Pennsylvania State University - Erie, Behrend College

Multicultural Programs and Activities

Penn State Erie sponsors a variety of activities that promote the exploration of the richness of the human experience. From the arts to current social issues, the college uses a variety of programming methods to encourage a dialog on differences in a respectful environment. Highlights of the college's efforts include:

Speaker Series

A two-time winner of the National Association for Campus Activities' Best Lecture Series Award, the Penn State Erie Speaker Series brings nationally recognized speakers to campus to both educate and entertain students, faculty, and staff on a multitude of current issues.

Speakers have included Dr. Benjamin Hooks, Shirley Chisholm, Frank Deford, Julian Bond, Maya Angelou, former Vice President Dan Quayle, Alan West, Spike Lee, Danny Glover, the Honorable Alan Page, Brandi Chastain, Gloria Steinem, Jesse Jackson, and George Stephanopoulos. All Speaker Series events are free and open to the public. Students have the opportunity to serve as hosts for speakers and attend a dinner prior to the program.

Feminist Scholars Speaker Series

This series brings cutting-edge leaders in feminist thought to campus to discuss issues ranging from reproductive case law to depictions of new female heroines through the use of children's literature. Past speakers in this series have included Emily Arnold McCully, Dr. Constance Coiner, and Dr. Ruth Hubbard.

Cultural and Performing Arts Series

The Rhythms of Life Series is a colorful series that provides hours of lively and interesting entertainment.The performances in this series give true meaning to the word "diverse" as they have ranged from comedy and music to drama and visual storytelling. Past performers have included Native Nations Dance Theatre, Tai Yim's Dragon & Lion Chinese Dancers, SAFMOD, Magdalen Hsu-Li, Cecilia's Circle, Heath Allen/Post-Hip, Troy Thirdgill, All-American Dixieland Band, and Shanta.

Film Series

Penn State Erie hosts several film series that are closely associated with special observations and celebrations. This year, the Women's Film Series and International Film Series will focus on world cultures and gender issues. Both series feature internationally renowned artists and directors.

Cultural Fiesta

The Cultural Fiesta is a day-long celebration of the global village highlighting the food, music, and dance of many cultures. It features a variety of programs including dance troupes celebrating German, Irish, and African-American traditions. Display tables featuring artifacts of some thirteen different cultures invite faculty, staff and students to explore worlds much different than their own. Held in the Wintergarden of the Reed Union Building, the sights and sounds of the Cultural Fiesta attract over 500 people.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration

Penn State Erie has a campus-wide program to commemorate the birth and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. All classes are relocated to the celebration so that students, faculty and staff may attend the program.

For more information on the college's diversity and multicultural programs, contact the Division of Student Affairs staff at 814-898-6111 in the Reed Union Building.

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