By Old Dominion University public relations staff
Old Dominion University will recognize its tradition of diversity and inclusion on campus with the first Unity Fest on Thursday, April 21 from noon to 2 p.m. on Kaufman Mall.
Sponsored by Old Dominion’s Office of Intercultural Relations (OIR) in collaboration with student organizations, Unity Fest will bring together student groups and the student body to celebrate Monarch culture.
The event builds on the tradition of inclusiveness at the University. OIR hosts month-long celebrations of African-American and Hispanic heritage, as well as programming throughout the year in the Webb University Center to encourage and foster an inclusive culture. “Old Dominion University is committed to promoting a university culture that values and respects the diversity that each Monarch brings to the campus,” said Lesa Clark, OIR executive director. “We are proud to host our first annual Unity Fest on April 21.”
Old Dominion University President John R. Broderick is a long-time champion of diversity and inclusiveness. The University Board of Visitors renamed its Diversity Champion award in his honor two years ago, in recognition of his passion more empowering everyone to have a voice. At Unity Fest, interactive unity stations will allow students to engage with others from different organizations to cultivate interconnectedness.
Contributing students will spell out the word “unity” for an aerial photograph, solidifying Old Dominion’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity on campus. Unity Fest will feature the official unveiling of the Unity Wall Banner. The banner will showcase participating student organization names and logos on the wall as a symbol of committed unity. The Unity Wall Banner is directed by the Interfraternity Council. Appearances by the Dynasty Dance Team and Big Blue also will help demonstrate University pride.
During lunch, students will be able to take part in interactive inflatable stations including Giant Twister, Giant Corn Hole and Hippo Chow Down. In addition, Bubble Soccer will be organized and run by ODU’s Department of Recreation and Wellness. The Office of Intercultural Relations (OIR) is committed to creating a campus community that values and supports the cultural identities of each of our members. Through education and training, the Office of Intercultural Relations creates opportunities that develop and enhance internal skills and competencies that foster an inclusive environment.