Kean University is an educational institution that embraces diversity and cultural differences. Likewise, Mu Sigma Upsilon aims to recognize different cultures and diversity by exploring cultural dishes, music and performances.
Mu Sigma Upsilon was the first multicultural Greek letter organization founded in 1981. Its goal was determined by their five founders who sought to establish an organization that would unite women of all races, religion and backgrounds. Their motto is "Mujeres siempre unidas", which stands for women always united.
They have decided to R.A.C.E. for the exploration of different cultures. R.A.C.E will be held on Monday, April 16 from 7 to 10 p.m in Downs Hall.
Jailene Burgos, the president of Mu Sigma Upsilon, spoke of the meaning behind R.A.C.E.
"As a multicultural organization, this type of programming is important. Recognizing and Celebrating Ethnicities (R.A.C.E) serves as an annual celebration of culture that consists of various performances of cultural dance, music, poetry, etc. It also provides explanations of cultural rituals, displays of costumes and artifacts and ethnic food," said Burgos.
"For over 10 years, this event has upheld our multicultural tradition by promoting diversity and a deeper understanding of cultures, as well as challenging stereotypes throughout the University and community," Burgos continued. "R.A.C.E provides an exposure of different cultures in a fun and diverse atmosphere. The audience is made up of different organizations on campus, including Greek organizations, faculty, staff, administration, students and the local community."
Burgos wants to emphasize the importance of embracing all cultures and backgrounds in order to unite and empower each other.
"In recent times, there has been a lot of incidents where ignorance and intolerance have made an impact on people’s decisions in situations that have cost lives. Instead of breaking people down, we should be building them up. We are all human. That connection starts when we encourage one another to learn and be open-minded," said Burgos.
Students and guests can expect a night full of performances, activities, fun, and free food that will make them feel like they traveled the world. It is going to be a night full of information and entertainment.
For their organization, diversity goes beyond ethnicity, and they hope to show acceptance of all cultures and communities.
"At the event, we are going to have several tables represent different continents of the world. At each table, we are going to have arts and crafts and information correlating back to the different cultures found within that continent. There is also going to be a Co-exist table exploring different religions, LGBT and ASL," Burgos explained.
Burgos believes that her organization salutes diversity by including different languages, like sign language.
"We have sisters who come from different backgrounds who are from different backgrounds, who are deaf, who are blind, who have disabilities, who are LGBT, and who are strong women."
Mu Sigma Upsilon would like students to know that sisters and organizations participating will be facilitating activities for students at different tables. Once activities are completed, students receive a stamp in their passport.
This program is near and dear to the organization because diversity goes beyond ethnicity for them.
"It’s about embracing everything that makes us different. We want everyone to join us for a fun educational night," said Burgos.