October 17, 2021

Cultural Awareness Dining Events Make National News

A recent Islamic Cultural Celebration Dinner was planned and executed by Jordanian pastry cook Hind Abulali and included Saudi Arabian Kabsa and Lebanese kafta made with Halal meats.

A recent Islamic Cultural Celebration Dinner was planned and executed by Jordanian pastry cook Hind Abulali and included Saudi Arabian Kabsa and Lebanese kafta made with Halal meats.

Food Management Magazine, a national publication, recently published a feature story about the cultural awareness dining events that have been co-sponsored by University Dining and the James Farmer Multicultural Center and student cultural groups, for over 10 years. Dr. Marion Sanford and the dining team have worked closely together to create special dining events that celebrate the many diverse cultures of our UMW students. We’re very proud to have been recognized by Food Management Magazine for wonderful partnership in promoting diversity and inclusion through our dining events. We hope you enjoy this article.

https://tinyurl.com/kexkmx5y

 

#UMWTogether – Social Connectedness/Community building

Together painted on a dripping canvas.Social Connectivity 

“Social connectivity is about coming together in creative ways to minimize the distance instead of only seeing the walls that separate us.”

https://time.com/collection/apart-not-alone/

What is a creative (socially distant) way you can increase your social connectedness?

Togetherness

“We are all in this together.” -Dr. Anthony Fauci

https://www.un.org/en/coronavirus/covid-19-photo-essay-we%E2%80%99re-all-together

#UMWTogether – Contributing to the community and looking out for each other, Be the change

UMW student Yamila Merida spreads mulch for Tree Fredericksburg at Into the Streets last fall. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

UMW student Yamila Merida spreads mulch for Tree Fredericksburg at Into the Streets last fall. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

“Civic engagement is very important. We all live here together and we need to look out for one another.” – Elizabeth Goreham

Why is it so important to find a cause you love and volunteer your time? Spending time enriching your community is a great way to broaden your perceptions of the world. By immersing yourself in a community and surrounding yourself with people who are dedicated to bettering the world, you can learn so much about how the world works. You gain a unique sense of purpose by serving those around you, one which often manifests in other areas of your life. Giving back to the place you call home helps to unite the community and bridge some of the social, economic and political gaps.

Volunteering:  How helping others helps you

https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-started/outside-the-classroom/volunteering-how-helping-others-helps-you

5 Benefits for giving back to the community

https://borgenproject.org/5-benefits-giving-back-community/

10 Ways You Can Make a Difference in Your Community

https://medium.com/the-whole-family-happiness-project/10-ways-you-can-make-a-difference-in-your-community-26f699a6a4bd

UMW’s Community Engagement webpage

https://academics.umw.edu/communityengagement/

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In fall 2019, prior to the pandemic, CCE’s Faculty Director Leslie Martin works with UMW first-years to stock the Eagle Resource Closet, a food pantry on the fifth floor of Lee Hall. Photo by Suzanne Rossi.

In fall 2019, prior to the pandemic, CCE’s Faculty Director Leslie Martin works with UMW first-years to stock the Eagle Resource Closet, a food pantry on the fifth floor of Lee Hall. Photo by Suzanne Rossi.

Historically, times of devastation have often proven that people, communities and, on a larger spectrum, the world has what it takes to work together for the greater good of humanity. For example, people from all over, domestically and abroad, came together to provide aid to the citizens of Louisiana, Texas, and adjacent regions that were tremendously impacted by the destruction of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Or, what greater display of “representation matters” is there than the Olympics, where countries set aside differences in order to come together to celebrate one of the world’s greatest competitions. So, as we, in 2021, move deeper into the midst of a global pandemic and social unrest, it is hopeful that we all can agree that “working together” to recover society should be an avid part of our communal and personal action-plans this year. Therefore, let us all ponder the question “What steps can I take today, tomorrow, and in the near future to rebuild hope, stability, and peace within myself, my community, and the world?” And If you have feelings of questioning what impact “U” can have on the world, try to spell unity without it. You matter.

Here are some resources that may inspire you to keep striving to be the change:

https://youtu.be/mIqhl0rH0Wc

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/03/21/how-you-can-help-during-coronavirus/?arc404=true

https://earthjustice.org/blog/2020-april/8-ways-you-can-help-your-community-amid-the-covid-19-crisis

https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/covidwise/

#UMWTogether – Collective and Individual Responsibility, Acts of Kindness

“It is our collective and individual responsibility to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live.”

This is what Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama (the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism), has said about our obligations to the Earth and to each other. As you go through your day, how do you show gratitude to the planet, and to those who share it with you?

1) Purdue University has created a list of “45 Sustainability Resources You Need To Know”: https://www.purdueglobal.edu/blog/student-life/45-sustainability-resources/

2) The Dalai Lama talks about individuals’ environmental responsibility in 2015:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRwlygihP7I

 

“No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted.” Aesop, The Lion and the Mouse.

