The pain of feeling left out. The challenge of making a new home. The unease of being a stranger in a strange land. These are some of the experiences that five Dickinsonians shared during the 2010 Diversity Monologues contest.
Hosted by the Office of Diversity Initiatives, the annual Diversity Monologues contest celebrates the creativity of Dickinson students who are passionate about diversity by offering them a unique space in which to discuss their experiences. Held March 4, this year's event showcased students' thoughts relating to the concept of privilege.
First-place-winner Eileen Galicia '10 examined the meaning of the word "privelege," as it applies to a student growing up in an economically disadvantaged household. Liza Williams '10, who won second place, spoke of the need to stop, reflect and make a difference. Third-place-winner Carlos Rivera ’10, a student of Hispanic heritage who hails from the Bronx, spoke of staying connected to his culture while at Dickinson. Javan Howard '11 noted that while education is a privilege, life lessons are invaluable, and David Durstewitz '10 spoke of the cultural rifts he perceived while traveling in Egypt.
The event also featured performances by members of the University of Pennsylvania's Excelano Project. Members of this spoken-word poetry collective use personal stories to touch the lives of audience members and raise awareness about diversity issues.
For Galicia, a fourth-year student, the win was particularly meaningful. Galicia, who also entered the contest last year, had been planning to participate in the Diversity Monologues since 2006, when she attended the event as a visiting high-school senior. "I was truly inspired, and I promised myself that if I got into Dickinson College, I would take part in this event," she recalls. "This competition really challenged me to define privilege for myself and discover the privilege in my life, as a financially underprivileged person.”
See video clips of the contest.
- Chloe Wayne
- Marion Smallwood
- Aysha El Shamayleh
- Carlos Rivera
- Liza Wiliams
- Javan Howard
- Eileen Galicia
- David Durstewitz
Chloe Wayne, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Excelano Project, opened the event with a personal story. Her spoken-word poetry collective has been featured at the White House, on HBO, at the NuyoricanPoets Cafe, on Broadway and around the world.
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Photos by A. Pierce Bounds '71
Text by MaryAlice Bitts