Upbeat spokesperson is UWP Black History Month featured speaker

February 6, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE - An upbeat spokesperson that addresses sensitive issues of race, diversity and multiculturalism, Leon Williams, will be the featured speaker for Black History Month at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

The free and open to the public event, titled "Shattered Dreams," will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, in the Beaux Arts Room of the Ullsvik Center.

Williams serves as director of Intercultural Affairs at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. He helps students enrich their lives and career development through a better understanding of multiculturalism and diversity issues.

UWP Multicultural Services Director Carlos Wiley welcomes the UWP campus community as well as the public. "Leon talks about how we can use Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream" speech," said Wiley.

"Dr. King's words 30 years ago are impacting our lives today. I'm pretty excited about him coming to educate us further on how to be more tolerant of people that are different from us," Wiley said.

Using humor, love and intensity, Williams has developed a passion for creating harmony and a spirit of healing and cooperation in campus environments where hostility and misunderstanding often dominate. He offers several programs that address issues such as oppression, hostility and conformity that are often at the base of race issues on today's college campuses.

Williams' programs are non-threatening but challenging. Students will be motivated to think about important issues and how they impact individual lives and the community as a whole.

Williams is deeply involved in community service. Prior to his recent move to Iowa, he volunteered for the Midwest Ohio Special Olympics, a local food pantry and a teen theater group. He is also very active in his church. His love for community involvement, his family and higher education are all part of the warmth he typically brings to his audience.

For further information, please call 608-342-1332.

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