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Community invited to participate in 'Week of Inclusive Excellence'


Henrietta Lacks

  • January 7, 2014

Cal State East Bay's Office of University Diversity will present "Week of Inclusive Excellence: A Celebration of the Diversity of our Students, Faculty and Staff" Feb. 17-21. It will feature a variety of presentations and activities on campus.

The week kicks off with an address by CSUEB President Leroy M. Morishita at 9 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 17 in the Multipurpose Room of the New University Union. Also speaking will be Michelle Xiong, Associated Students president; Corey Gin, director of Leadership and Employment Enrichment Program president; and Dianne Rush Woods, university diversity officer, who will discuss "our advances and challenges," according to Woods.

"How do we ensure we are meeting our aspiration for equity, diversity, access and success?" said Woods. "This kick-off event focuses on the Cal State East Bay Diversity Action Plan: What have we done and what are we doing to support the inclusion and success of students, faculty, and staff?  Who are our students? Who are we serving and how are we serving our majority minority student body?"

The award-winning Aphasia Tones, a Cal State East Bay chorus comprised of persons learning to live fully with aphasia (a communication disorder that most commonly occurs after a stroke) will perform during the Monday morning event.

The week-long series will feature other speakers, including a Monday (Feb. 17) evening presentation by members of Henrietta Lacks' family.

"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," a former No. 1 bestseller on the New York Times book list, explores the life, death, and ethical controversy surrounding Henrietta Lacks, a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells were taken from her without her knowledge. Many millions of dollars were generated and important tools for medicine were created from those cells, and yet she never knew and her family didn't benefit from the discovery. Those who attend the Monday evening presentation will have an opportunity to meet Ms. Lacks' family. This presentation begins at 6 p.m. and will be held in the University Theatre on the CSUEB Hayward Campus, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd.

CSUEB's Associated Students Inc. Diversity Center will host "A Tunnel of Oppression" for the education of the CSUEB campus community. The Tunnel of Oppression will be on display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19 and Thursday, Feb. 20 in the Multipurpose Room of the New University Union.

Amer Ahmed, a scholar and intercultural consultant who speaks on "Islamophobia," will provide a presentation on Islam and Hip Hop in the New University Union's Diversity Center from 3 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20.

On Friday, Feb. 21, Stella Ting-Toomey will present "Best Practices for Intercultural Communication and Pedagogies" from 9 a.m. to noon in the New University Union's Multipurpose Room.

"I encourage the CSUEB community to hear our presentations and plans for moving forward with diversity and inclusive excellence on our campus," Woods said.

Additional information is available by contacting the University Office of Diversity at (510) 885-2809 or visiting

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