Please notify Lindsey Palar, Program Coordinator, if accommodations are needed to make the event accessible. Lindsey Palar can be reached at (269) 387-6324 or

Respecting differences 2016

The Respecting Differences series is sponsored by the following Kalamazoo area employers: city of Kalamazoo, city of Portage, Kalamazoo County, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and Western Michigan University. The program is also supported by the Kalamazoo Human Resources Management Association.

To learn more about the 2016 Respecting Differences event: Bridging the Generational Divide, visit Human Resources website.

WMU Speakers

WMU speakers or facilitators available to support diversity and inclusion presentations/workshops/events

If you are affiliated with WMU (students, faculty, staff, or administrators) and have educational, professional, and/or lived experience that enables you to present or facilitate diversity and inclusion events or workshops, please complete this form. WMU departments, units, or registered student organizations often seek presenters and facilitators. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion would like greater capacity to support these requests.

MLK celebration events

The 2016 MLK Celebration theme is "Equity in Action Uniting Community." For more information about the events and volunteer opportunities, visit the MLK celebration website. 

Diversity discussion series and events

These events serve as a catalyst to promote, celebrate and increase awareness about diversity and to encourage cross-cultural interaction. See the tabs at the left to learn more about an event.

Sponsored events

Self-Preservation through Self Care

This facilitated discussion and workshop, designed with and for student activists, will bring together members of the campus community interested in exploring what self-care means to them. Breakout sessions will provide an opportunity for participants to experience various forms of self-care, including heart-centered yoga, poetry and spoken word, healing circles, fruit smoothie preparation, drawing/coloring, and tactile crafts. This event is free and open to the public. View poster.

  • Wednesday, March 23 at 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the Multicultural Center in the Adrian Trimpe Building

"Divorce (Professional)"

This event consists of an original one-act play exploring our responsibilities to promote inclusive and equitable academic environments. Divorce (Professional) explores the decision of a political philosopher to do the "unthinkable" (quit her tenure-track position) and the factors that shape the decision. Drawing upon insights from a wide range of philosophers and political theorists including Kant (on sexual ethics), bell hooks (on scholars), Nietzsche (on "dying"), Martin Luther King, Jr. (on Nietzsche), Rousseau (on social inequality) and Plato (on the nature of truth and the role of philosophers), the play explores several contemporary issues impacting universities including mentorship of junior faculty transitioning from graduate school to academic employment, defining oneself as a scholar, consensual sexual relationship policies, sexual and racial harassment in academic contexts, and the importance of leadership (at all levels: student, staff/administrative, faculty) to build inclusive learning & professional environments. The play is free and open to the public.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 4 p.m. in the Center for Humanities, 2500 Knauss Hall
  • Cancelled due to inclement weather: Thursday, Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. in the Center for Humanities, 2500 Knauss Hall
  • Thursday, March 3 at 5:15 p.m. in the Center for the Humanities, 2500 Knauss Hall

Events hosted by units within the Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Hispanic heritage month event "Saluting Hispanic Medal of Honor Winners" slide presentation

Slide presentation will be on display in the Military Science and Leadership Department, WMU Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, and the Division of Multicultural Affairs. Sixty-one men of Hispanic heritage have been awarded the Medal of Honor. Of the sixty-one Medals of Honor present to Hispanics, two were presented to member of the United States Navy, thirteen to members of the United States Marine Corps, and forty-six to members of the United States Army.

  • Slide presentation will be displayed beginning Tuesday, Sept. 15 through Thursday, Oct. 15 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Immigration forum

Immigration attorneys will discuss the positive side of immigration including the economic impact immigrants have on Southwest Michigan. Present and future outlook for the deferred action law will be considered, as well as, insight into the realities and daily struggles in the immigrant community.

  • Thursday, Sept. 15 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in 1750 Sangren Hall

Billy Mills presentation

Billy Mills is the second Native American to win an Olympic Gold Medal. He won the 10,000 meter run in the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. He will deliver a motivational talk on how to persevere and overcome obstacles. The program is free and open to the public.

