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'Diverse Voices' to be Theme of Metanoia 2000
February 28, 2000

"Diverse Voices: A Speak-Out on Difference" has been selected as the theme for this year's metanoia, or "period of reflection," to be held during the first week of April.

"Building on the dialogue begun last spring on community and civility, this year's metanoia focuses on the sources of division and difference among us - cultural, racial, gender, sexual orientation, for example - in an effort to de-mystify and deconstruct such differences and highlight their value and significance in the history and culture of American society," says Ronald Taylor, vice provost for multicultural affairs, who is heading the metanoia.

"It is easy to forget that the source of this country's greatness and strength is its diversity - in race, ethnicity, religion, class, and so on," he says. "This period of reflection offers an excellent opportunity to begin a more meaningful dialogue on the value of diversity and difference, which could be highly beneficial in creating a greater sense of connection and community among segments of the university."

A steering committee comprised of faculty, staff and students has been formed to plan the metanoia. The weeklong observance will feature campus-wide events, including several major speakers, and also will provide opportunities for faculty, staff, departments, and other campus organizations to seek financial support for special programs and other activities.

The University has allocated $25,000 for events during the week, including funds to support academic departments planning events consistent with the theme of metanoia. Faculty in particular are encouraged to propose projects or invite speakers who can address issues of diversity and difference.

For more information, contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Multicultural Affairs at (860) 486-5848.