Multicultural Explosion honors grit and success


Destene SavariauNews Editor

The Multicultural Explosion was a night to remember for honoring grit, perseverance, and success for students of color.  

Presented by the Multicultural Center and contributions from the various multicultural clubs, the event was an opportunity to engage and network with distinguished panelists, enjoy cultural cuisine, dance, and celebrate student achievements.  

“This event is important because young students that are our students that are coming up me to see people who are successful, especially folks of color, who have overcome tremendous obstacles so that they’re encouraged and inspired, that they can be successful in anything that they do,” said Director of Multicultural Affairs Diane Brown-Albert 

University Access Programs representative and co-sponsor Sasha Bedwin stated how she is here to support the multicultural center in every aspect of their students’ journey here at the university. 

“It is important for our black and brown students to know that they have the support here on campus. They have something to celebrate themselves and just to be more than just ordinary,” said Bedwin. 

Public health major Janya Day, a junior, received an award from her advisor who has helped her throughout her academic track. An advisor that has helped her on the path to success with internships, conferences, and research. 

“This award makes me feel like I need to keep going and I need to keep showing up for myself even when I don’t feel like it,” said Day. “It is just a reminder to keep going and to not stop because there are people watching and they are taking notice of your efforts. So, you should take notice of your own efforts too.”  

Associate Professor of the Public Health Department Anuli Njoku, nominated Day and three other graduate students who she felt were deserving. 

“I nominated these students because I felt they deserved to be recognized after learning their stories and what they have gone through and still persevere as students and scholars,” said Njoku. 

Panelists at the event discussed how they overcame their struggles and left advice for students. The panelists that spoke were Emmy-Nominated producer Donia Duchess, Yale Law Graduate Student Kevin Baisden, Director of Common Ground High School Crystal Fernandez, Vice President of Customer Success at sense.com Diane Melchionne and Principal of Amani Charter School Jamell Scoll. 

Panelist Donia Duchess’ advice to students was a tool to use to achieve success. 

“Whatever your dreams are, break them down into smaller, more realistic, and more attainable goals,” said Duchess. “And while you’re on that road, always remember, that it’s not about what adversity you go through, it’s about how you come out after that adversity.” 

Bio-anthropology major Kristian Marroquin, a freshman, thought it was cool to have this event and was left with good advice at the end.  

“It was nice to see how different people succeeded in different ways,” said Marroquin. “One piece of advice that stuck with me was definitely ‘just because someone tells you no, doesn’t mean you’re not good enough’.” 

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