2024 Spirit of Identity Week Events Celebrate Creativity, Diversity of Campus

November 27, 2023

During the 2024 Spirit of Identity Week, St. John Fisher University students and employees can engage in more than 25 events and activities that will promote an appreciation for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Students at an event during the 2022 Spirit of Identity Week.

Scheduled for Monday, Jan. 15 through Saturday, Jan. 20, the theme for Spirit of Identity Week is “I Belong Here.” In addition to events planned by Black Student Union, Latiné Student Union, Muslim Student Alliance, Asian Student Union, Sexuality and Gender Alliance, and Student Government Association, the planning committee issued a call for proposals from the campus community in October. Student clubs and organizations, academic departments, and University offices responded, submitting more than 20 different ideas for activities and events.

“Bringing the Spirit of Identity to Fisher is like opening up a positive Pandora’s Box,” said Dr. Marlowe Washington, senior diversity officer. “Spirit of Identity Week offers campus members a type of cultural and diverse richness of creative freedom to learn about social identities and characteristics of people and communities at Fisher. And what really pulls at my heartstrings is the careful and curious way that students, faculty, and staff interact with each other when sharing experiences and where we came from. This is proof that the campus is committed and engaged in this work.”

The line-up includes a session on inclusive teaching hosted by the DePeters Family Center for Innovation and Teaching Excellence, an analysis of the cultural impact of Supreme Court cases with the Pre-Law Association, and a panel featuring Black mental health counseling professionals organized by the Mental Health Counseling program in the Wegmans School of Nursing.

A capstone event of the week features Dr. Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith America, the leading interfaith organization in the United States. Named “one of America’s best leaders” by U.S. News and World Report, Patel is a civic leader who believes that religious diversity is an essential and inspiring dimension of American democracy. Under his leadership, Interfaith America has worked with governments, universities, private companies, and civic organizations to make faith a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division. Patel’s talk is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 17.

Additional events throughout the week include an affinity leadership dinner, movie night with Cardinal Company, a fireside chat about DEI with professionals from the business sector, panels featuring marketing and communications professionals, BSU’s annual MLK Gala, dance events hosted by the Muslim Student Alliance and Teddi Dance for Love Committee, and an international market organized by the Asian Student Union, among many more.

The planning committee is hosting two Spirit of Identity Week launch parties this week to generate excitement around the events. Stop by and enjoy cookies and coffee and pick-up fliers and stickers. The launch parties will run from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 28 in the Donald E. Bain Campus Center Atrium and from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30, in the lobby of Basil Hall.