There are so many small acts of kindness that you can perform that have the power to make a significant, positive impact on another person’s life. When you engage in acts of kindness, it shows others that there is still kindness and empathy in the world. Often, a simple act of kindness on your part can inspire others to act in a more compassionate way, as well. Small acts of kindness that you can easily do include things like holding open the door for others, greeting individuals you encounter, and even just smiling at others. Acts of kindness also include treating yourself kindly, by doing things like taking breaks throughout the day and engaging in self-care. Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, once said that “a single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” By engaging in acts of kindness, no matter how simple, you are making the world a kinder and more compassionate place.

Here are some resources that may inspire you to engage in acts of kindness, both to other people and to yourself:

Social Justice Summit Spurs Students to Action

When junior Mandy Byrd came to the University of Mary Washington, she got involved in the James Farmer Multicultural Center (JFMC) and the University’s new NAACP chapter. These organizations helped open her eyes to a wide range of social justice issues, she said, and “just how powerful this kind of work can be.” Her goal […]

James Farmer Multicultural Center Thanks #UMWRun4Justice Participants

The James Farmer Multicultural Center thanks everyone who participated in the Virtual #UMWRun4Justice 5K this past weekend, especially UMW Women’s Lacrosse and Coach Maddie Taghon, Women of Color, and the Black Student Association, as well Alumni Relations for help with spreading the word. The event raised $2900 that will be used in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and other social justice initiatives at UMW. The desire is to create opportunities to help open conversations and develop a more inclusive campus. Please enjoy the video below of JFMC Director Marion Sanford thanking participants.

 

 

Marion Sanford: Following in Farmer’s Footsteps

Since 2010, Marion Sanford has been the director of the James Farmer Multicultural Center. Photo by Matthew Binamira Sanders.

Since 2010, Marion Sanford has been the director of the James Farmer Multicultural Center. Photo by Matthew Binamira Sanders.

The most treasured object in Marion Sanford’s office is Raymond Arsenault’s book Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice. It’s a riveting account of the quest to desegregate interstate transportation led by Dr. James L. Farmer Jr., the late civil rights pioneer and Mary Washington professor who died in 1999.

Sanford never met the namesake of the James Farmer Multicultural Center, where she’s been director since 2010. But in this book, she has collected autographs from seven of the Freedom Riders – five of whom were among the original 13 men and women who left Washington, D.C. and put their lives on the line to fight injustice.

“When I think of their bravery and sacrifice, it inspires me to keep working for freedom, justice and equality,” said Sanford, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Jackson State University in Mississippi and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Iowa State University.

On Monday, Jan. 13, UMW kicks off Farmer Legacy 2020, a yearlong celebration honoring the late civil rights pioneer and Mary Washington professor, who died in 1999 and whose 100th birthday would have been Jan. 12, 2020.

On Monday, Jan. 13, UMW kicks off Farmer Legacy 2020, a yearlong celebration honoring the late civil rights pioneer and Mary Washington professor, who died in 1999 and whose 100th birthday would have been Jan. 12, 2020.

A new signature was added when Sanford was among the UMW delegation that recently met with Congressman John Lewis. A civil rights icon in his own right, Lewis will serve as honorary chair for Farmer Legacy 2020, a yearlong celebration launching on Jan. 13, the day after what would have been Farmer’s 100th birthday.

Lewis has the same “energy, passion and determination” as when he boarded the bus as a college student nearly 60 years ago, Sanford said. She’ll never forget, she said, watching him interact with Student Government Association president Jason Ford, who was among the UMW group that traced the journey of the Freedom Rides last fall.

“It was the passing of a torch,” said Sanford. “Lewis is the past and present of the civil rights movement – and he looked at Jason like he was the future.”

 

 

 

Rep. John Lewis speaks with UMW Student Government Association president Jason Ford about Lewis' participation in the Freedom Rides and the march from Selma to Montgomery. Twice, through UMW’s Fall Break Social Justice Trips in 2018 and 2019, Ford has taken in sites visited by Farmer and Lewis during the height of the civil rights movement. Photo provided by the James Farmer Multicultural Center.

Rep. John Lewis speaks with UMW Student Government Association president Jason Ford about Lewis’ participation in the Freedom Rides and the march from Selma to Montgomery. Twice, through UMW’s Fall Break Social Justice Trips in 2018 and 2019, Ford has taken in sites visited by Farmer and Lewis during the height of the civil rights movement. Photo provided by the James Farmer Multicultural Center.