  • Monday, Sept. 21 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the South Ballroom in the Bernhard Center

Haiti and the Dominican Republic: An Island Divided PBS documentary

This documentary explores the African ancestry in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It is narrated by noted Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates. Immediately following the viewing, a panel will give a reaction to the program. The program is free and open to the public.

  • Thursday, Sept. 24 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in 1820 Brown Hall

Hispanic heritage month event: An evening of jazz music with Phil Danny

Phil Denny was born in Sarasota, Florida and was raised by a loving, single mom. The family move to Lansing, Michigan where he attended public schools. He had a very active and loyal fan base even before releasing his internationally highly acclaimed 2012 debut cross over album, which has already earned him two Billboard chart hits.

  • Friday, Oct. 9 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Dalton Center

Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit

This is a traveling exhibit designed to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities through respect for others, comfort during interactions, and awareness of disability issues. Using a multi-media approach to demonstrate respect, comfort and awareness, the exhibit offers suggestions for becoming disability allies and educators. Students, Faculty, Staff Members, and Kalamazoo Community Members are welcome. See flyer. Parking information.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 13 from 2 to 9 p.m. in the Bernhard Center Rooms 105 - 107
  • Wednesday, Oct. 14 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Bernhard Center Rooms 105 - 107
  • Thursday, Oct. 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Bernhard Center Rooms 105 - 107

Multicultural review

The Multicultural Review is one of the Division of Multicultural Affairs' annual homecoming events. It is a recognition and celebration of the diversity of cultures at WMU. The event is designed to showcase the many talents of the student body. The showcase generally consists of singing, dancing, poetry/spoken word, skits, art displays, synchronized stepping, and various presentations of talent. The event has been well attended since its inception in 2001 and is highly anticipated. Last year's review drew more than 800 attendees.

  • Monday, Oct. 19 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in the Dalton Center

Spanish film festival / Festival de Otoño

This three day film festival shows films from Spain, Mexico, and Latin America. The films are for classes only. All films will be shown in Spanish with English subtitles. 

  • October 28 - 30 at 6:30 p.m. in 2180 Brown Hall

Day of the Dead / Día de los Muertos

The Division of Multicultural Affairs and the Department of Spanish are co-sponsoring this year's el Día de los Muertos Celebration. An alter will be on display in Waldo Library on the second floor. This is Mexican holiday celebrated particularly in the central and south regions and acknowledged around the world in other cultures. It is a festive holiday to honor relatives who have passed. The holiday is marked by an alter, which includes flowers, candy skulls, and candles.

  • November 2 - 6 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the second floor of Waldo Library

Celebration of Native American heritage month: Book case display

Books and articles by Native American authors, as well as artifacts, will be on display during the month of November at Waldo Library on the third floor.

  • November in Waldo Library

Celebration of Native American heritage month: art display

A window display containing Native American pottery, paintings, and artifacts from local tribes in West Michigan will be on display.

  • November in the Bernhard Center

Kwanza celebration

The Division of Multicultural Affairs and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion will sponsor a Kwanza celebration to celebrate the history and principles of Kwanza.

  • Thursday, Dec. 3 from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Multicultural Center in Adrian Trimpe Hall

Film screening: At the River I Stand

AFSCME Local 1668, the Division of Multicultural Affairs, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion will sponsor this film screening in celebration of Black History Month. The film recounts the two months prior to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death and the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike.

  • Thursday, Feb. 11 at 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. in the Multicultural Center in Adrian Trimpe Hall
  • Friday, Feb. 12 at 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.

César E. Chávez march

The César E. Chávez march is the largest march in Southwest Michigan and is organized by the Kalamazoo Central High School Bilingual Club and the Kalamazoo César E. Chávez march committee. Participating schools include Kalamazoo Central High School, Loy Norrix, Maple Street Magnet Middle Schools, South Haven community schools, Kalamazoo College, Western Michigan University, and members of the Kalamazoo community.

  • Thursday, March 31 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. beginning at Miller Auditorium