funds for student scholarships. Receiving awards are faculty members Laurie Shrage and Lester Young; staff members Audrey Espinoza, Penni Sweetenburg-Lee and Corina Benavides; and students Claudia Villegas, Stephanie Maroun, Rosemary Kyompa Keinembabzi, Jesse Cerda and Roderick Conwi.

The Unity Luncheon is co-sponsored by the Asian Pacific Faculty, Staff & Student Association; the Black Faculty & Staff Association (BFSA); the Latino Faculty, Staff & Student Association;  the Pride Alliance (the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered faculty and staff association); and the Native American campus community. Each year, leadership for the luncheon rotates between these groups, and this year' event is under the direction of the Pride Alliance.

Space for the luncheon is limited. Tickets are $16, and the registration deadline has been extended to Thursday, Jan. 27. To register, contact Jonnie Owens at (909) 869-4689 or e-mail jjowens@cpp.edu. Additional information is available at www.cpp.edu/~dsa/unity/.