As a person who appreciates diversity for the way it adds beauty and liveliness to our world, I work not only to eliminate the complacency of tolerating differences, but rather taking a step further to embrace differences. Finding the indispensable value in how these different shades of one’s self so vibrantly color the world, it is satisfying to explore how all of what makes us unique actually makes us connected. MISPO encourages students to engage in this exploration through educational programs and outreach. The office provides support to international and multicultural student leaders and is also a resource for domestic students who are interested in learning about culture and diversity related issues. In support of this purpose, MISPO offers several programs during the semester including the “Diversity, Dialogue, and Desserts Series”, which sheds light on topics such domestic violence, identifying as LGBTQ in America today and gender inequalities to name a few. Another series of events that are immensely mind opening are the “Living in America” which include topics such as dating, making friends, surviving college financially and provides the opportunity for cultural exchange between international and domestic students.
As college students, we have several opportunities to develop as leaders. It is essential to first understand who we are so that we can better understand others. By realizing that leadership begins within it is important to understand why embracing multiculturalism is key. As different as we may initially presume ourselves to be, it takes one attendance of “Flavors of our Neighborhood”, a collaborative event between MISPO and Off Campus Living and Commuting Students to realize that the similarities we share! Through this event, which allows us to explore culture through food, I learned that the Caribbean favorite dish of plantains originate in Asia. In the words of the songwriter, Marla Lewis, “We all laugh in the same language”, and I’d like to add that pain, sadness, joy, and love are all human emotions which overcome geographical, economic or any other kind of social boundary.
For more information on MISPO programs please visit facebook.com/HofstraMISPO or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Guest Blogger: Joanna Soares, Class of 2016