How diversity strengthens our community

North­eastern Uni­ver­sity leaders dis­cussed some con­tem­po­rary chal­lenges and solu­tions to increasing campus diver­sity in a cross-​​cultural round­table on Tuesday after­noon at the Cabral Center.

The hour­long event, spon­sored by the John D. O’Bryant African-​​American Insti­tute, was part of “50 Years For­ward: The Journey Con­tinues,” Northeastern’s year­long com­mem­o­ra­tion of the 50th anniver­sary of the Civil Rights Act.

It began with an intro­duc­tion by AAI Director Richard D. O’Bryant, who high­lighted the roundtable’s theme: “In a dra­mat­i­cally changing demo­graphic envi­ron­ment, it remains sur­pris­ingly chal­lenging to inspire diverse and mul­ti­cul­tural dia­logues, activ­i­ties, and ini­tia­tives,” he said. “Exposing stu­dents to dif­ferent cul­tures and eth­nic­i­ties is a con­tin­uous endeavor and ideal that most uni­ver­sity offi­cials hold in high regard.”

So, too, do stu­dents. “There is a lot to be gained from being sur­rounded by people who have dif­ferent opin­ions from you,” said Selmon Rafey, the Stu­dent Gov­ern­ment Association’s assis­tant vice pres­i­dent. “If you aren’t inter­acting with people who have dis­agree­ments with you, you’re detracting from your col­lege experience.”

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