It was a hot day on June 19th for our annual celebration of Juneteenth here at UT Dallas. As noted by our own Cornel Walton, “It was not a day for pants.” But with that being said, we invited the campus to come and make themselves comfortable as we commemorated the definitive end to slavery here in Texas.
Juneteenth is a holiday which marks the historical day, June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived on the island of Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves. This was roughly two and a half years after the original abolition of slavery during Abraham Lincoln’s announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation which took effect January 1st, 1863.
Why do we bother celebrating our heritage? And why should we celebrate Asian heritage?
The term “Asian” here encompasses all countries in the Asian continent. With Asia being the largest and most populous continent in the world, therein lie a vast number of cultures, ethnic groups and histories. Celebrating one’s culture is to celebrate oneself. No matter where you were born, your heritage always lies within you. At our university, with such a diverse student population, students are exposed to diverse cultures daily. Events like the Asian Heritage Celebration expose students to aspects of those cultures that they may not experience in the classroom.
The weather during the first week of February was predicted to be cold, but it was a warm day on Wednesday, February 6th; perhaps because of the Lunar New Year Celebration that was happening here at UT Dallas. Around 3 PM in the Visitor Center Atrium, were groups of people setting up sound system, moving chairs and tables, and hanging decorations. The crowd of onlookers slowly increased the closer it got to 5 PM and everybody was quickly trying to get everything ready. There were young ladies wearing their traditional dresses, others at game booths, and some walking around the stage area. At the same time, volunteers were working hard to check in guests and hand out raffle tickets. It was one hectic time crunch.
January 24th, 2013, had to be one of the most exciting events I have ever been a part of and participated in. There were so many people waiting to come inside and observe what was going to be taking place. As a MPA for the Multicultural Center, I hadn’t seen an event this hectic since the Salsa Night for Hispanic Heritage Month last semester. Salsa Night was the first event that I worked on campus as a Multicultural Peer Advocate and, preparing for the breakfast brought me flashbacks. I mean, who knew that I would be so nervous to see how the event I worked on was going to turnout.
We often confuse a leader as someone who gives commands because we believe they have power over everyone else. Are these truly the characteristics of a leader? What exactly is a leader? What makes someone a great leader and what exactly do they possess? All these questions and more were answered at the Hispanic Leadership Forum on Friday, January 23.