UW-Platteville’s United We Stand campaign aiming to make a difference
PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s second annual United We Stand lecture series kicked off in September with guest speakers Wes Moore and Zohra Sarwari. There will be three more speakers this year, and all stress the importance of inclusion.
Guest speakers scheduled for this fall include Emmanuel Jal on Sunday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. and LZ Granderson, scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. Both men will be speaking in Velzy Commons, Ullsvik Hall and will share their life experiences that make them unique. Jal, a former child soldier from South Sudan, is now a world recognized hip-hop artist who is sponsored by many celebrities, including actor George Clooney.
The campaign doesn’t end this fall. Ariel Luckey, a college-aged poetic musician, will be guest speaking on Sunday, March 9, 2014, at 7 p.m. in Velzy Commons, Ullsvik Hall. Faculty members are also encouraged to contact the Department of Residence Life to set up speakers for their spring lectures.
“This campaign is a stand toward inclusion. Typically, our students haven’t experienced as much diversity as they will in the work force,” said Robin Gore, interim assistant director of residence life. Gore said that the goal of the campaign is to help students become well-educated, well-rounded individuals by the time they get to the work force.
The campaign started last fall with three guest speakers who used their varying life experiences to talk about inclusion. They were all well received by students; more than 300 people in attended each event.
This campaign, which aims to educate students and create a welcoming atmosphere for diversity, is not alone at UW-Platteville. United We Stand was created to coexist with a campaign that started in the residence halls, named Here I Stand.
Here I Stand is designed to encourage students to stand up to one another in situations where biased language and actions are being used. To join the movement, students can take a pledge to create a safe environment for everyone. These students receive colorful banners to hang on their door that display statements such as, “I stand for respect. Committed to creating an inclusive campus.” The purpose of these banners is to show students who may feel threatened that they have a safe place to go.
“Part of the mission is creating a safe environment for all students,” said Gore. She said the hope is that these campaigns will work alongside one another, motivating students to take a stand.