Q: What are some highlights of Farmer Legacy 2020?
A: Besides the birthday celebration, UMW students are planning a special tribute on Jan. 16 to honor Dr. Farmer. This spring is the 30th anniversary of the Multicultural Fair, and in March, we’ll have our Social Justice and Leadership Summit. In the fall, there will be a talk by Chief of Staff and History Professor Jeff McClurken and Associate Provost Tim O’Donnell, who will share their memories of Dr. Farmer.

Q: What is a typical day for you?
A: I usually start by helping students resolve an issue or plan an upcoming program or activity. There are committee meetings with faculty and staff, and my day often ends by attending a Cultural Awareness Series event or one of our social justice initiatives.

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job? The most challenging?
A: I love getting to know our students and seeing them become active members of the campus community. But it’s difficult to accomplish our mission and continue to provide high-quality programs and services with limited resources.

Q: How do you spend your free time?
A: I enjoy reading or playing tennis.

Q: What are your favorite social justice books?
A: Readings for Diversity and Social Justice, by Maurianne Adams, et.al.; Is Everyone Really Equal?: An Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice Education, by Ozlem Sensoy and Robin DiAngelo; and White Fragility, also by DiAngelo.

Q: What’s your motto?
A: Keep the faith!

James Farmer Multicultural Center Turns 30

Junior Courtney Flowers was writing a high school paper when she stumbled upon a name she didn’t recognize. “It was James Farmer,” said the Los Angeles native, who spent that day on a UMW website, researching the late civil rights pioneer and Mary Washington history professor. “What ultimately drew me here was the James Farmer […]

James Farmer Multicultural Center Turns 30

In 2020, UMW will celebrate the centennial birthday of the late civil rights pioneer and Mary Washington history professor Dr. James L. Farmer Jr. – who died in 1999 – as well as the 30th anniversary of the James Farmer Multicultural Center. Photo by Lou Cordero.

In 2020, UMW will celebrate the centennial birthday of the late civil rights pioneer and Mary Washington history professor Dr. James L. Farmer Jr. – who died in 1999 – as well as the 30th anniversary of the James Farmer Multicultural Center. Photo by Lou Cordero.

Junior Courtney Flowers was writing a high school paper when she stumbled upon a name she didn’t recognize.

“It was James Farmer,” said the Los Angeles native, who spent that day on a UMW website, researching the late civil rights pioneer and Mary Washington history professor. “What ultimately drew me here was the James Farmer Multicultural Center.”

In 2020, the University will celebrate the centennial birthday of Dr. James L. Farmer Jr. – who died in 1999 – as well as the 30th anniversary of the James Farmer Multicultural Center (JFMC). Created in response to an uptick in enrollment of students of color and a rash of racially biased incidents that ensued, the Center aimed to promote harmony between all groups. It fulfills Farmer’s legacy, educating the UMW community through engaging – and often life-changing – programs, from the spring Multicultural Fair to the fall Social Justice Trip. JFMC also supports 22 campus organizations and offers a welcoming haven for underrepresented students. Read more.

Freedom Rides Tour a ‘Life-Changing’ Experience

Last weekend, a group of 21 area residents joined 46 Mary Washington students, as well as UMW faculty and administrators, to trace the route of the 1961 Freedom Rides, the historic protest to desegregate interstate travel, organized by the late civil rights icon and Mary Washington history professor Dr. James L. Farmer Jr. and the organization he co-founded, Congress for Racial Equality. Photo by Lynda Allen.

Last weekend, a group of 21 area residents joined 46 Mary Washington students, as well as UMW faculty and administrators, to trace the route of the 1961 Freedom Rides, the historic protest to desegregate interstate travel, organized by the late civil rights icon and Mary Washington history professor Dr. James L. Farmer Jr. and the organization he co-founded, Congress for Racial Equality. Photo by Lynda Allen.

Stafford resident Frank White joined the Air Force in 1957, three days after finishing high school. Stationed in Texas, he traveled by Greyhound bus to visit his family in Virginia. For days and nights, he remained dressed in his uniform, sitting quietly in the back as the bus barreled through the deep South.

“Don’t make waves, don’t draw attention to yourself,” the young airman was warned by his African American superiors.

Mr. White remembered those travels as he sat at the front of the bus last weekend, one of 21 area residents who joined 46 UMW students, as well as faculty and administrators, to trace the route of the 1961 Freedom Rides during fall break. This social justice experience celebrates Dr. James L. Farmer Jr., the late civil rights pioneer and Mary Washington history professor who orchestrated the historic protest to desegregate interstate travel.

After the success of last year’s civil rights trip, James Farmer Multicultural Center (JFMC) Director Marion Sanford and Assistant Director Chris Williams wondered what they could do to make this one even more meaningful. With the 100th anniversary of Dr. Farmer’s birth approaching and the University announcing a centennial celebration in his honor, they decided to dedicate this year’s experience to his signature movement and lifelong commitment to social justice. Read more.