Ball State's 42nd annual Unity Week celebration is kicking off in January this year, beginning with the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The week will welcome more in-person gatherings than last year, including the signature Unity March, and will end with the Jan. 22 Beneficence Conference.
According to Ball State’s website, the events scheduled to be held are as follows:
9:30 a.m., Emens Auditorium
The annual MLK Celebration is hosted by Muncie community organizations and Ball State University to commemorate and celebrate the life and contributions of Martin Luther King, Jr.
11:30 a.m., Emens Auditorium
The Unity March invites all Ball State and Muncie community members to come together to honor Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy by marching to support equity and inclusion. The march has been canceled in recent years due to COVID-19 and poor weather, so it's only the second Unity March in the past five years.
MLK Speaker Brandon Pope
7 p.m., Pruis Hall
Brandon Pope is an award-winning and Emmy-nominated television host, media critic and columnist based in Chicago. He is the president of the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, where he focuses on shepherding in the next generation of journalists. Pope is a 2014 Ball State alumnus and serves on the journalism alumni board.
This in-person event will also be livestreamed.
Volunteer Recruitment Fair
9 a.m., Student Center Cardinal Hall
Sponsored by Student Voluntary Services (SVS), the volunteer recruitment fair aims to offer opportunities to students to give back to the campus and surrounding communities. A variety of volunteer categories — including health, children, hunger and homelessness — are usually at the event. More than 30 local nonprofits will be in the Student Center and on Zoom to share information.
8 p.m., Pruis Hall
Spectrum, Ball State’s gender, sexual and romantic minority organization, will present a free theatrical performance of coming-out stories that address the experiences faced by people in the queer community. Those interested in participating in the event will create monologues based on their identities or pick monologues already provided to a network of people from Queer Monologues for their shows.
Asian Student Union Tabling
Noon, Student Center Tally
The Asian Student Union (ASU) will highlight activities and specific aspects of their culture and will be sharing information about upcoming Unity Week events.
A Historical Overview of the Multicultural Center
2 p.m., Multicultural Center’s Multipurpose Room
Developed by staff members of the Multicultural Center and University Libraries, the presentation "Ambassadors of Diversity and Inclusion: A Historical Overview of the Multicultural Center" will cover the history of Ball State's Multicultural Center from its origins to present day. In addition to introducing the new digital exhibit The Ball State University Multicultural Center: Ambassadors of Campus Inclusion and Diversity, presenters will provide attendees the opportunity to engage with historical objects from the archives.
Boxes and Walls
6 p.m., Student Center Ballroom
Boxes and Walls is an opportunity for individuals to experience a snapshot of the kind of oppression that people with historically marginalized identities may experience on a daily basis. Students, faculty and staff will have the chance to take a self-guided tour through the spaces to visualize and learn about gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, disabilities, religions and more. Upon completion of the tour, participants will engage with students to debrief about what they experienced at Boxes and Walls.
6 p.m., Student Center Cardinal Hall
Latinxpalooza is a long-standing and annual non-competitive talent showcase hosted by the Latinx Student Union (LSU). This year's event will include dancing, singing and cultural appreciation.
Friday Night Film Works & Reel Inclusion Film Series – "Black Boys"
Available for virtual viewing via Kanopy
"Black Boys" illuminates the spectrum of Black male humanity in America. An intimate, inter-generational exploration, "Black Boys" strives for insight to Black identity and opportunity at the nexus of sports, education and criminal justice.
Beneficence Leadership Conference
9 a.m., Student Center Ballroom
The fourth annual Beneficence Leadership Conference offers students, faculty and staff the opportunity to learn with and from each other. The conference will be held on Saturday, Jan. 22 in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center. This is a free, open-access opportunity that is hosted by the Office of Student Life in collaboration with the Multicultural Center and Housing & Residence Life. Attendees can RSVP to the Beneficence Leadership Conference on BennyLink through Jan. 14.
Unify the Nite
9 p.m., Student Center
Late Nite @ Ball State offers a series of high-energy events which provide quality entertainment for Ball State University students every Saturday night. Late Nite events are hosted by students, for students and always include food and activities. This week’s event will be themed around Unity Week.