Maintain the tradition

Schoolcraft to host virtual “Multicultural Education Week” in lieu of Multicultural Fair


Madison Ling, Campus Life Editor

Is this the first or second round of March since the dawn of quarantine? We may never know. All we can be sure of is that every day spent together, even virtually, with our fellow Ocelots is one to be treasured. Thanks to the diligent work and effort of the Multicultural Fair committee, the Schoolcraft community can enjoy three whole days together from March 23 to 26 for the reformed and rejuvenated “Multicultural Education Week.”

“The goal of this spin-off to the Multicultural Fair is to provide a chance to travel the world without leaving home since many students don’t have an opportunity to experience various cultures. This provides a safe and effective way to promote cultural diversity and literacy and to maintain a cherished, campus tradition,” states Professor of Anthropology and Committee Member, Josselyn Moore.

As many know, last year’s beloved Multicultural Fair had to be canceled for everyone’s safety amid the early uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. This decision was taken with the utmost caution considering the event’s past attendance and popularity record ever since its inception in 2001.

As another spring came to light and the virus lingered on, several faculty members who served on the committee came to a consensus that the cultural celebration must go on somehow and that the event should still have a respectful designation from its parent. Thus, Multicultural Education Week was born, changes were made and plans were solidified.

“This year will be different since we’re strictly virtual, but attendees will still have a chance to select what cultures to learn about and certain events from before will still take place. Activities will be more directed and in a firmer timeline due to restraints of Zoom, but the lineup is still very rich, and I feel attendees will learn more because of it,” commented Professor of History and Committee Co-chair of the International Institute, Kimberly Lark.

Although the structure of the event will be slightly altered, the intention remains the same and the committee expects it to be an embraced change after taking past criticism into account and brainstorming how to pull the elaborate event off among the challenges presented from being virtual.

“One benefit of attending is to connect virtually in a way that was special to our campus before COVID-19. Multicultural Education Week is expected to be better due to having addressed a critique that the hustle and bustle affected the ability to hold intimate conversations with all the noise. This will improve our connectivity,” English Professor and International Institute Co-chair, Helen Ditouras, explained.

Don’t miss out on the chance to see your favorite performers and to learn something new! For more information about this event, please visit the official Multicultural Education Week website or call the Student Activities Office (SAO) at 734-462-4422.

Here is an overview of the events for each day, including their times and a link to their respective Zoom sessions:

Schoolcraft Amnesty International Club: Urgent Action Network

March 23

10 to 11 a.m.

The Urgent Action Network is composed of people all-around the world who strive to support and act on behalf of people whose human rights are being violated. They do so by writing letters, sending emails, making phone calls and more to halt wrongful executions and support other defenders. This meeting will provide education about the network and its mission. Attendees can also expect to participate in an Urgent Action to help defend human rights at the conclusion of the event.

Expat Millennials in China: Perceptions of Chinese K-12 and University Education

March 23

12 to 1 p.m.

Author, John Brender, will join Schoolcraft to discuss his book “Expat Millenials in China” and to discuss Chinese education from the perspective of millennials who have direct involvement in the field. These individuals are students and teachers from K-12 and university.

Overview of the Arab World and Arab Americans

March 23

3 to 4 p.m.

During this enlightening presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to explore elements of the Arab American culture, especially as these individuals migrated to the United States. This event will examine their history, culture and journey as immigrants. There will be a specific emphasis on defining the Arab World, highlighting the different ethnicities and religions within the community and examination of the stereotypes that impact one’s identity.

Marcus Garvey African Drum & Dance Ensemble

March 24

10 a.m.

This beloved and traditional event was a must for Multicultural Education Week after missing it last year. The premier youth and young adult drum and dance groups, locally and internationally, have always been the star of the show, especially at Schoolcraft. Under the mission of fostering youth growth and development, the African Drum and Dance Ensemble utilize the arts of dance, instrumentation and visual interpretation to educate people on their culture, traditions and emphasis on the social responsibility to oneself and their community.

This event is pre-recorded and brought to attendees by the Connection. Afterward, Nanou Djaipo Director, Babo Shomari will join Schoolcraft during Cultural Conversations for discussion.

Cultural Conversations

March 24

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

All participants are invited to bring their favorite comfort drink to their workstation and enjoy a presentation by Baba Shomari, the director of Nanou Djiapo. He will discuss the history and culture behind traditional African drum and dance. In addition, Djiapo will answer participants’ questions regarding the performance.

After the presentation, there will be time for informal conversation among attendees and peers that come from various backgrounds.

Razaan Killawi – Artist

March 24

3 to 4 p.m.

Born and raised in Detroit, Razaan Killawi, is an 18-year-old high school senior who loves to explore different artistic mediums and is inspired by her own life-experiences, different cultures and traditions. Most of all, Killawi sheds light on social injustices observed around the world. Her mission is to inspire others through her art to pursue their own hobbies and to stand for what they believe in.

During this presentation, Killawi will talk about how her art is fueled by both personal experiences and a passion to bring awareness to social injustice while also highlighting the universality of art and how its creation process forms connections between people from different walks of life.

Human Rights Film Festival

March 25

11 a.m. to 12:54 p.m.

Beginning with a brief documentary, the film festival will highlight and explain the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human rights and will continue with a series of short films that exemplify human rights issues being infringed upon around the world. Participants can expect to discuss each short film after viewing and because of its set up, they will have the chance to enjoy several films even if unable to stay for the event’s entire duration.

STEAMz Schoolcraft

March 25 – 26

3 to 6 p.m.

Register for Attendance

Schoolcraft’s Learning Support Services, International Institute and Student Activities all welcome attendees to attend this student-led event. STEAMzSchoolcraft investigates how the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) disciplines coexist and collaborate in real-world settings. This also encourages staff, faculty and more to support students’ academic and professional goals based on the subjects chosen for their presentation.

Proposals for this event were collected from students of various backgrounds and that have a wide array of interests. These presenters creatively addressed the cultural theme and produced an original project that focuses on ideas, findings and experiences highlighting the STEAM disciplines. Prior registration to attend this webinar is required and linked above.