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SUNY Oswego broadcasting and mass communications faculty member Francisco Suárez and students have a free public gala in the works for Voices of Diversity speaker Rita Coburn's visit to Hewitt ballroom tomorrow night, April 17.

Coburn, co-director of the acclaimed documentary "Maya Angelou and Still I Rise," will speak at 7 p.m. The film she co-directed with Bob Hercules premiered at the 2016 Sundance Festival, aired as an "American Masters" presentation on PBS, and was screened March 27 at SUNY Oswego.

 A student-produced display of art pieces and brief documentaries will precede Coburn's speech, starting at 6 p.m.

 Seven international students have teamed with students in art, broadcasting, and cinema and screen studies for weeks under Suárez' mentorship on a project titled "Diversity in the Arts Documentary."

Filmmakers and an artist in each group have teamed to record conversations with the international student, leading to the production of a piece of art paying homage to that student's culture. The teams have made brief films documenting their part in the project, including a "reveal" of the artwork to the international student.

 Students also filmed a thank-you to Coburn for her work on the documentary of the life of the late poet, memoirist and civil rights activist Maya Angelou, and for agreeing to speak for Voices of Diversity at SUNY Oswego. Coburn did a gracious video reply thanking the students for their outreach and passion.