“Everyone Has a Story and Every Story Counts” is the theme of Diversity Awareness Week Monday-Sunday, April 23-29, celebrating cultural diversity on the Fresno State campus and in the community.

Activities began with an autism event April 23, followed by Latina storyteller Yolanda Lucero speaking at the Maple Mall, presented by Entre Mujeres, a student group in the Fresno State Women’s Resource Center.

Lucero is a teacher at Ann Leavenworth Elementary School in Fresno and a professional development specialist for the California Reading and Literature Project at Fresno State, focusing on Spanish reading and writing skills. She has taught in San Joaquin Valley schools since 1988, is a bilingual storyteller who has written many songs and recorded “Más Cuentos y Cantos.”

The week culminates with the seventh annual Diversity Conference, whose theme is “Building Bridges, Tackling Fears Panels,” 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, April 27, in the Henry Madden Library, Room 2206. Topics include classism, sexism, anti-Semitism and racism.

Francine L. Oputa, director of the Fresno State Central Valley Cultural Heritage Institute that organizes the weeklong observance, described the conference as safe, engaging and intimate. She added, “It is a powerful method for exploring our attitudes toward our own groups and toward groups other than our own while discovering ways to become allies to others.”

Pre-registration is available at 559.278.6946.

The observance also celebrates the 10th anniversary of the National Coalition Building Institute Team on campus, which is Fresno State’s affiliate of the National Coalition Building Institute International. The nonprofit leadership training organization works to eliminate prejudice and intergroup conflict on campuses and in communities throughout the world.

Its campus affiliate members – students, faculty and staff – are trained to help handle controversial issues and lead the Prejudice Reduction Workshop, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 28, in the Vintage Room (within the University Center). Pre-registration is required.

Other Diversity Awareness Week events, all free and open to the public, include:

Monday, April 23

  • 2-5 p.m. – Screening of the film “Muslims” in Kremen Education Building, Room 170,  followed by a discussion with Dr. Rose Marie Kuhn, professor of French and coordinator of the French program in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures.
  • Noon – The President’s Commission on Human Relations and Equity open forum presentation on Fresno State’s draft diversity plan at the University Student Union, Room 312-314 (also at noon Thursday, April 26, in University Center, Room 123.

Tuesday, April 24

  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. – “Listening Tables” in the Free Speech Area where students can tell their story (also Wednesday, April 25).
  • 12:15 p.m.-2 p.m. – Armenian Students Association commemorates the Armenian Genocide in the Free Speech Area.

Thursday, April 26

  • 9 a.m.-2 p.m. – Black Gender Issues Mini Conference in the Alice Peters Auditorium of the University Business Center.
  • 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. – Stop the Hate panels on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues in the Henry Madden Library. Shane Windmeyer, founder and executive director of Campus Pride, speaks at noon in Room 3212.
  • 6:30 p.m. – Multicultural Night hosted by Epsilon Sigma Rho in the Satellite Student Union.

Sunday, April 29

5:30-8 p.m. – The Fresno State Black Faculty and Staff Association discussion of “Issues: Black Infant Health in Fresno and the Cradle to Prison Pipeline” at the Smittcamp Alumni House (2625  E. Matoian Way).

For a full schedule of events or more information, visit Central Valley Cultural heritage Institute or call 559.278.6946.