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The Indiana Daily Student

student life

MLK Day-focused diversity education experience to take place Jan. 21

IUnity Summit

IU’s 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration will provide testimony to King's ideals through workshops, programs and more, according to the university's Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration website. 

Among the events will be the annual Martin Luther King Jr. IUnity Summit, presented by the Cross-Cultural Programming Board, which will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Indiana Memorial Union’s Alumni Hall.

IUnity Summit
Graduate student Kristen Hurns participates in an activity focusing on privilege and diversity at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity Summit on Jan. 15, 2018. The next summit is Jan. 21. Sam House

Formerly known as Unity Summit, the event will include an interactive privilege simulator to allow participants to gain perspective on how various identities affect the opportunities and experiences of marginalized people and communities, according to the website.

“We will be turning Alumni Hall into a game board,” Monica Johnson, the director of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, said in an email. “Around the room will be various stations representing essential entities and systems within life: housing, employment, education, finance, healthcare and the judicial system.”

The simulation, modeled after “The Game of Life,” will explore power, privilege and systemic oppression. Students will receive an encrypted identity tag and be instructed to move forward to make decisions and navigate each station as they see fit, Johnson said.

The event is open to the broader IU community. Johnson said the hope is to leave students with more understanding in things such as the existence of systemic oppression, forms of discrimination and how they can be changed or navigated.

“Although they are difficult to dismantle completely, it is our responsibility to disrupt these systems and advocate for transformative change,” Johnson said.

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