COLUMBUS, Miss.— The W UNITY Project, sponsored by Mississippi University for Women’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council, is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 3 through Thursday, Nov. 5. The project is the first campus project promoted by the newly appointed council.
W President Nora Miller said, “I commend their work in developing an opportunity for faculty, staff and students to come together and be unified as a campus. Our identities are who make us who we are, and this is an opportunity to celebrate individuality while also recognizing that together `We Are The W.’”
The interactive public art project, known as UNITY, is based on the work of Nancy Belmont. Belmont's project was selected for its potential to draw attention, encourage engagement and give representation to every member of The W community.
Thirty-two posts will stand in a circle near Bryan Green Gazebo, all but one representing a different social role or identity, personal trait or worldview. The 32nd pole will be a blank slate, and participants will be able to write in an additional identifier they feel is important to their sense of self. Each person will select the poles that represent the various aspects of their identity and will string blue yarn from one to the other, creating a crisscrossing pattern. Highlighting the multiple identities that intersect to make each person unique, the project demonstrates how each layer of an individual's identity connects them to a different subset of the community in such a way that all of the subsets are ultimately connected to form a larger whole.
Volunteers from the DE&I Council will be on hand to answer questions and ensure compliance with public safety guidelines. Though anyone can participate during these times, different segments of the community are encouraged to take part in one of three waves.
Members of the Council recognize that Tuesday, Nov. 3 is Election Day. Participants are encouraged to vote and participate in this unifying campus event.
Miller established the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council this fall to promote equity, diversity and inclusion on campus through increasing self-awareness and facilitating intercultural competence.
The Council includes representatives from various departments, Faculty Senate, Staff Council and the Student Government Association.