Regional Winner
Month: January 2009


Diversity Program of the Month
Dream Week

School: Centenary College of Louisiana Region: SWACURH
Person in charge: Dean Womack Nominator: Cara Miccoli

Target Population: 900 Time Needed to Organize: 2 months
Number of People in Attendance: >600 Date(s) of Program: 1/20-1/29
Number of People Needed to Organize: 20 Cost of Program: <$500
On-Campus Population: 600 Chapter Size: 7

Origin of Program:

The idea of Dream Week came with David Womack was hired as the Dean of Student Life. Prior to his employment, Centenary did not partake in a week-long celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Because school remained in session during the day, the first order of business was to declare MLK day a school holiday and cancel class. With this idea, Dream Week became reality, and plans were made to bring in speakers and plan daily events. Typically, Centenary celebrated MLK day by dedicating a campus convocation in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s accomplishments. When David Womack heard of this, he along with other faculty and staff members wrote to the Board of Trustees to see changes in this celebration happen on campus. Sure enough, with the close of the Fall 2008 semester, publicity began to go up for Dream Week to take place the second and third week of the Spring 2009 semester!

Word Count: 156

Please give a short description of the program:

Dream Week is a week-long celebration taking a look into the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life! The kickoff event took place on January 20th in the banquet room of the cafeteria. Students could come eat lunch in the banquet room and watch the inauguration of the new president, Barack Obama. Following the inauguration, a guest speaker A.P. Turueaud, Jr., an Attaway Scholar, spoke on Civic Culture and the changes that have taken place in the Shreveport area. Later, that evening, A.P. Turueaud facilitated a discussion following the screening of the documentary, Journey for Justice. This screening was conducted at the Robinson Film center in downtown Shreveport. Transportation was provided for students who wished to attend!

Another event was featured on January 21st, Stories from the Struggle in Shreveport were told to students, staff, and faculty by the Dr. King Panel of Civil Rights Leaders. This took place on campus during the evening. Students, as well as members of the community, came to hear about the struggles that citizens of different minority groups had to face during the difficult days in which Martin Luther King, Jr. was active!

January 24th was the perfect opportunity to conduct a campus-wide service day. Athletic teams, organizations, and honor societies traveled to schools in the surrounding neighborhoods to conduct activities with children and teach them of the accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr. Other groups on campus planned events on campus for students to attend to celebrate MLK’s life! Even though class was cancelled, students were out and about enriching their education!

The remaining events held on January 27th and 29th were documentary screenings of Been to the Mountaintop: Martin Luther King, Jr. and dramas performed by Pin Points performers. The dramas included general demonstrations of first-hand experiences with Civil Rights protests and movements. The final performance entitled, “What if Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcalm X had had a converstation before they died?” was a big hit on campus and was performed in the campus play house. Students still talk of its power and movement among the crowd!

With the close of this celebration, students are now ready to begin preparations for Black History Month. This was Centenary’s first attempt at this large scale MLK celebration and it was marked with great success!

Word Count: 381

Goals of the program:

Student Life was looking to educate the students, faculty and other staff of the importance and achievement of MLK. His impact on the United States wasn’t quite appreciated on Centenary’s campus until now. Students who only knew the basics are now quite educated of MLK’s life. As a college student in the southern United States, it is important to be educated of the past that the surrounding community has experienced especially if you are completely unaware of the culture of the area. Civil rights movements are a part of every American citizen’s past, and a point in our history that unites all races in the United States. Students on Centenary’s campus are now aware of the power of MLK and why his life should be celebrated!

Word Count: 126

Positive and lasting effects of the program:

Dream Week has now marked a precedence on Centenary College. This beginning point will now serve as the point to build upon. In future years, celebrations on campus for MLK will only increase in size, involvement, and impact. The program had to begin somewhere and with someone. That somewhere is Centenary College and that someone was David Womack. His desire to teach students of the life and achievement of MLK has only left a great impression on the faculty, staff and students. By being able to watch documentaries, listen to well educated scholars, and participate in discussions, students are now more than ever involved in this celebration of human achievement. What’s a better way to educate students but discussions, visual stimulus and in-your-face dramas? There is definitely no question in anyone’s mind as to what MLK has done, and his impact on American society.

Word Count: 144

Short evaluation of the program:

Future plans for Dream Week include consolidating the events to take place in a five-day period. By condensing the events, constant programming is kept in the students mind. This would help to improve student attendance at end-of-the-celebration programs. Other things include getting more student organizations involved such as Minority Student Association which has been inactive on campus for the past three years. By getting more student groups involved, more resources can be pulled together to bring about better programming. As of this year, Dream Week was in the hands of administration and faculty. In the future, Student Life would like to see that this moves into the hands of students so that they may be even more involved in the programming and learning of MLK!

Word Count: 125

How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

Other campuses can and probably do programs such as Dream Week on much larger scales. Speakers were contacted and drama groups hired to bring about quality programs for students. Programs were held primarily in banquet rooms, playhouses, and auditoriums. Also, food was rarely provided for students. If students are planning the events, professors could be brought in to lead discussions and facilitate other group learning activities. Drama departments could come up with the own material as opposed to hiring drama groups such as Pin Points. Dream Week is an amazing way to get a campus together to work on a common goal! This campus unification is also a great way to celebrate the diversity on college campuses around the country. Diversity encourages thinking out of the box!

Word Count: 127

Date of entry into database: 2009-02-06 13:27:07

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