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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Event celebrates diversity in all forms

The Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and the Public Health Student Alliance will host their sixth annual Diversity Celebration this Friday.

The Public Health Student Alliance works to spread information about public health among students, according to Chris Tisch, assistant dean of Student and Alumni Affairs in the College of Public Health.

“It’s really a celebration of diversity in all its definitions,” said Jonathon Schouest, chairman of the Diversity Celebration Committee, “in regards to religious diversity, cultural diversity, ethnicity, sexual identity and socioeconomic status.”

The celebration had its beginnings in 2006, when a graduate student in the college wanted to host a generous celebration of diversity on campus, according to Tisch.

“It started within the college, but there has always been significant interest from the rest of UA,” Tisch said.

The event is returning to campus after a two-year hiatus, according to Schouest, who said that a lack of leadership and support caused the event to “fall off.” This year, however, he plans to bring it back full force, and said he anticipates that it will be very successful.

The event grew from the success of PHSA’s first Cultural Diversity Fashion Show in 2006, which helped PHSA win the Peter Likins Inclusive Excellence Award for 2006-2007, according to the organization’s website.

The theme of this year’s celebration is “Healthier Together Than Apart.”

“Our diversity makes us stronger than if we were all extremely similar, like some other countries in the world,” Schouest said. “We believe that the different perspectives and life experiences only add positive attributes to our capabilities, imagination and creativity.”

This event is important because it’s crucial for students to understand how diversity affects their world, Tisch said, and for the College of Public Health to acknowledge diversity in the academic process.

The event is open to the public, and students, faculty and staff and community members are encouraged to attend.

“The [College of Public Health] is known for its outreach into communities,” Tisch said. “Through that outreach, they are embracing the diversity of the community.”

Kelsey Moody, a public health senior, said that understanding diversity within the university and community is a large part of understanding public health.

“This celebration of diversity is great for our campus because we should be aware of all the different experiences from different people that we are surrounded by every day,” Moody said.

Tisch said through the celebration, the College of Public Health and PHSA hope to highlight and promote discussion about and awareness of diverse backgrounds and experiences among UA and Tucson community members.

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