Exploring the origin and impacts of stereotypes was the theme at this year's spring back-to-back set of Calling All Colors conferences for middle and high school students.
Hundreds of students from 10 area middle schools and 8 area high schools gathered at Grand Valley State University on May 03 and May 04, respectively. This year marked the 15th annual conference for area middle schools and the 4th annual conference for area high schools.
During the morning plenary, students listened as each school reporting on their Action Plans: activities and discussions within their school to promote the appreciation of diversity. Action plans included planning a Mix-It-Up Lunch Day, hosting a community-wide cultural fair, speaking about diversity at a school-wide assembly, a survey conducted to determine root issues at their school, a skit about the impact of bullying, a video commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and many more.
Students then participated in small group dialogues that examined what a stereotype is, how they impact our actions, and ways that each of us can make an effort to stop stereotypes. The discussion was infused with a segment of the 20/20 Special: Race & Sex: What We Think and the premier of the Diversity Alliance's new video (see left) as part of the Stop Stereotypes Campaign. learn more...
In the afternoon, students enjoyed the fantastic performance of the Grand Valley State University performance group Act on Racism. learn more...
Emcee: Sally Woods
Welcoming Speakers: Dwight K Hamilton, Assistant Vice President for Affirmative Action Office of Inclusion and Equity at GVSU (May 03) and Shontaye Witcher, Assistant Director of Disability Support Services at GVSU (May 04)
Hope College Intern: Annie Jang
Volunteers: Zahabia Ahmed-Usmani, Bill Altena, Mary Beth Braun, Anita Brown, Dee Campanella, Nancy Collins, Peter Daining, Jack Dykstra, Maria Espinoza, Ruth Hawley-Lowry, Linda Hood, Celine J, Ashely DeWitt, Lisa Miller, Sharon Netto-Lipsky, Jen O'Brian, Steve Ohnsman, Joanne Patterson, Tedi Parsons, Joseph Saenz, Debby Schubert, HerBrina Shepherd, Tammy Stachowicz, Kate VanderKolk, Brenda VanderMuellen, and Mike Weller
Participating Middle Schools: Black River, Creekside, Holland Eight Grade, Holland Christian, Holland East, Jefferson, Lakeshore, St. Mary's, Steele, and White Pines
Participating High Schools: Black River, Central, Grand Haven, Holland Christian, Muskegon Community Education, West Ottawa, South Haven, and Spring Lake
"Calling All Colors gave me more ideas and inspiration. It also gave me assurance that there are other people who want racism to stop."
"Calling All Colors makes you feel like you can be friends with everyone."
"I like that with Calling All Colors I can do something about the situation. I can make a change and have the power to do good."