Students ‘united’ in opportunities to learn

NW Staff

The United Neighbors in the Experience of Diversity (UNITED) Conference ends today, Sept. 16, with a performance by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and his band Orleans Avenue playing New Orleans-style music.

The 4-day UNITED conference is billed as an “annual celebration of diversity, culture and community.” Programs such as these are a wonderful opportunity in an otherwise largely culturally homogeneous area, and students should not let that chance to experience something new and different  fall to the wayside. It’s a chance for students to grow intellectually and culturally, and to recognize and appreciate different cultures.

It provides a variety of insight in seven categories: art, dance/music, diversity, film, food, research/scholarship and service. Oftentimes, this insight into different cultures and experiences even comes from the experiences and knowledge of NMU students and faculty.

Melissa Pinskey/NW

The events are varied, providing interesting and entertaining options for students to choose from. This is a huge opportunity for students to experience more diversity here on campus.

We appreciate that classes have made the conference part of their curriculum, making otherwise reluctant students see a performance or presentation from another part of the world, or gain insight into some facet of another culture.

There are many events throughout the school year for students to take advantage of.  Tonight’s performance by “Trombone Shorty” is the first of a variety of musical events by the International Performance Art Series, which happens throughout the semester. Among the many upcoming monthly performances are a musical group from Israel, a Finnish folk band and an Argentine groove band. Their performances are a wonderful way to learn about the music of other cultures.

With the kickoff of the International Performance Arts Series tonight and the end of the UNITED Conference, the North Wind thinks that every student should try to get out and see these events. Who knows? Students may even be inspired to put on their own kind of performance.