Today: Jul 17, 2024

‘64 Days’ events unite cultures

Olivia Richman, General Assignment Reporter

Over the span of Black History Month, Women’s History Month and Asian/Pacific Heritage Month, the 64 Days of Nonviolence aims to spread awareness of the different cultures and heritages, not only at Southern Connecticut State University, but of America. Social work major, Patricia Sanchez, said she thinks programs like this help the community. 

“With programs like (64 Days of Nonviolence, people) can learn to communicate with others,” she said, “and are more understanding of each other. They can put themselves in another’s shoes.”

According to Ebony McClease, a graduate intern in the Women’s Center, the event started on the day of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and ends with the day that commemorates Martin Luther King Jr. Throughout the 64 days, there will be numerous programs going on at SCSU that highlight African Americans, women and Asian Americans. 

“It was started in 1998 by Gandhi’s grandson,” said McClease. “It’s an international event, but has been in (SCSU) since 2004.” 

The 64 Days of Nonviolence was chosen to be on these important dates, according to McClease, because the purpose of the program is to commemorate Gandhi and King’s visions for nonviolence in an empowered world. 

The event was put together by Dr. Tricia Lin, director of the Women’s Studies program at Southern, who could not be reached for an interview.

There are many events coming up later this month. 

“On the Feb. 23 there is a showing of the Exonerated,” said McClease. “There will be a panel discussion on the abolishment of the death penalty. On March 10 there’s a panel discussion on advocacy and activism for and with girls.” 

Throughout March there will be four events, both about African American women and about women in general, from a talk on women, aging and incarceration on the 29, to a tribute to sisterhood on the 21. 

“We are hoping that people will attend and want to get involved,” said McClease. “They can make a difference on this campus. There are many opportunities to get involved and help out with the events. We are trying to promote tolerance with other groups of people.”

Sanchez said she feels it’s a great program.

“A lot of students come from an isolated hometown and were only around their own type of people,” she said, “and when they come to college they get a diverse experience, something they’re not used to. It opens their minds.”

Brittany Chalyce, a journalism major, said she liked the idea of some of the programs held during this 64-day event. 

“I think I’ve heard of (64 Days of Nonviolence),” she said. “I think they had a segment on healthy relationships and non-healthy relationships, which I think is important since we deal with so many different people.”

“To hear that there’s a program like (64 Days of Nonviolence), it brings people together and they start thinking of everyone as a whole,” said Sanchez. “They’re following and learning about our ancestry, our past.”

According to Sanchez, her boyfriend was from a predominantly white neighborhood and when he came to SCSU, he was not used to being around diversity. 

“When I met him it was very strange; I didn’t understand his point of view,” she said. “Now he’s open to talking to everyone.”

Sanchez said she feels as though the program will help other shy students come out of their shells and experience new cultures and people. 

If one is interested in attending any of the events that are being held during 64 Days of Nonviolence, McClease, a graduate assistant for the Women’s Studies program, said the dates of the events are e-mailed to students via the Events at Southern page. 

“We also have flyers with all the dates hanging around the school,” she said, “as well as an affirmation book that has daily practices to go along with the 64 days of events. There’s a lot of information out there.”

According to Chalyce, SCSU benefits from programs like this one. 

“Southern definitely needs more programs promoting diversity and unity amongst the student body,” said Chalyce.

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