The Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) celebrated various aspects of diversity at the University of Houston by hosting the fourth annual Culture Connect Week celebration. Culture Connect Week is an exciting and educational week full of multicultural programs, collaborations, and social events.
Through partnerships with campus departments and various student organizations, Culture Connect Week provided the UH community with the opportunity to connect with each other, cultivate relationships, and celebrate their unique cultural identities.
PhD Student and Secretary of the Nepalese Student Association, Suraj Upadhyaya stated, “Culture Connect Week was a great opportunity for me, my organization, and my colleagues to meet with people from different backgrounds, races, and ethnicities.”
This year, Culture Connect Week began with its first ever Kickoff Celebration on February 26th. The Kickoff Celebration featured a number of on-campus resources working with students from a range of backgrounds. Attendees enjoyed student performances from the Nigerian Student Association dance group and Ukulele song renditions from a member of Nourish International at UH. The Kickoff Celebration concluded with the recording of CDI’s first cultural podcast, Connect – where 4 student leaders lead their voice to a conversation on Cultural Appropriation.
Other events hosted a part of Culture Connect Week included the LGBTQ Resource Center Ally 2.0 Workshop: Pronoun Party, CDI’s DreamZone Ally Training, and Where Are We Now? An Update on DACA sponsored and co-sponsored by Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. and Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
On Wednesday, February 28th, CDI hosted the video release for #IAMUH Speaks, a video highlighting the diverse stories of various students on campus. The celebration for Culture Connect Week continued on Thursday with Cultural Marketplace hosted by the Council for Cultural Activities. Cultural Marketplace was followed by CDI’s Thursday Night Dance Fusion, where students learned cultural dances such as Bollywood, Bachata, and Tejano. Following dance lessons, attendees enjoyed performances from student groups Houston Jannat, African Student Union, and Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc., and ended the night connecting with other students at the dance social.
Senior Ta’Mia Myers recounts her experience as, “an amazing week where I was able to interact with cultures outside of my own. I tried different types of food and was able to learn multiple types of dances such as Tejano and Bachata”.
Culture Connect Week concluded on Friday, March 2nd with the Empower Women’s Leadership Conference sponsored by the Women and Gender Resource Center and the Center for Student Involvement (CSI), as well as CSI’s InfraRED: Late Night Luau.
The Center for Diversity and Inclusion looks forward to hosting Culture Connect Week next year, as an opportunity for the UH community members to celebrate our campus’ rich diversity.