CDI Engages UH Students in Community Arts

On Thursday, February 15th, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion hosted its first Community Cultural Enrichment Program –to provide students the opportunity to enhance one's awareness of self and others outside of the classroom. The evening featured a trip to the Obsidian Theater to see the Chorepoem, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. Through a variety of experiences (music, art, museums, spoken word etc.) cultural enrichment programs provide an avenue for students to learn about and celebrate the cultural diversity of our students, faculty, staff and the greater Houston community.

The twenty separate poems shared in are a complex representation of Black sisterhood and tackled topics like sexual assault, domestic abuse, abandonment, struggle, loss, empowerment and the exploration of womanhood.

Before heading to the Obsidian Theater, students met at the Melange Creaperie –a small eatery located in the Heights, to discuss their expectations of the play. Students shared what they hoped to gain from the experience, and what it means both personally and within the larger society to identify as a “colored girl.” While students shared, they also expressed their appreciation for the safe space to share in depth about their identities and personal stories. When asked to share her experience, participant Ciara Valdrey said “to be a colored girl means to be strategic, unique, indestructible and a part of a larger than life community. These are all feelings that were definitely reaffirmed after seeing For Colored Girls.”

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion values the opportunity to expose students to cultural events in the greater Houston community and welcomed the opportunity to sponsor students to attend this experience. “Informal education plays a pivotal role in the way we receive and process the world around us. Diversity education outside of the classroom provides students with the opportunity to learn about themselves and others, acquire new information, and acknowledge cultural differences while reflecting on their own experiences,” said Adria Terry, Diversity Education Coordinator. The Center for Diversity and Inclusion looks forward to hosting additional Community Cultural Enrichment Programs.