Interactive ‘Soul Food’ dinner celebrates diversity and culture

Category:  News
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 at 4:37 PM
Interactive ‘Soul Food’ dinner celebrates diversity and culture by Patrick Dewey and Dakota Palmer
Photo: Dakota Palmer

On Feb. 28, the Office of Social Equity sponsored the event, “Soul Fest: An Interactive Soul Food Dinner.” The event included a dinner with “soul foods” and students reading historical facts about the various foods. Some of the foods offered were fried chicken, Cajun fish and grits, red beans and rice, collard greens with braised ham hocks, black-eyed peas and cornbread.

Pertrina Marrero, director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, said that her graduate assistant Dalontai Pond first came up with the idea for the event to celebrate Black History Month.

“We had already celebrated some of the people associated with black history, but we wanted a chance to celebrate the food associated with that culture,” said Marrero.

Additionally, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion partnered with the University Programming Board to host a quiz bowl event that focused on black history. Marrero said the center also partnered with the Ghering Health Center for an event on HPV and cancer prevention.

“We promote diversity every day just by being here on campus,” said Marrero. “What we need to do now is think of ways in which programming and events can be fully inclusive. The recognition that we are all different promotes diversity.”

She continued, explaining that “recognizing that through our differences we all have something to bring to conversations and asking people to join in on the conversation is inclusion.”

According to Marrero, the goal of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion is to make sure that people on campus from different backgrounds feel they are included and celebrated throughout the campus.

“To promote inclusion, we must encourage people to come together and talk about things, whether it be planning a program, coming to the movie theater, or offering suggestions for what movies should be shown on campus,” said Marrero.

Dakota Palmer and Patrick Dewey can be reached at 

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