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Information about DelvingIntoDiversity

Published on October 30, 2007

Author: Jancis


Delving Into Diversity: Glimpses of Diversity in Contemporary Issues:  Delving Into Diversity: Glimpses of Diversity in Contemporary Issues A Slide Show Presentation by Erin Kidwell Slide2:  Welcome to the University of Kansas Libraries Diversity Committee and our latest endeavor; an exhibit entitled Delving Into Diversity: Glimpses of Diversity in Contemporary Issues! To the right you will see our Introductory Case. This case greets those who come in on the main floor of Watson and encourages people to go upstairs to the main exhibit. Slide3:  Up on the 4th floor of Watson Library, we have an area reserved for exhibits put on by members of the library system. Often different Departments or committees use this space to help highlight our library collection at KU Based off of certain topics. Slide4:  Here we have the “Diversity In Academia: A Look at the History of KU” case. Included in this case are photographs and artifacts from the Kenneth Spencer Research Library and The Archives collection. These photographs include images of civil Right’s protests, the KU February Sisters, independent newspapers, and mission statements from various KU organizations throughout the history of the University of Kansas. Slide5:  Here are some other pictures of the Academia Case. Slide6:  The next case includes information on the “Diversity And History of Women’s Clothing.” In this case we included books and photos depicting the differences in women’s clothing throughout History. The purpose of many of the photos in this case is to encourage one to consider what clothing means to A person’s self-worth and what control women's clothing has on their self-esteem and feelings of empowerment. Slide7:  In addition to the case on women’s clothing, we opted to include a special case discussing the contemporary Issue of “Veiling in the Modern World.” Many of us know of the decision in France to prohibit veiling and other forms of religious representation in public. Included in this case are quotes from three different women who choose to wear differing degrees of the veil and what it means to them personally. Slide8:  Here is an example of one of the quotes: Is it liberation when women dress to please men’s desires? When we focus our time and energy into looking our best to keep our job or husband? What would you say if I told you a dirty secret, that our society oppresses women by making them objects of lust and advertising?   What have we been missing while preoccupied with our looks? What would happen if we spent a little less time on our beauty and instead, invest that time into reading, or helping to feed the hungry, or hiking, or getting that degree, or demanding equal pay for equal work?  Why are we terrified of the idea of dressing modestly? How would we feel if we refuse to allow men to gawk at us when we walk down the street? What would happen if we would choose cover up our beauty, our figure, our hair, and force men to focus on our minds, rather than our hemlines?  I did. And finally, I’m treated with respect. “25-year-old American-Muslim woman who chooses to wear hijab” Slide9:  We also chose to highlight the vast array of diversity, which we hold in our literature selections and film collection. Some of these include Hitler’s Mein Kampf, Schindler’s List; books on the life of Malcolm X; and the film Birth of A Nation. Many of the items in this case are controversial in nature and depict images of dark times in the history of our world. It is important to remember how far we have come when thinking about diversity education. Slide10:  Another case focuses on the different kinds of “Diversity In Humor.” What may be funny to one person in one culture, might be confusing or derogatory in another person’s culture. It is through understanding these cultural differences that we learn how to be sensitive in the company of others who might have different backgrounds than our own. This case includes examples of books in the KU Library collection, which depict different types of humor. Slide11:  In our final display case we Highlight one of the most Controversial issues of our Time: “Issues in Same-Sex Marriages and Civil Unions.” Although the Defense of Marriage Act was introduced May 7, 1996, the San Francisco same-sex marriages have brought about a very recent renewed interest in this topic with very strong opinions being expressed on both sides of the fence. Slide12:  Many people view the current laws, which do not allow marriage privileges to same-sex couples to be discriminatory in nature. Same-sex couples who were allowed to obtain a legal marriage license in San Francisco now have the chance to have the same rights given to heterosexual couples. Although many in government (including President Bush) have moved to reverse the marriages and ban same-sex marriages with a Constitutional Amendment, others see the recent events as a huge step in the right direction and a victory for gay rights. Slide13:  Here is a quote from one woman who got to marry her partner in San Francisco: "I spent 6 years in a court- and church-approved marriage to a man who abused me both physically and emotionally. On February 16th, I was finally able to marry my partner of 5 years, a woman who treats me like a princess. On that day, I cried with happiness, not only for myself, but also for the thousands of other couples who've been married here in San Francisco since February 13th-some of whom who have been waiting for this opportunity for longer than the 33 years I've been alive.   Now the Governor of California wants to void all of those marriage licenses and the President has said he will back a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Gays and lesbians are being denied the same rights that the rest of the country takes for granted. We're being denied the opportunity to marry the person we love simply because of their gender. As a result, we're unable to do things such as make medical decisions for each other if we're not able to make them for ourselves. (Domestic Partners do NOT receive all of the privileges as married couples.) Why is so much of the country turning a blind eye-or worse, SUPPORTING-such obvious bigotry and prejudice?" Slide15:  Overall the Exhibit was a fantastic learning experience for the Diversity Committee. We found it interesting to search through our collection and see what fascinating things we could discover. Many times we found things that intrigued us as well as things that made us sad. At all times we felt the importance of this exhibit and made every effort to present the information in a way conducive to diversity education. And, as we like to say on the flyers for our events: The KU Libraries Diversity Committee is committed to providing educational resources to promote diversity and sensitivity within the KU Library System. As always, we encourage you to exercise their right to “Expand Your Horizons” through diversity education! Slide16:  Presentation by: Erin Kidwell March 24th, 2004

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