Oglethorpe’s Student Government Association (SGA) is hosting its second annual Diversity Week, a tradition founded by the current SGA President Taylor Roberts ’21 and this year led by Junior Class Senator Courtland Davis ’22.
Davis collaborated with Natasha Byrd, associate director of residence life, Essence Washington, associate director of the counseling center, and OU’s Student Involvement office to plan this important week-long effort.
“I have loved being able to connect various departments and organizations on campus to create one giant event that is promoting the voices and realities of the communities that our student body is a part of,” said Davis.
Diversity Week aims to celebrate, educate, and emphasize the diversity of cultures and backgrounds across Oglethorpe’s campus. All events will be held on Zoom, so both on and off-campus students have the chance to participate in this initiative.
“The main point that I wanted to make different from last year’s Diversity Week was the attention to education,” Davis said. “I love to celebrate culture, but allowing students to have the chance to learn more about the culture is just as important.”
Each day of Diversity Week will focus on different initiatives and themes:
- Monday, Nov. 9: Diversity in Entertainment – A showcase of OU students’ diverse talents, including music, poetry, visual art, and more.
- Tuesday, Nov. 10: Diversity in Healthcare – Vivian Manso facilitates a panel discussion with four persons involved in the healthcare industry, with a focus on diversity in the industry and real life situations.
- Wednesday, Nov. 11: Education is Elevation – Learn about other cultures in student-led presentations on the cultures they represent.
- Thursday, Nov. 12: Celebration Day– Learn about culture through food!
“‘Education is Elevation’ came about because of the platform I ran on as a Junior Class Senator,” Davis explained about Wednesday’s theme. “My goal is to educate as much as we celebrate, because the key to success in creating an inclusive culture is learning and understanding.”
Davis is a Human Resource Management major and, in addition to SGA, stays busy working as a Residence Assistant, Peer Academic Leader, German tutor, Core Committee Student Representative, and Student Ambassador.
When asked why they wanted to be the SGA Diversity and Inclusion Liaison, Davis explains, “I have always had a passion for developing spaces for discussions about DEI [diversity, equity and inclusion]. We have had plenty of celebratory events, but creating a truly inclusive culture at Oglethorpe starts by ensuring that the student body is continuously learning about cultures and communities outside of their own.”