Black Culture Awareness Week at MU works to promote diversity

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COLUMBIA- Despite recent setbacks, MU is pushing to promote diversity by recognizing Nov. 1 - Nov. 7 as Black Culture Awareness Week.

The week kicked off with an MU sociology professor speaking about relationships within the black culture during a luncheon at the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center.

One of the event's coordinators said this week could help to explain a minority perspective.

"You do get to hear about issues from a minority stand point. So I think it's good just to bring the attention so that people can simply see what's going on," BCC event coordinator Branden Tatum said.

He said the purpose of the Black Culture Awareness Week is to shine light on controversial issues in the community right now. Tatum said he feels bringing attention to issues "can help decrease racism in the community."

The BCC will host a variety events all week. Every event is opened to the community.

Alexus Griffith, another event coordinator, said inviting everyone to come to the events helps display what the center actually stands for.

"We're not just a center who puts on events. We're a center who appreciates black culture, but not even just black culture. Any type of culture is welcomed in the BCC," Griffith said. 

On Friday, the BCC will host a mentoring event to allow local high school students to ask advice about college.

"We're going to basically talk about how it is to be at Mizzou. Not just black at Mizzou, but simply how it is to transition from high school to college," Griffith said.

She said the events this week will not only focus on concerns involving other cultures. Some events will focus on controversial subjects within the African-American culture as well. 

"It's not just the outside world that's going on with issues. It's us too. So, we're just opening up the talk for that," Griffith said.

For more information about the BCC's events for Black Culture Awareness Week, visit the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center website.