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January 21, 1992 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-01-21

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The Michigan Daily- Tuesday, January 21, 1992 -Page 7
Panels, symposia discuss issues of King legacy

0150 gather to
'Redefine.
women, race
and class'
"Redefining Women, Race and
Class" examined the intertwining of
of racism, gender and class to honor
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
in the Union Ballroom.
University lecturer Nesha Haniff
told the 150-member audience that
as King had a dream, she has a
"small" one: to waive the $50 appli-
cation fee for the Office of
International Programs, which helps
students study abroad. Gender, class
and race hamper some students' abil-
ity to pay the fee, she said.
Suzan Hanjo, of the Morning Star
Organization and a panel member,
spoke of a need for knowledge about
and respect for other cultures. White
people, she said, do not give infor-
mation to minority groups about
themselves or other minority groups.
Vivian Sykes, a graduate student
researcher, talked about silences in
the Black community - the silence
about the language of rape, silence
about insanity, and silence about
suicide.
Teresa Cordova, a professor at
the University of New Mexico, said
rights for one group of people make
things better for all, and therefore
"everyone, period" should be in-
volved in the struggle for rights.
Otherwise, she said, conditions
will continue to get worse for many
groups of people.
- by Karen Pier
S eakers say
diversity adds
to classroom
Strengthen the commitment to
multiculturalism, panel members
stressed in a discussion yesterday
about diversity in American
universities.

Although the University has
made modest gains in minority en-
rollment, several speakers empha-
sized the need for programs to match
the new diversity on campus.
"There is a complete lack of
commitment with respect to provid-
ing the adequate structural changes
to deal with a diverse student popu-
lation," said Daniel Holliman, a
panel member and political science
graduate student.
School of Education graduate
student Jeanne Dressel suggested
several ways individuals can help
build multicultural communities.
Volunteering at local high schools,
donating money to minority scholar-
ship funds, and creating outreach
programs are actions that help mi-
norities succeed in a university
community, Dressel said.
Panel members also disputed the
belief that increased numbers of mi-
norities decrease the quality of a
university.
"It is possible to be inclusive
without tampering with the tradi-
tional notions of quality," said
School of Education Professor
Teshome Wagaw.
Colgate University Professor
Keith Osajima said that while diver-
sity may bring conflict to the class-
room, it can be directed
constructively.
"We must use that conflict as a
window to explain how racism
works," Osajima said.
-by Bethany Robertson
Discussion
addresses need
for unity
Speakers at "The Future of
Detroit: A Development Project"
stressed the need for the city's ethnic
groups to unite in order to solve their
economic and social problems.
"We must unite and organize" to
accomplish the goals and objectives
of the Detroit Latino Coalition, sid
Marta Lagos, director of programs at
Casa de Universidad. She empha-
sized resolving the problem of vio-

lence through the teaching of alter-
native conflict resolution skills such
as the cultural arts.
"Every single dimension on the
financial front is getting worse ...
Disparity and differences have
grown dramatically over the past
two decades," said Steve Rosenstone
of the Center of Political Studies.
A major difference between pri-
orities of Blacks and whites is evi-
dent, Rosenstone said. African
Americans in the community said
that they worry primarily about
housing, jobs, and economics, while

white members mentioned the rapid
growth of the city, traffic, and taxes.
Errol Henderson, a University
doctoral candidate in political sci-
ence, criticized the federal govern-
ment's attempts to improve the
quality of life in those communities.
Smaller groups like the Black
Panthers and the Republic of Africa
have accomplished more because of
their understanding of the commu-
nity, he said.
Roberto Mendoza, from the
Detroit Summer program, encour-
aged students nationwide to come to

Detroit and "learn the reality of liv-
ing in the ghetto." He said the expe-
rience may inspire them to go back
to their hometowns and make
changes to improve their own quality
of living.
- by Karen Sabgir
Panel: Key to
future lies in
truth of past
More than 150 students students
seeking a "Redefinition of
Empowerment" attended a panel
discussion in the Henderson Room
at the Michigan League yesterday.
The panel, which included three
speakers - Khallid Abdul
Muhammad, from the Nation of
Islam, Gary Okihiro, a professor of
history at Cornell University, and
Marta Vega, director of the
University Caribbean Cultural
Center - addressed the importance
of using history, or the reexamina-
tion of history, as a tool for
empowerment.
"It is impossible for minorities to
function in a predominantly white
society where white always comes
first," said Okihiro who called
Blacks and Asians a "kindred
people."
But Vega went a step further by
insisting that the history of Blacks is
global. She pointed out that of the
total number of Africans captured
for slave trade, only 30 percent
ended up in the United States. The
remaining 70 percent ended up in
surrounding countries and territories.
"We can not see ourselves as an
isolated people in the United States
and define others as Latinos or
Puerto Ricans. By doing this we di-
vorce ourselves from our cousins,"
Vega said..
Muhammad delivered the final
speech saying that the study of his-
tory is the most powerful tool in the
pursuit of truth and empowerment.
--by Demetrius Bady

Speaker says
fight for land
claims will
continue
The Native Americans of the
Lakota nation have not ended their
fight to reclaim lands in the Black
Hills of South Dakota, nor will
they give up anytime soon, said
Charlotte Black Elk, in a panel dis-
cussion on "Native American Land
Claims: Redefining America."
Black Elk spoke on behalf of the
Black Hills Steering Committee, an
organization seeking to reclaim land
taken by the U.S. government from
the Lakota Sioux. Her lecture fo-
cused on current efforts by the
Lakota people to regain the Black
Hills, land they consider sacred.
The area was taken over by the
U.S. government after gold was dis-
covered there in the 1870s. Black
Elk called the history between the
Lakota people and the U.S. govern-
ment "one of genocide tied to land."
Black Elk said the Lakota people
are redoubling their efforts to re-
gain at least some of the land. A bill
is now in Congress to set up a com-
mittee on land reform in the Black
Hills region, and the governor of
South Dakota recently declared "a
century of reconciliation" between
whites and Native Americans in
that state, she said.
Black Elk said she came to speak
yesterday because she feels college
students are in a position to make a
difference.
"I look at people in college as
the next generation of leaders. If
you can share information with
them ... my hope is that they will be
able to advocate for some real
change," Black Elk said.
About 150 students turned out
for the lecture. Natural Resources
Junior Danielle Miller called the
discussion "very eye-opening."
- by Rob Patton

Jocelyn Sargent, a graduate student in political science, listens to
a speaker during Martin Luther King Jr. Day events yesterday.

iI

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It's Time

0 RA AL
i>
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To

Play!

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Jan. 28

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