SUNY Oswego celebrated its
diversity at the 23rd annual African, Latino, Asian and Native
American Student Leadership Conference the week of Sept 13. Students from Oswego and several other
schools participated in events that included music, dance, food, film,
workshops and discussion.
The 2008 presidential
election inspired “Are We There Yet?”, the title of a talk by Michael Eric Dyson in the Campus Center Sept. 17. The American Book
Award winner explored whether or not we are living in a
racism-free or “post-racial” society now that the country’s first black
president is in the White House.
Dyson argued that just
because we as a country elected a black president does not mean that racism no
longer exists. For instance, if Hillary Clinton were elected instead that would
not put an end to sexism against women, he said.
“Post-racial may be jumping
the gun,” said Dyson, adding, “We can not pretend racism doesn’t exist.”
Diversity is what defines
this country, he said. In order to keep moving forward we need to reach to a
point where we understand each other and come together.
Students and guest speakers debated
the impact of Obama’s presidency and hip-hop culture during another event
co-sponsored by ALANA and the School of Communication, Media and the Arts.
“These topics were more
timely for today and are the perfect introduction to Constitution Week,” Professor
Nola Heidlebaugh said. Constitution Week coincided with the ALANA conference.
The goal was to get people to understand that even though America is
growing as a country, these issues should still be up for discussion, she said.
-- Jessica Pascal ’11
Guest speaker Michael Eric Dyson signed books following his ALANA Conference talk, "Are We There Yet?"
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