Center for Inclusion hosts Multicultural Meet and Greet

It takes a village – a “multicultural village,” as Estefany Rodriguez Perez said on Sep. 21 at the Center for Inclusion’s BW Multicultural Meet and Greet.  


“This event was an opportunity to bring everyone together to build community,” Rodriguez Perez, programs manager for the Center for Inclusion, said. 


Additional goals of the event were to introduce the Center for Inclusion, its mission, and the staff. It also informed the attendants where the Center of Inclusion is located and created an opportunity for the invited students, faculty, and staff that comprise the BW multicultural community to network. 


“I found the importance of doing that so that students can meet faculty and staff that they probably have had in their classes, but they’ve never had that opportunity to build that connection, but also to know that there is this community at BW that they may not realize is there,” Rodriguez Perez said. 


While Rodriguez Perez hosted the meet and greet, Ericka Walker-Smith, director of inclusion programs and community development, hosted the following event. The second event was a leadership workshop designed for student leaders of diversity organizations, said Walker-Smith.  


Walker-Smith said that the workshop provided “some strategies on how (the leaders) can run an effective meeting, we also wanted to touch a little bit on the role of an advisor, and then lastly, share some information about why it is important for student organizations to maintain an active status with student government.” 


When asked, both Walker-Smith and Rodriguez Perez shared similar sentiments of happiness at the turnout and success of the meet and greet.  


“I didn’t think that it was going to turn out like this, so I’m glad,” Rodriguez Perez said. “I enjoy seeing everyone interact with each other and people engaged in conversations. And the fact that I had to interrupt people at times make me happy because I realize how those meaningful conversations were taking place.” 


Walker-Smith said having the chance for students to interact was the “basis of building community.” 


“It’s to start talking to people and really getting to know folks because I think that when we start to peel back the layers, we have more things in common with each other than we do that separates us,” Walker-Smith said. “And I think that it’s events like this that help the community realize that yes we come from different ethnic backgrounds, different cultural communities, we’ve grown up in different neighborhoods, we’ve attended different schools, but even despite all of that, there’s a lot of things that bring us together.” 


These sentiments were echoed by Rodriguez Perez. 


“We were talking about the intersectionality of all the identities that come into play of who we are. I want us to remember that there is so much value in who we are, the identities we bring to the table and everything that brings us together,” Rodriguez Perez said. 


There is an open invitation to anyone who wishes to visit the Center for Inclusion in Bonds 106, right by the Mailroom.