By Samantha Werkheiser
On Sunday, ESU will kick off its second Global Week, a week-long event that aims to empower ESU students to become active leaders of the global community.
This year’s Global Week has the theme of “Be the Change” and has three main goals for students: to become an advocate for underrepresented populations, to learn how to better communicate with someone who is different than you and to experience something new and extraordinary.
Last year’s Global Week had thousands of students participating, with over 500 people alone participating in the World Fair, the largest event of the week.
“This year will be even bigger than last year. We will have live animals which include a camel, a lama, and a yak! Yes, you read that right. We will also have a large Native American presentation which includes a giant tipi (which you’ll be able to go into), dancers, and traditional food. In addition, we have close to 30 campus and community organizations who will be each adopting a country, presenting activities and treats from that nation. You’ll be able to experience an Epcot experience right on the front of campus,” said Director of Student Engagement Fernando Alcantar of this year’s World Fair.
The World Fair will take place on Wednesday April 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the University Circle.
Another event that will likely attract a large crowd is the memorial vigil for the victims of the Pulse nightclub attack, a tragic hate crime that took the lives of 49 people and injured 53 others over the summer of 2016. The vigil will be followed by a presentation with three of the survivors from the attack on Pulse.
The first survivor is Neema Bahrami, the manager for the Latin Night event that was being held in the club on the night of the attack. He now helps run the Pulse foundation and travels the country with the owner of Pulse, promoting the foundation which hopes to build a permanent memorial at Pulse to remember the victims.
The second survivor is Isaiah Henderson who is the son of Brenda Marquez McCool. McCool had often went to Pulse to support her gay son. On the night of the attack, she jumped on top of Isaiah to protect him, perishing in the process but also saving her son.
Luis Roldan, another survivor of the shooting, was invigorated by the tragedy and has since become an activist in the city of Orlando promoting safety and equality.
This event will likely begin with a video commemorating the lives of the lost.
The survivors will then be presenting their stories and how they handled the aftermath of the attack.
They will also be sharing a message of equality, healing and ways to build a stronger community following the attack.
The memorial will take place on Monday, April 3 at 12 p.m. at Stroudhenge. The presentation will take place on Monday, April 3 at 7 p.m. in SciTech Auditorium.
“On an emotional level, I am incredibly excited and overwhelmed by the Pulse: Still Beating program on Monday. I’ve been putting the biographies for the memorial together and have found myself in tears, having to close the doors to my office. This is a story that still vibrates at the core of our community,” said Alcantar.
Another speaker for Global Week will be Katie McGinty, the popular Democratic candidate for senate. She served as the environmental advisor to Al Gore and Bill Clinton and was the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in the cabinet of Governor Ed Rendell. She will speak on Tuesday, April 4 at 7 p.m. in Stroud 117.
New York Consulate of Spain Francisco Barba Moran will be speaking about how to gain resume power through an internship with the Spanish consulate. This event will be on Thursday, April 6 at 12:30 p.m. in Senate Chambers of the University Center.
Other highlights for the week include a seminar on empowering women titles “I Am Woman: From Survivor to Warrior” taking place on Tuesday, April 4 at 11 a.m. in the Hemlock Lounge.
A Disability Simulation and the Tunnel of Oppression will highlight contemporary issues surrounding disabilities and oppression, both of which take place concurrently in Shawnee and Linden Halls.
Global Week will close with the International Festival, which will have performers and food from different cultures. This event will take place on Saturday, April 8 at 4 p.m. in the University Center.
“Global Week comes once a year, and you want to see what everyone will be talking about. From festivals that celebrate culture, to conversations about faith, to presentations that will tug our heart strings, to conversations about equality, to activities that engage our activist character, Global Week has it all,” said Alcantar.
For more information on the event, follow the Student Activity Association on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. You can also visit esu.edu/globalweek.
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