The Diversity Celebration Series consists of various educational and entertaining programming opportunities for university community members. The programs highlight the various aspects of the diversity that make up our eclectic campus community.
Celebration Series Events
A celebration of Hispanic Heritage held during Hispanic Heritage Month. The Bienvedios celebration has included cultural delicacies, music, dancing and information about the history of Hispanic Heritage month and details on our Hispanic/Latino community members. Outside community member participation is encouraged and has included the local Latin radio station and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Black Heritage Ball
Held during February, the Black Heritage Ball is a semi-formal event featuring music entertainment, spoken word, a gospel choir and African dancing. In addition, University students showcase current fashion in a coordinated runway show. A ticketed event, the Black Heritage Ball is the largest of its kind annually.
Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year is a tabling event held during the two weeks surrounding the New Year celebration. Students are encouraged to stop by the table to enjoy Chinese- traditional delicacies, music and giveaways.
Created in 2007, the Closet Chronicles is an event that acknowledges the experiences of individuals in the coming out process. Participants are provided a platform to share the coming out stories of themselves or loved ones in a safe space. The Closet Chronicles program is currently in its seventh year of production.
The retreat is held off-campus and includes conference style presentations around the various topics of diversity prevalent in our campus community. Participants are provided transportation to and from the retreat location and meals and entertainment during the overnight stay. Facilitators are faculty, staff and student community members with an expertise or interest in their desired aspect of diversity.
Each spring semester, student organizations, as well as departments across campus, work together to create Diversity Week. The seven-day celebration brings to light the diverse population UT has and hosts a multitude of programs that celebrate diversity.
A German Heritage Month celebration held in October. Our version of an Oktoberfest Celebration. Community members are encouraged to enjoy German delicacies and traditional music while learning interesting facts about the country and the culture.
Hispanic? Latino? What’s the difference and why does it matter?
A forum for community members to explore and discuss the historical context behind these terms and how it has shaped their lives.
National Coming Out Day
In 2006, Residence Life began its public celebration of National Coming Out Day. Every year on Oct. 11 we celebrate those strong individuals that have experienced the coming out process at some time in their lives. While tabling in the Vaughn Center lobby, information is distributed about the coming out process, the history of the LGBTQQ movement and resources in the area. In addition, “Gay? OKAY!” shirts are distributed to students upon request. The “Gay? OKAY!” shirts are a statement encouraging the support of our LGBTQQ community members.
Red Ribbon Ball
A World AIDS Day event, the Red Ribbon Ball is a semi-formal event acknowledging the impact the HIV virus and AIDS have made on our community. The event features a speaker that provides guests education on HIV and AIDS awareness. This is a ticketed event with the proceeds donated to the Tampa Bay AIDS network.
A celebration of Jewish heritage held during Jewish American History month. The celebration includes traditional foods, a Seder experience, Israeli dancing in addition to other cultural activities.
Tunnel of Oppression
Tunnel of Oppression is a nationwide program acknowledging oppression that is currently occurring in our society. The simulated tunnel includes specific examples of oppression that participants are permitted to explore by walking through scene and skits. The reality of the experiences may trigger emotional responses and necessary dialogue. There are tour guides that walk participants through the tunnel and facilitate the follow-up conversation.
Wall of Oppression
Each spring semester, students construct a wall in Vaughn Courtyard that stands for about a week. The wall is constructed from bricks that students have painted on; each brick displays a word or phrase the student finds offensive or oppressive. At the end of the week, students pull down the wall to symbolize ending oppression within the campus community.
Based on Eve Ensler’s Vagina Interviews, UT community members come together to conduct our very own production of the monologues. Held in February, proceeds are donated to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.