WCSU to host series of events aimed at exploring diversity
Off-Broadway production, renowned authors to shed light on cultural similarities, differences

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Office of Multicultural Affairs and Affirmative Action will present a series of provocative events intended to stimulate thought and discussion about diversity this fall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury.

The series will begin with a performance of the off-Broadway hit, “Platanos and Collard Greens,” at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 11, in Ives Concert Hall in White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus. According to a Web site dedicated to the play, “‘Platanos and Collard Greens’ tells the story of two college students, Freeman, an African-American man and Angelita, a Latino woman, both forced to confront and overcome cultural and racial prejudices while defending their bond from the biases held by family and friends. ‘Platanos’ is a thought-provoking romantic comedy that tactfully addresses stereotypes, prejudices and urban myths that exist between African Americans and Latinos, within the context of hip-hop, humor, and satire. The play impels the audience to evaluate pervasive stereotypes.” The performance will be free and the public is invited.

Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, of the Harvard Immigration Project, will discuss “Rethinking Immigration” in a Diversity Lecture Series talk at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 17, in the Student Center Theater on the WestConn Midtown campus. Suárez-Orozco, The Courtney Sale Ross University Professor of Globalization and Education at the New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, specializes in cultural psychology and psychological anthropology with a focus on the study of immigration and globalization. He is the author of numerous essays, books, and edited volumes including: “Globalization: Culture and Education in the New Millennium,” “Latinos: Remaking America,” the six-volume “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the New Immigration,” “Children of Immigration,” “Cultures Under Siege: Collective Violence and Trauma” and the award-winning “Transformations: Immigration, Family Life, and Achievement Motivation Among Latino Adolescents.” The lecture will be free and open to the public; a reception will follow.

Loung Ung, author of "First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers," will share her account of surviving the Khmer Rouge at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30, in the Student Center Theater on the WestConn Midtown campus. In her introduction to the book, Ung writes, “From 1975 to 1979 — through execution, starvation, disease, and forced labor — the Khmer Rouge systematically killed an estimated two million Cambodians, almost a fourth of the country’s population. This is a story of survival: my own and my family’s. Though these events constitute my experience, my story mirrors that of millions of Cambodians. If you had been living in Cambodia during this period, this would be your story too.” The lecture will be free and open to the public; a reception will follow.

For more information, call the WCSU Office of Multicultural Affairs and Affirmative Action at (203) 837-8278 or the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.


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